“Be on guard, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
We have a lot of scripture that tell us to stand firm;
1 Corinthians 7:37, 2 Corinthians 1:24, Galatians 5:1, Ephesians 6:11, Ephesians 6:13, Ephesians 6:14, Philippians 1:27, Philippians 4:1, 1 Thessalonians 3:8, 2 Thessalonians 2:15, and 1 Peter 5:12.
-What does it mean to stand firm in the faith?
-Is there an area in your life where you keep stumbling and falling?
-Does anyone know about that area? Is anyone helping or walking with you?
Guys are unanimously embarrassed by their emptiness and woundedness; it is for most of us a tremendous source of shame, but it need not be.
Jesus said in John 15:5, ““I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
He is not shaming us, he is telling us we were designed for him. C.S. Lewis wrote, “A car is made to run on gasoline, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on himself. He himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other.”
This is where sin and our culture have come together to keep us in bondage and brokenness, to prevent the healing of our hearts. Our sin is that stubborn part inside that wants above all else, to be independent. There is a part of us fiercely committed to living in a way where we do not have to depend on anyone-especially God. Then our culture comes up with figures like John Wayne and James Bond and all those other “Real Men” and the one thing they have in common is they are all loners. They don’t need or have anyone. They are shot and wounded but shake it off, go onto win the fight, win the girl and then ride off into the sunset alone. It’s a lie.
Most of us will not stop and ask for directions, let alone help with our own souls.
In Luke 4:17, 18 Jesus lays out his mission and he says, “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…”
Every man has been wounded; there is no way to make it through this fallen world without being wounded. You may not recognize it, you may trivialize it but it is there. Wounds can be assaultive or they can be passive, but they all deliver a message. Our reaction to it shapes our personality in a very significant way. From that flows the false self, a poser, which is directly related to the wound.
The false self, the poser is a selfish traitor and he is opposed to the work of God in you. Paul describes him this way in Romans 7:14-20…
“For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.”
Your false self will continue to sabotage your walk with God. So we must reunite ourselves back to Jesus, ask him to show us our wounds, the false self we created as a result of the wounds and ask Jesus to heal those broken places within us. From here we chose against the false self ever time.
-What is your wound?
-Can you put words to it?
-Do you remember how it was given-the way it came?
-What vow did you take as a result?
-This is what it looked like for me:
Wound / Lie, Vow = False Self
My father left / “You are on your own”, I will never trust anyone again = A very independent, driven man
The passive wounds are not as obvious. Passive fathers give a blow that is harder to define, because it didn’t come as a blow; it came as an absence. Words unspoken, affection withheld…Robert Bly says, “Not receiving any blessing from your father is an injury…Not seeing your father when you are small, never being with him, having a remote father, an absent father, a workaholic father, is an injury.”
I need to clarify two things when it comes to finding your “wound”:
First, it is not necessarily one clear wound, given on an unforgettable day you remember in detail. Many men can recall the day they received a soul-killing wound that somehow defined the rest of their lives. But for others, it is an accumulation of subtle wounds and messages, over time.
Second, I believe that every man caries a wound. No matter how good a man your father was and may still be, he is not Jesus Christ. Every father is a son of Adam, and every father himself grew up in a world far from Eden. Keeping this in mind be very cautious to come to the conclusion that you somehow escaped and have no wounds.
If you still have no clue as to what your wound might be, go to the effect of the wound and work backward. Do you live each day with a deep inner strength that comes from knowing you are a real man, that you have what it takes? Or are you a driven man, or a passive man? When did that feeling of drivenness or passivity set in? Did it originate during a certain period in your life?
Another way of getting at the wound is by asking yourself what you are currently working hard at not being discovered as? What arenas are you staying comfortably away from? Why or where did that originate?
Pray with me, Jesus, I invite you into the wounded places of my heart, give you permission to enter every broken place in me. Lord, meet me there. Bind up my heart as you promised to do, heal me and make my heart whole and healthy. Release my heart from every form of captivity and form every form of bondage. Restore and set free my heart, my soul, my mind and my strength. Restore me through union with you. I ask in Jesus name, Amen.