Getting ready for a garage sale, I was cleaning out some old items from my closet and I came across some papers that had been stuffed in my old bible cover. Most of them were old messages that I had given at one time or another. A couple of them were from funerals I had presided over; one from my aunt’s and one from my dad. As I went through the folded up papers, I read a note that I had kept tucked in my bible. It said, “Remember His awe, and be that man.”
I had written this note after a Sunday morning spent encouraging and praying with some brothers in Christ. I had a moment with the Lord that morning, an awakening of sorts. I had spent most of my adult life looking for a spiritual mentor, a father figure to lean upon and learn from as I learned to walk with God on my own. My dad had been somewhat absent for most of my adolescence and teen years. He didn’t have a walk with the Lord, so I couldn’t really go to him for any type of biblical counsel on fatherhood, being a husband, etc. I looked to Pastors, counselors to lead me, to help me define my boundaries, spiritually, so to speak. It’s not a bad thing to have mentors or to seek biblical guidance for life’s issues. In fact God tells us that there is “wisdom in a multitude of counselors.”
I think my tendency was to seek validation from those mentors, validation as a man, as a child of God. I was afraid to take steps on my own. I needed the opinions of other men, and at times, what I really wanted was for them to tell me what to do. I was pretty weak in my identity as a man of God, and as I sat there that Sunday morning listening to my brothers, I heard the Lord clearly tell me, “Bob, stop looking for that man, and be that man.” I was stunned. What do you mean be that man, how do I do that?” I questioned! I had a hard time just making simple decisions, and now You’re charging me to suddenly “be that man”? So I wrote down what He said, “Be that man.”
It wasn’t long after that one of my brothers at church asked me to be a part of the leadership team for the men’s group. We had about 100+ men showing up on a Sunday morning worshiping , learning and encouraging each other in the Lord. It was an honor to speak life into this group of guys who were showing up for a cup of coffee, a doughnut and some encouragement. Now, I was given the opportunity to help lead them. Holy smokes!
What I learned in that little moment of personal revelation is that God thinks more of us than we often think of ourselves. He believes in us more than we believe in us. We see our own problems, He sees potential. We think the situation is critical, He says, “I’m building your character.” He call us to “do” beyond what we think we can do, and he does that for a couple of reasons. First, the task is often times much bigger than us so, we are forced to n to listen to Him. We need to be close to Him, talking to Him so we can navigate with Him through our circumstances and situations. Second, the task is often bigger than us, bigger than our own talents, skills or capabilities. They are divinely designed, so that any success or fruit that comes from it is obviously attributed to His working in and through us. He gets the glory.
I’m finding that I’m at a new crossroads in my heart and in my walk with God. I’m teetering on 55 years here on earth, reflecting and looking ahead. I feel as though I’ve been floundering a bit. (Even my last blog was over eight months ago!) I want to finish strong, this race that is set before me, and I don’t think it was a coincidence that I found that paper with those words, “Be that man” written upon it. As I’m writing this, I’m realizing that today marks the day 31 years ago that my wife an I gave our hearts to Christ in our living room in Tempe, Az. He’s awakening me, again. He’s calling me to move, He’s reminding me to be that man. How about you?