Men of God – Your Leadership is Needed!
As a result of the Corona Virus, we in America are finding ourselves in uncharted waters. In my lifetime I have never experienced empty shelves, people wearing protective suits and masks in airports and other public places. My wife and I just filled our car with gas at our local Costco and an attendant was there offering protective gloves to each patron and wiping down each pump and nozzle after every use.
Schools are shut down, restaurants and bars are closed and there are probably more businesses being closed as I type this – YIKES!
So, what are we as men of God to do? How should the Christian man respond to such times? By leading. Men, the world needs our leadership now, more than ever. Here are just a couple of things that come to mind – the list is not exhaustive, just meant to get us going in the right direction – in the days ahead, I hope to touch base often – let’s journey this together.
Our country seems to thrive on panic these days as was marked by the sudden disappearance of all the toilet paper in virtually every store you visited. Its hard to understand, or is it?
As events such as these can be very confusing, people easily get lost in their thinking and the response is to grab for control wherever you can find it. There was (is) much talk of being quarantined in our homes – perhaps for lengthy periods, so toilet paper would make some sense, obviously within reason. Unfortunately, reason is usually the first thing to go.
As Christian men, we must not panic nor give in to fear. The Apostle Paul was very clear in his instruction to young Timothy, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
Fear is a clear indication that we have shifted our focus from trusting the Lord to viewing situations as though there is no loving God who is intimately looking out for us (this doesn’t mean don’t buy toilet paper).
Set Your Mind on Things Above
Colossians 3:2 reminds us to, “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” This is Paul’s instruction to every believer.
We have a daily choice to make – either we are going to live focusing on God’s invisible Kingdom, or we are going to live focusing on this world – the things we see, hear and feel. Paul’s word to us in Romans 8:6 couldn’t be any clearer – “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace."
Isn’t life and peace what we are ultimately after?
One thing is clear, we can’t live in God’s daily power with a divided heart - with one-foot in the world and one in the kingdom. We are exhorted to “set” our mind on the Spirit. This requires an intentional decision – “choose this day whom you will serve.” We all have to make this same choice – every day - will we live as those who have no God or will we choose to believe that no matter the circumstances, Jesus is still Lord over our lives, and we will choose to view our life and situation through the eyes of faith?
Teach People How to Live in Hardship
In America, it seems we have lost our tolerance for suffering. We live in the land of plenty and of instant gratification. Most of the world does not. It appears to me that way too many Christians are surprised when suffering or hard times come upon them. Many live with a theology that if you love and serve Jesus then bad things won’t or shouldn’t happen to you. This is a surface faith that won’t stand the test of hard times.
Not only should we not be surprised by difficult circumstances, but James tells us we should actually rejoice when trials come because they will ultimately work to make us more mature if we will determine to walk with God during those times. You see, the view from the mountaintop is awesome but we never truly grow there – we grow in the valley – in the darkness, in times of uncertainty, in times of struggle and difficulty.
The key to our growth is to understand that God is in these times as much or more than when we praise Him from the mountaintop. Trials shouldn’t surprise us – even on a national level. We live in a fallen world. It is in times of hardship that our faith should make the largest difference and shine the brightest. I have often said that when everything is fine, every faith will work. But it is in the difficult times that the faith of the Christian should stand out with a peace that passes understanding. Then the world will see that our faith truly makes a difference.
Live in Prayer and Thanksgiving
Men, now is the time your leadership needs to stand out. Leading in the marketplace means being a man of gratitude, thankfulness and transcendent faith which empowers you to lead with a peaceful resolve.
Leading in your home means leading your family in faith and prayer to find their strength in the Lord. They are watching your every step to see if your faith is genuine. Is your faith steadfast in the Lord with a resolve that your needs will be met no matter how long this crisis continues and no matter how bad the news says things are getting?
Our faith isn’t to be in the stock market, the government, or the news stations. Our faith is to be in the living God who loves us and gave Himself up for us. Because of Him we can remain faithful and positive, refusing to buy into the negativity the world is offering. Now is the time to live out every day, the faith we proclaim on Sunday.
Go with God through these days. Maintain a God-ward focus and you will begin to witness His movement in many ways. He will open up conversations for you with those who are on the brink of despair. Enjoy the closeness of having your family home more than ever. Ask God to help you find God-moments with your children.
These are unprecedented times – times that will stretch each of us. But they are also times to find God in ways we would not otherwise find Him. Don’t miss these opportunities.
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:4-7 (NLT)