07 SEP How to Fight the Good Fight
How to Fight the Good Fight Men’s ministry September 10, 2007
Pooh bear: Sometimes a tea party, sometimes a punching bag. Guess which of my kids does which?
One criticism of church is that it is too feminine/feminized and thus a turn-off for men.
David Murrow’s book: Why Men Hate Church:
Murrow worries that a female-dominated church has turned Jesus into that wonderful man who appeals only to the ladies. A chick-flick atmosphere prevails on Sunday mornings, complete with flowers, ferns and soft music, all geared toward women's desires for safety, security and harmonious relationships.
John Eldredge, author of Wild at Heart ("I think most men in the church believe God put them on earth to be good boys").
Many testimonies sound like “I used to be wild, but got saved, and now I am tame.”
Unfortunately, what people see in the church, they impose on God.
Led to some strange reactions: “God Men” event last October reported in Newsweek:
"Inside, strobe lights flashed, and tracks by the Killers thumped from speakers stacked on either side of a stage. Four large video screens showed clips of karate fights, car chases and 'Jackass'-style stunts. Then the music lowered and Christian comedian Brad Stine appeared. With his rat-a-tat delivery and aggressive style, Stine quickly whipped the crowd into a chorus of 'Amens!' 'A lot of guys out there wouldn't have the balls to be here,' he shouted. 'Are you ready to be a man? Are you ready to kick ass? Are you ready to grab your sword and say, "OK, family, I'm going to lead you"? Buckle up. This is GodMen!'"
To emphasize the point, GodMen replaced the "Jesus is my boyfriend" praise music with a band that instead sang "Testosterone High": "Forget the ying and the yang / I'll take the boom and the bang / Give me another dose of testosterone."
In keeping with Murrow's advice to keep men visually stimulated, the words "Boss, Bold, Brash, Bully, Blunt" flashed across screens during the event.
This might be in the ditch on the other side. Instead of reacting against what we don’t like in church, we should seek out God’s design for us. God isn’t weak, wimpy, wussie, panty waist. He made male and female in his image. The desire to fight and conquer is part of what God put in us. He designed humanity to rule and have dominion. Today I’ll give you scripture to study and help you rediscover one of your roles in the earth.
Gn. 1.26 Dominion = the authority, rule. (a ruler is used to determine how many inches long an object is. It sets the standard. vs. Domination = more of a negative connotation: imposing your will against someone else. See 1 Kg. 4.24-25. Dominion leads to peace and safety. It is the opposite of anarchy.
Gn. 2.15. Who was in charge of the Garden of Eden? Man’s purpose was to cultivate, keep order, prevent chaos, make sure things worked right.
The fall disconnected humanity from this purpose.
Then God established his covenant with Abraham, a covt. Sealed with blood. In seminaries it is always taught that the covenant has three parts:
1. I will make you a great nation
2. I will give you a land
3. I will be your God
But the professors miss something: God also re-establishes the purpose of humanity in ruling and having dominion:
Gn. 22.17-18 Possess the gate of the enemy. How do you do that? Fight for some things.
Dt. 11.22-25 Taking territory from the enemy
New Testament: Lk. 10.18-19 Authority over all the power of the enemy
The desire to conquer, rule, have dominion, exercise authority is not something that should go away once we are saved. Rather, when we are saved we get reconnected to the divine purpose for those masculine traits.
Not to hurt or oppress, or bully or boss. Authority and dominion are godly tools we use to provide for peace and order so that things work the way they should.
We have an enemy who wants to spoil things, and who needs to be fought. We get in trouble, however, when we fight against pooh bear, or anything else in the natural. Paul: “I have fought the good fight” also said, “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places (Eph. 6.12).”
If you can punch (kick, feel, touch) it, its not the real enemy. Satan loves it if we get caught up in fighting other people or natural things b/c it distracts you from your place of real power.
OK. We’re supposed to rule, and we have an enemy to fight. How do you fight an enemy you can’t touch?
Rev. 12.10-11. Prolepsis: the future reaching into the present.
Blood of the Lamb: reconnects us to God; brings us into the new covenant.
Word of our testimony: The words which come from our mouths.
· The way we do battle against the spiritual forces of evil is being connected to God and speaking what needs to happen.
· We rule by comparing what we see in the world with what we see in the word. (Like the measuring ruler.)
· We exercise dominion and authority by telling things to change.
· We take ground from the enemy by declaring what should be, by cursing what shouldn’t be, by calling things that need to come and by sending things that need to go.
Start with your Family, Finances, Health, Mental illness
Pastor encouraged us to make declarations this year. Go through mine.
Tell story of my new marketing plan: prayer
Questions for your breakout group:
1. What questions do you have about your authority or dominion?
2. What are some areas in your influence that need to change?
3. Write some declarations to call, send, change things in the spirit.