A Man of God
Monday— Then the man of God went to the king of Israel and said, “This is what the LORD says… 1 Kings 20:28
Imagine being known only as “the man of God.” You pass people on the sidewalk and they whisper to each other, “That’s the man of God.” The church is facing a huge decision, so the elders say, “Let’s ask the man of God.” Some try to buy the title by announcing, “I AM the man of God. Send me your money.” Others toss the phrase to anyone they want to encourage: “You’re such a man of God,” they say to the tomcat with half a dozen baby-mommas. “You’re a woman of God,” therapists tell ex-cons still smoking pot and sleeping with their bosses. Clearly, the title needs some qualifiers or it doesn’t mean anything.
So what IS a man of God? This man of God is not given a name in scripture. He was so defined by his calling that his name didn’t matter. If we want to be known as people of God, we must be defined by our calling so much so that our names don’t matter. But that’s where we balk. In our selfie culture, we want to make a name for ourselves. We want a reputation, even a bad one, if it means people notice us. But to be a person of God, what WE say can’t matter as much as what the LORD says. Not what we want Him to say. Not what the world wants Him to say. A man of God can go boldly before kings and declare with confidence, “This is what the LORD says.” And it’s accurate because a man of God spends lot of time in His presence.
Final Thought: A man of God lives his calling whether anyone cares, approves, or appreciates it.
Prayer: Lord, I struggle to live my calling because I give in to peer pressure and my own desires. But I want to be known as a man of God because of the way I live. Show me what areas are keeping me from being a man of God. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Tuesday— And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind… Romans 12:2
The preschool class was fascinated by Mr. Gary’s demonstration with a Jello mold. Before naptime, they’d watched him pour three different flavors of Jello into three Sponge Bob molds, and now it was ready. Mr. Gary gently turned the molds upside down and perfect strawberry, lime, and orange Sponge Bobs lay on the platters. “How’d you do that, Mr. Gary?” asked Charlotte. “They’re all the same!” yelled Tripp. “No, they’re not,” argued Kevin. “They’re different colors.” Mr. Gary got out bowls. “You’re all right,” he said. “They are different colors, but they’re also alike because they conformed to the same mold.”
We may be different colors too, but we tend to conform to the same molds. That’s why when one pink-haired, west coast rebel declares he/she/it can change genders, that fallacy ripples across the nation as fact. “We agree!” cries Colorado. “We think so too!” says Kansas. “We’re ahead of you up here!” shouts Illinois, and New York frowns. “We already knew that.” No matter how ridiculous Satan’s lies may get, we eagerly conform, not realizing we’re conforming to a mold of his making. “We’re free thinkers!” we declare and God says, “Stop it right there. Your mind has been hijacked by your enemy and you don’t know it. To be who I’ve created you to be, it must be transformed.” Satan wants to conform you; God wants to transform you.
Final Thought: A man of God is careful to conform to God’s mold and not the world’s
Prayer: Father, I’m insulted when Christians challenge my views. But now your word is challenging me too. Help me take an honest look inside myself to see what mold I’ve conformed to. I don’t want to be Satan’s servant. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Wednesday— But Rehoboam rejected the advice of the older men and instead asked the opinion of the young men who had grown up with him and were now his advisers. 1 Kings 12:8
A yellow Maserati gleamed in the morning sunlight as it raced through the gates and screeched to a stop in front of a mansion. Reb smiled to himself. This was all his now. Dad was gone. He could make all the changes he wanted to his father’s empire. Dibbs, Dad’s old assistant met him at the door. “Son, please listen to me,” he said. “I watched your father build all this. I can’t stand to see you tear it down. Let me advise you.” Reb waved him off as he made for the elevator. “Thanks, but no thanks. I’m meeting the guys at the bar in twenty. We’re making this old place into a party palace! Start packing your duds, Dibs!” And that’s how a billion-dollar legacy was destroyed within a year and its heir ended up washing wash pots and pans at Bueno.
King Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, did the same with Israel’s empire. When the elders tried to speak sense to him, he blew them off. Arrogance and privilege destroyed him and all that God had entrusted to him. Arrogance and privilege are destroying this generation too, and taking the nation down with it. Instead of studying history to determine what works, culture is turning to soundbites, memes, and youthful idealism to set its course. The percentage of America’s young adults who don’t believe in God, nor care whether He exists, has skyrocketed in the last ten years. Why? In part, because they’re rejecting the advice of the older and instead seeking the opinions of their peers, celebrities, and internet gurus. “Start packing your duds, old timers,” they cry. “Socialism is in! Morality is out! All our friends think so!” And that’s how a Christian legacy is destroyed.
Final Thought: A man of God seeks the wisdom of older, godly advisors instead of peers. That’s how he stays a man of God.
Prayer: Lord, who are my counselors? Are they wise and godly? I want to be a strong person of integrity, known for my wise counsel and godly decisions. Help me be more selective in who I take advice from. Guide me to them. Jesus’ name, amen.
Thursday— All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16
“I think of the Bible as a historic book we can learn a lot from,” said Mindi. “Yeah, it’s hard to understand, though, written by a bunch of Jews a long time ago. Doesn’t really apply to 21st century Americans,” said Cole. “What about you, Stan?” Stanley cleared his throat. “Shouldn’t we first consider what the Bible says about itself? Because if we don’t trust that, why should we take its advice about anything else? Wouldn’t that be like buying life insurance from a guy who thinks he’s Julius Caesar?”
What’s your opinion of the Bible? Before you answer, consider why you think that. Internet geniuses spout off about every subject that crosses their paths. It seems that all that’s required to be considered an expert is a YouTube channel. The Bible and Christianity have been in the crosshairs for centuries, only now God’s enemies have wider audience. And they use one of Satan’s favorite tools—minimization, such as the devil is a fat troll in a red leotard, Jesus was a good moral teacher, and the Bible is only literature. By minimizing its origins, Satan’s carrier pigeons spread his lies about the Bible across cyber land. Men and women of God, however, go straight to the source. They research what the Bible says about itself. They consider the fulfilled prophecies, earth-shattering declarations, and future warnings and conclude that only fools would minimize its power.
Final Thought: A man of God makes the word of God the instruction manual for his life.
Prayer: Father, forgive me for the seasons in my life when I discounted your word. I listened to the wrong people and ignored what you had to say. I will receive the Bible as your very words to me and align my choices to match. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Friday— Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. 2 Corinthians 5:20
Ambassador Crane rose and addressed the dignitaries from around the world. “Fellow representatives,” he said through a translator. “My country will not participate in this plan. It does not represent our values, nor is it in our best interest.” At the same time, little Bret Crane stood on a playground. “I’m sorry, guys,” he said. “But I can’t go along with your plan to trash the teacher’s car. That’s not what we do in my family or in my country. I’m a Christian and that’s not what Jesus would do.”
Both guys accurately represented their sending agencies. They were ambassadors for a reputation and a value system not their own. If either Crane had listened to the crowd, he would have betrayed the kingdom he represented. Paul wrote that Christians are ambassadors for Christ. It is through our testimonies that God makes His appeal to the world. He has entrusted us with a priceless message and expects us to represent Him well. The world won’t like that. Culture doesn’t like that and Satan hates it. So we face continual challenges from all sides. Men and women of God rise up to confront those challenges:
“I cannot participate in this plan. It does not represent my values nor is it in the best interest of my Father’s kingdom.”
Final Thought: A man of God is a trustworthy representative of God’s message to the world.
Prayer: Lord God, you’re not only my Father, but you are the King of all kings. When you saved me, I became one of your ambassadors. Help me live as a trustworthy representative of your Son and your message. In Jesus’ name, amen.