I’ve met with lots of men who find Jesus intriguing. But they’re often scared to death that by becoming a Christian, they’ll become wimpy and domesticated. So, I’ll often begin by telling them what follows, to assuage their fear.
Have you noticed that nearly all the great stories follow the same story line? Things were once good, then something awful happens and someone or something evil destroys the good life, a hero rises up, risk his or her life, destroys the villain, rescues the situation, sets things right again, good triumphing over evil and they all live happily ever after. Think about it! From our childhood fairy tales The Shawshank Redemption, Braveheart, LeMiserables, Titanic, Star Wars, Gladiator and Lord of the Rings, this story line holds true. Why do you think that is?
It’s because all of these stories borrow their power from the Grand Story woven into the fabric of our being. It’s the storyline of the Bible. It’s part of our spiritual DNA! Humans were created in the image of God and every person no matter how far they’ve wandered from God knows that something is terribly wrong with this world. We long for someone or something to rescue us from whatever, or whoever it is that frightens us, or holds us captive. And every man dreams of being the hero, rescuing others from injustice and evil and winning the respect of our peers. This is the story line of our dreams. It’s the storyline of what God wants for you as well!
Every man knows he’s hard-wired to live this adventure;
To give himself to a cause bigger than himself – an adventure to live for a greater good.
What drives his mission is either personal glory, honor for family or country, or a strong moral compass.
A man proves himself most worthy when the road to victory is either difficult or dangerous.
But first, he must be rescued! Rescued by God God sent Jesus Christ to rescue humans from the spiritual kingdom of darkness that holds all of us prisoners. “For he (God) has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,” Colossians 1:13. God’s offer of escape is open to anyone.
There are only three requirements to be set free; believing Jesus was, and is God, admitting that we’ve been disobedient to God and that we’re powerless to fix ourselves, and finally pledging our highest allegiance to him and his teachings. It’s what the Bible calls, getting “saved.”
Like the instructions we get on every flight that in an emergency, we’re to put on our oxygen mask first, before attempting to help anyone else, the first priority of every person is to secure our own spiritual safety by doing business with God. The spiritual oxygen mask may be hanging right in front of you! God wants to forgive you and set you free. Once we surrender our lives to Jesus, and the Spirit of God enters in us, God gives every true believer a mission from God.
A mission from God And here’s the mission: Rescue every person you know, in every way they need rescuing. Rescue the poor from poverty, the alcoholic from their bondage to alcohol, defend the helpless from whatever scares or confuses them, be a friend to people who have no friends and introduce others to Jesus, so they too can be rescued.
Jesus doesn’t want you to be religious! He has no interest in domesticating men. His desire is that we live for God, by being his surrogate – his stand-in, here on earth. To do unto others, that which he (Jesus) would do if he lived in your home, worked where you work, had your friends and saw the wrongs you see. That’s exactly what Jesus meant when he taught us to pray by asking, “May your kingdom come, may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” This wasn’t just wishful thinking on Jesus part about his future kingdom. He actually expects his followers, his true spiritual brothers and sisters, to bring the kingdom to earth – that is to act on his behalf in your world.
Now, before you can begin doing that effectively, like anyone in the rescue business, you’ll need to prepare yourself. You’ll want to begin studying the Bible, the owner’s manual for your life. You’ll want to find a more experienced man to help train you and show you the mistakes to avoid. And finally you’ll want – yes, trust me, you’ll want to stop doing some things the Bible calls sin that hurt your witness or hurt others. Even NFL Teams have rules their players must follow that will help them stay focused on their mission and keep them from embarrassing themselves or their team. God has his rules, and often for the same reasons.
When you and I live that way, not only will we please God, and we’ll win the admiration of people who’s lives are being changed, but we’ll actually like ourselves more. My life verse is, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
“Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 10:39
Do you dare lose your life to find true life? That’s the risk you’ll have to take to receive the reward.
Give the man you’re working with a vision for something more than church every Sunday and Wednesday, and a zippered cover for their Bible. Jesus has a mission for them, should they choose to accept!
How following Jesus works in real life.
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