Not done. Rough draft but food for thought.
What is common?
What makes one Uncommon?
1 Samuel 16:18 One of the young men answered, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence, and the LORD is with him.”
1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.
2 Timothy 2:2-4 and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.
Military references and faith align in many ways. The difference though is that the life of faith is a not battle between flesh and blood, but between the flesh and the spirit.
Because the life of faith is a very real battle, we have much to learn from warfighting. We should be looking to and have more in common with the battlefield than universities, marketing companies, or the boardroom. It is not just an area of study, a fresh angle to pitch, or a ladder to climb.
Your putting your name on the line and making a commitment to someone. That someone just happens to be the Creator of the universe and a God who loves you. What that commitment means needs to be thought through with personal reflection.
Whatever commitment we make, Gods is greater. We are not merely serving a country, or a cause, but a God who gave the life of His own son before we did anything.
He is faithful when we are faithless. He will not leave a man behind. He didn’t leave His own son, and he won’t leave you.
Once enlisted, God is so good and provided us the passage below. It may not look intimidating at first glance, but it’s demanding, brutal, and without a doubt, whine inducing. The really kicker is when you realize that you can’t do it on your own.
But yet again, God know this and gives Christians His Holy Spirit to not only guide, but is the power behind spiritual growth.
Once you have confirmed your enlisted, this is the plan for your development in the Christian Man.
2 Peter 1:3-8 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Timothy 3:1-7 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.
At first glance, this can be read as just for pastors.
It is true that current and future pastors would have been Paul’s audience. It is God’s Word though, so it has applications far beyond that.
Paul is always concerned about the church, so he writes to Timothy to clearly define the qualities that men who desire to lead should strive for in themselves.
It’s also a model for anyone who has a desire to grow into maturity in the Christian faith and in life.
All men should want to develop in character because of what it can produce in a person. The thing about intentionally developing one’s character is that it doesn’t allow you to be safe. It exposes who really are and let’s all your junk floats to the surface. It allows all sorts of uncomfortable revelations of self, bringing to light things that you are not and where you fall short.
Scary stuff, right? Not so scary when you have God’s Word as your guide. This passage is a great way to start.
A Higher Standard
In speaking to pastors the term “Overseer,” is appropriate. While, in my mode of thinking, I see this as being an Officer. Men that are holding themselves to a higher standard than is common among men, and thus will be an example to those around them. Being an officer is not a just a title that one receives. It’s a way of being. It doesn’t happen by accident. You can’t trip over it and end up in a good place. It means that a person has expended effort, embraced hardship, and has gone through a process of refinement in become something different from their native self.
As a man, God hasn’t called you to be ordinary. We don’t have an average God. He has called you to be Uncommon in world of excuses and apathy. Seeking, developing, and holding yourself to a higher standard in order to be a light than shines brighter as the darkness grows deeper.
A critical element of understanding is that you can’t do it alone. God is the power behind that kind of change. He wants you to be that man and is the force that gets you there.
Reading through the passage is a start, but you don’t want to stop there. This passage is not meant to stay as words on a page. They are words meant to induce action. Be introspective and thoughtful as you go through each item and how you can personally evolve. Memorize and internalize them till they becomes true to you.
Go find this man in yourself. Seek him with all your might. The only thing to be frightened of is being the man who does nothing and will live a life of regret.
God won’t disappoint you. He leaves no man behind. He didn’t leave Christ and he won’t leave you. He is God and He does not fail.
|Stay True. Stay Ready.|