Knowing the Commander

In our second week of going through Gordon Dalbey’s Fight Like a Man we were challenged in the area of how well do we know God the Father. Gordon dropped this nugget on us, “The most gaping hole in men’s armor today is our not truly knowing God as our Father. Therefore, we don’t know we’re sons.”

I see it all the time when ministering to men of all ages. They are still listening to the voice of the “father of lies” (John 8:44). They remain deceived because their view of the Father remains skewed. This distances them from being overwhelmed by His love.

For years my feelings of inadequacy discounted me from receiving the life affirming words of the Father. So I lived as an abandoned son, an orphaned son, so the idea of drawing near to God was almost foreign to me. I needed that holy encounter that would cause me to cry out “Abba, Father.”

Romans 8:15-16, “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”

Unfortunately I was a slave to fear. Fearful that God was disappointed with me, frustrated with me because of my habitual pattern of sin. I believed I needed to clean up my life before I could approach His throne of grace. What God wanted was for me to come to Him in my weakness so that He could speak the word of forgiveness and bless me as His son. My bad theology thought I had to get it together before he’d even listen to me.

Fortunately the Spirit wooed me to a place of surrender. Amidst the tears and remorse the Spirit testified with my spirit and I entered into that place of sonship. I blurted out, “Abba, Father.” I finally felt like a son that was loved. I had a joy that is difficult to describe. The hunger for my earthly father’s love drove me to some dark places and many false ways of getting that love. The Spirit gave me the courage to enter into that place of healing.

I knew how to be the son of a dysfunctional father but now I was learning how to be the son of a loving, gracious, and kind Father. One of the greatest moments of my life as a Christ follower. My hope and prayer for you is that the Spirit woo you in the same way so you can come to know the Father and His deep affection for you. With affection, David.

 

 

First, We Surrender

I recently started meeting with some guys to read through Gordon Dalbey’s book, Fight Like a Man. In the first chapter, “First, We Surrender” the author talks about the difference in surrender and obedience. Because of many painful experiences throughout my childhood I never trusted my father. This got projected onto my relationship with God the Father. Because I hadn’t learned trust I could not surrender to God. I submitted to my father because of his harsh punishment but I did not trust him. To trust the Father I had to surrender to him my pain from my dad’s abuse and abandonment of me.

Dalbey writes, “Exhorting men first to “submit to God” and “obey God’s Word” ignores the wound that makes them reject God in the first place.” Unfortunately I did this for years before realizing I had become a Pharisee. I was never honest about my needs, weaknesses, and limitations. I placed “heavy loads” upon myself and others. Jesus on the other hand tells us” “For the yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light”(Matthew 11:30). The man who wants to pursue his destiny must “surrender to Jesus” his painful longing for a trustworthy father.

That is when my healing began when I responded to the draw of the Holy Spirit to begin to grieve the pain within. I sobbed for an hour and a half. Fortunately there were three faithful prayer ministers who stayed with me to continue to lead me to the cross that night. Before this event I usually fled that draw of the Spirit because I didn’t want to look foolish in front of others. That is just good old fashion pride that kept me from surrendering to Jesus.

Tragically, most men cling to their own strength and self-sufficiency rather than be exposed as a sinner or one who has been sinned against.

I leave you with the Apostle Paul’s words: “Sin must no longer rule in your mortal bodies, so that you obey the desires of your natural self. Nor must you surrender any part of yourselves to sin to be used for wicked purposes. Instead, give yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life, and surrender your whole being to him to be used for righteous purposes. (Romans 6:12-13)