I Double Dog Dare You!
I believe the enemy has pulled one of the greatest stunts of history over on humanity. It is the sisification of the church. I know that I am not alone nor the first to recognize and write about the this issue. However, I let me define sisification:
Sisification is the movement of a culture to eliminate the masculine expression.
The sisification of the church has come because there has been a sisification of Jesus. Somehow the enemy has been able to rob Jesus of His masculinity. Jesus has been portrayed as a weak mystic and His people have suffered for it.
One of my favorite word pictures is that of the Greek word for “Meek.” When we think of meek, we usually think of weak. But the Greek word is the idea of a wild stallion in all of its beauty and strength under control with a bit in its mouth.
So when people rightly describes Jesus as meek. Do not see weak. See a wild stallion in all of its beauty and strength under control.
Let me share a few of the reasons I see Jesus as a wild stallion:
- He was born in a barn (okay, maybe not)
- He was a carpenter or a handy-man used to a hard days work (Matthew 13:55)
- He was rejected in His home town and they were going to throw Him off a cliff, but He looked them in the eye and just walked through the crowd (Luke 4:14-29)
- He led a group of men many who were fishermen
- He became very angry when the travelers who had come to the temple to worship were cheated and He drove the traders out (John 2:13-17)
- When arresting Him, they asked if He was Jesus of Nazareth and He replied, I Am. At that the soldiers fell to the ground in fear (John 18:2-6)
- After a severe beating, He carried His own cross until finally the Romans grabbed a man from the crowd to carry it for Him (see John 19:17 and Mark 15:21)
Following Jesus doesn’t require a man to emasculate himself. To follow Jesus a man has to step up and become a man who is willing to fight for a cause, is ready to live an adventure, and rescue the beauty (thank you John Eldridge)!
You need a battle to fight? There are over 7 billion people alive on earth right now. 5 billion are outside the kingdom and if they die they will be in hell forever. Eternity hangs in the balance. Salvation is at stake. How much do you have to hate someone to not fight for their eternity?
55,000+ people live in Kettering alone. 36,000 +/- do not have a saving relationship with Jesus. Do the math, that leaves 65 out of 100 of your friends are facing eternity in hell.
Do you need an adventure? Jesus has invited you on a Journey. He has asked you to go on a mission to fix what is broken and to right the wrongs in a foreign land. As citizens of the Kingdom of God we are aliens in this world. We are in enemy occupied territory. You won’t get out of this world unscarred. But when you live this journey with Jesus you will see miraculous things!
Do you need a beauty to rescue? Jesus doesn’t call us to dominate women, but to love them. And to sacrifice our lives for them. To lead them out of the darkness and into the light. It is easy to dominate a woman. It is a bloody thing to love them like Jesus loved the church!
Jesus ain’t no sissy. And He isn’t looking for sissies. He is calling real men to follow Him. I dare you to follow Him. I double dog dare you!
Let me set up the narrative we are going to look. Jesus has just learned His cousin, John the Baptist has been murdered. He was grieving and wanted to get away and mourn. Instead a very large crowd followed Him. So He loved them. He healed many and spent the day teaching. At the end of the day, the disciples came to Him begging Hm to send them away. Instead He used two fish and five loaves of bread to feed 15,000+ men, women and children. Then He sent them away and sent the disciples ahead of Him across the lake.
While He was praying, they were struggling against the wind and were not making any progress. Take a moment to read the story of what happens next (Matthew 14:25-33).
When you read this narrative, you realize there is something wonderfully different about Jesus. You also realize how much you have in common with the disciples. Notice two things:
- It is normal to be afraid.
- Everyone can find courage in Christ!
As I read this passage, I realized not only was Jesus walking on the water but He invited Peter to join Him. This is not natural. No, it is supernatural.
Principle #1 – When you are afraid, get out of your boat. Miracles don’t happen in the natural. They come when you are operating in the supernatural. Your boat is a safe place in the life’s storm. It is your security. Peter was a fisherman. He knew his way around a boat. He trusted the boat. But listen, you can’t trust your boat and see a miracle. Miracles come when you trust Jesus.
What is your boat? What is your security?
A few years ago, I had a lunch meeting with a friend. He told me he was leaving his wife. Their marriage was dysfunctional. She was crazy. And he had met a woman, who understood him.
I had a choice, I could accept him or I could tell him the truth. I chose to tell him the truth. I said, that as the leader in his marriage, he had to own the dysfunction and lead their marriage back to health. And that he may not have committed physical adultery, but that he had emotionally broken his marriage vow. I waited for him to punch me in the face. He didn’t. He broken down. Confessed and went home and reconciled with his wife. I am not sure which is the greater miracle: the saved marriage or that he didn’t punch me in the face!
Let’s keep on going. So Peter found courage and got out of the boat. But the spray from the water in the wind, stole his courage and he went back to the natural. Men don’t walk on water. He cried out to Jesus. Jesus caught him.
Principle #2 – When you are sinking, Jesus will catch you! When you are out over your head, fear often creeps back in. We all face fears. And when you are afraid, Jesus will catch you.
A couple of years ago, I was fired from my job. It devastated me. I was embarrassed. I had let down hundreds of people. I had let down my wife, my kids, my parents, and my mentors. At 53 years old, I thought how am I going to get another job? Who will hire me? In a panic, I sent out resumes. I began looking for something. Anything. I cried out to Jesus. Literally. First came peace. Then clarity. I had lost one of the hardest jobs I had ever had, but God put in my heart to start a church from scratch. To start Discover Point. Beth and I found, there were at least 5 other families praying for about a new church. He was already doing something. We just joined Him in what He was already doing. I have to tell you ministry is fun again!
Eventually, the storm will die down. Sometimes miraculously. The natural and supernatural response is to worship Jesus!
Did you catch in the story that the wind had kept the disciples from making any progress. When I was in middle school, I went to a lake house with some friends. My friend and I ran to the boat house and were going to bring the row boat around to the house. The boat house was in a cove, the dock at the house was on the lake. As we were rowing in the cove it was great, but when we got out on the lake a severe wind came up suddenly. We could not make any progress. Afraid and soaked, we turned around.
Let me ask you, will you turn around or will you dare to follow Jesus into the battle on the greatest adventure of a lifetime?