Four Stages of Manhood – MANHOOD – Part Two

Manhood – Part Two

manhood man up

1 Corinthians 13:11

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things

 

manhood temper

As you recall, we are talking about the development of men of God, generally in four stages that were: boyhood, manhood, fatherhood, and the age of the patriarch.

 

No matter how great our earthly family may have been, we are now part of the royal family of God, training for reigning with Jesus!

 

As always, we begin and end with the Word of God!

 

Training and discipline can develop our soul, forge our will, but the Word of God has the power to change our very heart motives….

 manhood overcome desires

Ephesians 4:14

that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

 

1 Corinthians 14:20

Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.

 

Hebrews 12:5

And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

 manhood Tozer

Galatians 4:19

My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you

 

Fathers in the faith, pray, for us to grow up spiritually, to embrace our manhood, to rise up to honor and responsibility in this fight of faith in this generation.

 

 

2 Timothy 3:15

and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus

 

We teach our children the Scriptures, but it is our life of honor that they watch!

manhood responsibility

 

Back in the days when I used to pastor, we used to do a ‘passage of rites’ ceremony with young men and women between the ages of 13-18. I took the idea from a book I read by an author named Craig Hill, where he teaches on the development of boys into men: http://www.promisekeepers.org.nz/bar_mitzvah.html

manhood do what you got to

 

I agree with Craig, as I have endeavoured to learn protocol, the traditions and cultures of the host peoples of North America, North American Indians. In many tribes, a boy becomes a brave or warrior, only after their initiation ceremony, where acts of bravery needed to be exhibited. In some tribes, a young man had to ‘count coup’ riding up to an enemy with his ‘coup stick’ and touching him without being killed, and riding away in victory, having ‘counted coup.’ In other tribes, there were ‘rites of passage’ ceremonies that included running through tunnels of pain, where seasoned warriors beat them with sticks, or culturally required acts of bravery, where they had to complete a vision quest, or spend a night blindfolded in the forest over night.

manhood patton

From what I understand in the Jewish Bar Mitzva ceremony, boys were expected to go to work with their fathers after school, to learn responsibility, earn money and learn how to manage it, and become men.

 

What we used to do, is plan ahead, and get either the fathers, uncles, grandparents or older men in a young man’s life to write a declaration of honor, love and respect to be read over the young man. We would tape a line on the carpet, and all the men in the church would come forward to the front side of the line. The young teens would stand on the outer side of the tape. I would read a proclamation declaring that this day, they were forever leaving boyhood, to become strong men of honor, embracing the risks and responsibilities of manhood in their community, standing strong for their families, against evil in society, as men. I would present them with some token of manhood (usually a pocket knife, although some dads gave firearms etc), and then had the prepared proclamations of blessing read over each one by their elders. I would then have them leave childhood forever, by stepping across the line. All of us men would then lay hands upon them and pray and proclaim blessing over each participant.

 

Saw dramatic change in young peoples lives! Young gangsters would suddenly leave criminal lifestyles, and often join cadets, or get job to help at home. Shoulders would square up, and chests would swell with pride, as they embraced the call to be men!

manhood tyrants

 

This is so needed today! With a 50-60% divorce rate in America, boys are not taught to be men, and we, the church must rise to the challenge, and become fathers to the fatherless, accepting, affirming, challenging, exhorting, and discipling and calling forth warriors of righteousness for this generation!

 

 

Whether it was the Jewish Bar Mitzvah ceremony, or getting ‘jumped into’ a street gang, it is clearly part of the process for boys to become men, warriors, through initiation ceremony by the men of the community or tribe.

 

Seems this has been forgotten in many sectors of North American society, but the hunger in the heart of every man will be fulfilled in battle, or the essential part of him dies…

Manhood look like

So much can be said here, but I will say this, after years in Promise Keepers, my childhood growing up on military bases as the son of a military officer, or in the various men’s ministries in which I have participated over the years, that boys must become men! Sure warriors get wounded in battle, but the church is the army of God! We have an infirmary, and there should be no man left behind, but make no mistake about it, we are an army, the army of God, called and commissioned to fight!

manhood battle with honor

Luke 19:13

And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.

Matthew 16:18

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

 

manhood make myself

 

Recognizing the huge hole in this culture by fatherless families, I built and co-owned a construction company for many years simply, primarily, to take boys, and make men out of them.
Read a quote by another author I respect:

From a sermon entitled: ‘Fathered by God, by John Eldredge’

“In the lesson, John touched on some topics that he covered in his bestselling book Wild At Heart, such as answering the question that plagues all men: “Do I have what it takes?” But he also introduced six new stages of initiation that he has taken his boys through that have proved to be great steps for Christian discipleship.

 

According to Eldredge, all men have to go through these steps to become whole and holy men. It begins with “Boyhood,” where a boy learns that he is the “Beloved Son” and entirely delighted in by his father. Then, it moves into “Cowboy,” where the young man must experience adventure and danger (think: David’s teenage years of battling lions and bears as a shepherd). Following that, the boy becomes a “Warrior,” often leaving home to pursue a cause or a mission.

manhood chivarly

At roughly the same time (but hopefully not before) the man is learning that life is a battle, the Warrior must learn to fight for his beloved and become a “Lover,” but still remaining a warrior for the rest of his life. Many years later, with the right humility and direction, the Warrior-Lover becomes a “King.” That is, the man steps into true leadership and responsibility, guiding and directing the lives of others. And lastly, he finishes his latter years as a “Sage,” sharing his wisdom with other men and women, guiding them in their journey.”

If you haven’t read John’s book: Wild at Heart, I highly recommend it. http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Heart-Discovering-Secret-Mans-ebook/dp/B00527N04O/ref=dp_kinw_strp_exp_1_1

In short, John calls his stages of manhood by different names, but the principals are the same.

 

Let’s talk about the transition from boyhood to manhood for a minute.

I’ve noticed that boys all go through what John calls the ‘cowboy’ stage,  warriorhood.

I watch young men race cars, ride bulls, become soldiers, martial arts experts, hunters, adventurers, because I believe God created all men with this natural ‘wild side’.

Becoming a man is becoming a warrior, developing courage under control.  I watch young men all making their mark in the world, joining the military, oil industry, rodeo, construction, or any other rough and ready world. Testosterone going somewhere to happen, working long brutal hours in the face of real danger to life and limb, to make their mark on this generation.

Like David before confronting Goliath: 1 Samuel 17:29 And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?

 

Yes, there is a cause! Freedom has never been free, just pick your battlefield, enlist in God’s army, and fight!

Whether in prayer, preaching, missions, business, education, military, cival services, finance, or media, truth is a sword, and there are battles to be fought.

No matter what stage you are at in your life, there are injustices to be confronted, but like the wise mentor of Willam Wallace in the movie ‘Braveheart’,  ‘First the mind, then the sword!’

Get educated, skilled, and choose your battles wisely, so that as you fight, you fight to win!

manhood educated

Seemed when I had my construction company, I would have to throw a rope on those often unbroken wild men, and teach them respect, responsibility, faithfulness, dependability, keeping your word, craftsmanship, and directed work ethic, without breaking their spirit, and still keeping the fire in them!

I am raising up men of honor, respectful, full of honesty, integrity, excellence, but when they look you in the eye, they look right through you, because there is still fire and steel there!

I’ve noticed this about myself: if I go too long simply keeping the schedule, making the deadlines, and punching the clock, I get to feeling like a hamster on a treadmill: running hard, but going no where.

There must be some mountain to climb, race to run, adrenaline pumping fast machine to drive, water-skiing, or some other impossible task or death defying deed in my schedule, or I quietly die inside. Gone through months of numbness, physically showing up, but not really alive!

manhood castrated

Do something radical! Go on a mission trip to a different country, language, culture – confront the oppression, the poverty, the ignorance and fight for the oppressed!

Maybe you are called as a soldier or law enforcement agent, to literally take on crime and the ‘bad guys’ on the front lines. Everyone hates a bully – don’t be one, but be strong enough to dethrone any merchandizing the weak – the drug lords, the child sex traffickers, the pimps and religious bullies who beat women and children. Dad served 32 years in the navy and his counsel is still valid:

Real Men don’t hit women, they stand strong in defense of women and children.

manhood no hit

Ok, enough sharing for a bit, if I go longer, you won’t take time to read it.

I’m pretty big on action so here’s some things you can do:

  1. If you have never been affirmed as a man, take this article to your pastor men’s group, and have them first of all affirm you, and pray that God complete you as a man, a warrior, and eventually as a husband, father, and responsible member of society.
  2. If you had a dad (what a concept!), and you have been through a ‘passage of rites’ type of ceremony, create one in your community. Deliberately reach out to teens and young men, and call them to excellence, warriorhood, responsibility, and honor. If your pastor is not interested, organize some sort of men’s advance (the army of God never retreats), and get in touch with me, and I will come preach and lead it.
  3. Not sure what the next men’s movement in America is going to look like. Promise Keepers in its day was a powerful force for good, full gospel businessman had a day in the sun too. Whatever it’s called, get involved, and get your business, family, and church on board too. Manhood means excellence, honor, holiness – Man up!Father, I come before you today with my brother. I ask You Father to do for me, what no man can do: put into me all the things a perfect father would have if he could have. Pour into me the courage, boldness, affirmation, strength, passion and fire I need to radically impact my world, and restore to me all the things I never got growing up. Cause me to walk in honor, free from profanity, bullying, cowardice, perversion, pornography, lying, and develop in me an excellent spirit, strong in You and the power of Your might. I ask Father, knowing I am heard and answered, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen!”

manhood courage

Let’s Pray:

Father, I come before you today with my brother. I ask You Father to do for me, what no man can do: put into me all the things a perfect father would have if he could have. Pour into me the courage, boldness, affirmation, strength, passion and fire I need to radically impact my world, and restore to me all the things I never got growing up. Cause me to walk in honor, free from profanity, bullying, cowardice, perversion, pornography, lying, and develop in me an excellent spirit, strong in You and the power of Your might. I ask Father, knowing I am heard and answered, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen!”

If forever reason, you have not come to God on His terms yet, here’s what He expects:https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/the-gospel-the-power-of-god/

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Email: chris.aomministries@gmail.com

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Give in faith!

1 Corinthians 9:11 If we have sown [the seed of] spiritual good among you, [is it too] much if we reap from your material benefits?

1 Corinthians 9:14 [On the same principle] the Lord directed that those who publish the good news (the Gospel) should live (get their maintenance) by the Gospel.

Paul goes on to say, that he did not use his position as a minister of the gospel to take up offerings, rather he worked, making tents, to support himself. You might notice here, that Paul was not married, nor did he have children. Family responsibilities take time, and just as you bust a move on your job to provide for your family, I work every bit as hard, doing this, faithful to the Lord in prayer and the ministry of His Word, to you.

I will never charge for this: it my responsibility to God, my calling. Freely I have been given, now, I freely give…

As you give, hear Holy Spirit what to give, and honestly expect God to reward you for your giving.

Matt 10: 41 He who receives and welcomes and accepts a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives and welcomes and accepts a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever gives to one of these little ones [in rank or influence] even a cup of cold water because he is My disciple, surely I declare to you, he shall not lose his reward.

I have ‘see through’ faith for you, in this: Gal 3: 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

I believe I have a responsibility before God to be like Jesus, in every offering I receive. I receive it with thanksgiving, just like Jesus did the little boys lunch.

Then, because I walk and live by faith according to the blessing of Abraham, I believe that God will take your seed sown, and multiply it, according to what the blessing of Abraham promises:

Genesis 22:17 In blessing I will bless you and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore. And your Seed (Heir) will possess the gate of His enemies

It has been a joy to me, to see the hand of the living God act in the lives of those of you who have supported us this year!

Many have seen tremendous blessing come into your households, and for this we give thanks, and give Jesus all the glory!

 

The Eye of Needle – Giving ALL to Jesus!

 

eye camel

THE EYE OF THE NEEDLE!

Mt 19:24  And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

Mark 10:25  It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.Lu 18:25  For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

Easton’s comment: Used only in the proverb, “to pass through a needle’s eye” #Mt 19:24 Mr 10:25 Lu 18:25 Some interpret the expression as referring to the side gate, close to the principal gate, usually called the “eye of a needle” in the East; but it is rather to be taken literally.

There is a literal side gate into the wall of Jerusalem, named: ‘The eye of the needle’.

eye gate

I heard a preacher once comment on this verse, for those of us seeking financial prosperity, describing how one needed to lay down everything at Jesus feet, and that Jesus would not only replace, but multiply everything we gave Him.

How historians described a side gate into the city, that was named the ‘eye of the needle’, where travellers who came on camels, had to literally unload their camels, have them get down on their knees so that they could squeeze through the gate. As soon as they went through, everything was reloaded, and off they went.

The fact that this account is given in three gospel accounts is significant. I believe it is a way God deals with us, who have position and wealth. There comes seasons where the way becomes exceedingly narrow, and we must seek Him, and follow Him very specifically, accurately, with no compromise. Seems like we have to lay down everything we have, to make it through the trial sometimes. Yet, today as I sit here, pondering my financial lack and intense challenges of the day, as I have deliberately sought God with all my heart, for His clarity and direction for the next mandate for my life, I was reminded of this sermon, I heard so many years ago.

In the midst of my thoughts came the voice of the Holy Spirit, with great authority and encouragement: “ONE IS NEVER DIMINISHED WHO COMES INTO THE PRESENCE OF THE GREAT KING!’

Jesus is King of all Kings, Lord of all Lords!

gospel reigns

Our Father is Creator of Heaven and Earth!

And so I press in for the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, without compromise, having not paid any bills this month, having had my cell phone service disconnected, my truck repossessed by the bank, having just been through a foreclosure on my house, literally trusting the Lord for food for my family, each day. Presently, we are staying with good friends, our stuff in storage, as I await the next commandment of my Lord! There is no plan B, no compromise. I am no longer employed or connected in any way to the two companies we established, pressing into Jesus, determined to do only His will, without compromise.

Well, it is good to be here. Again and again, He continues to speak to me, confirming and revealing great things that appear too wonderful to ever make happen in my own strength or ability. They are the design, plan, purpose, and calling of King Jesus. He alone is Lord, and well able to make them happen.

26  And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?27  And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.

possible God

28  Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.29  And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s,30  But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.31  But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.

wealth obey

As Paul Harvey would say, this is the rest of the story for an obedient disciple, a hundred fold increase. First though, is always ‘the eye of the needle’

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Give in faith!

1 Corinthians 9:11 If we have sown [the seed of] spiritual good among you, [is it too] much if we reap from your material benefits?

1 Corinthians 9:14 [On the same principle] the Lord directed that those who publish the good news (the Gospel) should live (get their maintenance) by the Gospel.

Paul goes on to say, that he did not use his position as a minister of the gospel to take up offerings, rather he worked, making tents, to support himself. You might notice here, that Paul was not married, nor did he have children. Family responsibilities take time, and just as you bust a move on your job to provide for your family, I work every bit as hard, doing this, faithful to the Lord in prayer and the ministry of His Word, to you.

I will never charge for this: it my responsibility to God, my calling. Freely I have been given, now, I freely give…

 

As you give, hear Holy Spirit what to give, and honestly expect God to reward you for your giving.

Matt 10: 41 He who receives and welcomes and accepts a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives and welcomes and accepts a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever gives to one of these little ones [in rank or influence] even a cup of cold water because he is My disciple, surely I declare to you, he shall not lose his reward.

I have ‘see through’ faith for you, in this: Gal 3: 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

I believe I have a responsibility before God to be like Jesus, in every offering I receive. I receive it with thanksgiving, just like Jesus did the little boys lunch.

Then, because I walk and live by faith according to the blessing of Abraham, I believe that God will take your seed sown, and multiply it, according to what the blessing of Abraham promises:

Genesis 22:17 In blessing I will bless you and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore. And your Seed (Heir) will possess the gate of His enemies

It has been a joy to me, to see the hand of the living God act in the lives of those of you who have supported us this year!

Many have seen tremendous blessing come into your households, and for this we give thanks, and give Jesus all the glory!

The Four Stages of Biblical Manhood- Part One – Boyhood

The Four Stages of Manhood

manhood Jesus grew

I am going to produce a series of short, Biblical articles on manhood, and the four stages that I see from the Word of God, we grow through, both naturally and spiritually. These four stages are:

Boyhood

Manhood

Fatherhood

The Age of the Patriarch

Today, we will look at spiritual and natural boyhood.

 

Boyhood

manhood when I was a child

This is going to be a fairly short article for this simple reason: I want men to actually read it!

Over the years, as I have developed as a man of God, and more importantly as a man…Today we are going to talk about spiritual childhood, and growing through it, to become men of God….

In a perfect world, a child would be born into a Christian household, filled with love, nurture, the fruit of the Spirit, with boundaries of protection set around your world by the holiness of the Word of God.

There would be no drama, trama, or heartbreak, but parents would lovingly grow you up in the Word of God, until the day came that you, a fully responsible adult, would be launched out into your particular gifting and calling, deeply rooted in the Word and love of God, with wings to fly!

manhood roots and wings

that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving
manhood eagle

 

but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint

Yet, this is a fallen world, and not all of us grew up in a Christian home, furthermore, even those of us that did, could only be instructed in what our parents knew about the Word, and to the degree our parents were willing and able to recognize and respond to the giftings God had placed upon our lives, so that they might train us up in the way ‘we should go’.

Proverbs 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it

manhood child Bible

 

 

There is responsibility of spiritual adults to care for new Christians; spiritual babies are characterized by Innocence, Ignorance, and sometimes, irritability.

 

Babies are easily distracted, easily hurt, and easily frustrated. God wants us to grow up to the place where we become single minded, not easily hurt, and not so easily frustrated. These characteristics are developed in the human heart: the fruit of the recreated human spirit.

 

fruit of the spirit

 

One sign of spiritual maturity, is responsibility: Where you can give our word, and keep it!

 

Well let’s look at God’s Word on this topic today, and then let’s see spiritual childhood, boyhood, and how to grow through it.

 

1 Corinthians 3:1  And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

2  I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

3.For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

 

When we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are born-again, new creations in Christ Jesus. God Himself has come to live inside our recreated human spirit!

 

Jesus did not come to make bad people good, nor good people better, rather dead people: ALIVE!

 

We are born not only to our natural parents, but more importantly into the kingdom of God.

 

Just as the first thing a natural baby requires is to nurse, so in our heart of hearts, our recreated spirit also needs food to grow, the sincere milk of the Word of God!

 

Hebrews 5:12  For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

Hebrews 5:13  For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

1 Peter 2:2  As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

In a perfect world, in a perfect family (none exist on earth), a child would develop naturally, intellectually, and spiritually, in a wonderful cocoon of God’s love, grace and protection.

The truth is, no matter how good or bad your upbringing was, as we decide to walk with Jesus, the Holy Spirit will bring the appropriate Word to make us more like Jesus, to bring us to completeness as human beings.

Romans 8:29 (AKJV)

29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren

We are to be conformed to be like Jesus!

1 Corinthians 13:11

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things

 

No matter how great our earthly family may have been, we are now part of the royal family of God, training for reigning with Jesus!

 

manhood grandpa

 

You have been redeemed, adopted into God’s family:

 

Ephesians 3:15

of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named

 

There may have been accidental parents, but no accidental children. God planned for you. He has given you and your life as a gift to this hurting planet, and He has an eternal plan being worked out for you, and in you.

 

Galatians 4  (AKJV)

4 :1 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; but is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: but when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

You have been adopted into the family of God, with eternal rank and privilege!

Ephesians 1:5

having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

 

So what is the job and responsibility of a child?

 

To grow!

manhood grow

Have fun! Fall in love with Father God, let Jesus love you, receive His grace, goodness, and continually diet of instruction in the Word of God. Learn to feed your heart, your human spirit, and to allow the Word of God to grow within you, setting boundaries upon your heart, teaching you truth from lies, right from wrong, good from evil, holiness from profanity, true love from mere human sentiment. Grow!

 

Let’s pray:

 

Father, thank you for adopting me and making me Your child. Reveal Your great love for me, and show me Your holy ways of love, that are always greater than the love of even my earthly parents. Bring into my life the sincere milk of Your Word, and cause me to grow in the character and likeness of Jesus, falling more in love with Him every day. Show me the things I have been taught by my parents, my teachers, society, and even church, that are not in line with Your Word, or Your particular calling and destiny upon my life, and show me truth that makes me free. I choose to separate myself fully on the purpose and plan You have created me for: grant me courage to walk in it, without compromise. I ask this, knowing I am heard and answered, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen’