My Father and Creator did not create humans but a man and a woman; therefore He created and specifically formed the masculine heart and soul and vice versa. We are different but have the same Father and I am speaking more than biology!
Just like our physical core strength determines our external performances i.e. what we can lift, carry, push, hold and resist, so too our masculine core. Our physical core needs specific exercise to develop it and therein our external performance, so too does our masculine core. Using the word core as an acronym let’s explore what muscles our masculine souls have and what specific exercises will help us develop them.
These are the four core muscles of our masculine soul as designed by our Father and they are vitally important to our success and achievement as men and also our fruitfulness and productivity as disciples!
Being uncertain at our core is destabilising and leads to increasingly erratic behaviour. The exercise that will strengthen and develop our ‘certainty muscle’ is validation and affirmation. These validations and affirmations have their roots in the Father’s voice and not in the voices of our mums, spouses or girlfriends! There were many things my mum gave me and I am forever indebted to her. So to Dawn my wife, she is a constant reminded of grace and beauty which are vital macro-nutrients to my masculine heart and soul.
However, for years I unknowingly took my need of validation and affirmation as a man to Dawn but she just didn’t have, by design, what I needed. My need could only be met by my father(s). I put the letter in brackets because I have two Fathers – a heavenly and earthly one.
When life happens by design; then earthly dads see the need for validation and affirmation and act and speak accordingly into their sons’ masculine heart and soul.
Many men I have met are still uncertain at their core, never having the validation and affirmation from their fathers and spending years seeking it from the women in their lives. If you’re one of these men and your father is still alive, then it’s never too late. If like me your earthly father is no longer around, the good news is, the heavenly Father loves to validate and affirm His sons. Cf Matt 3:17 & Roms 8:16
If you are still seeking validation from the key women in your life, give it up and let them off the hook!
The nature of this vital validation and affirmation is this; our worth and value is rooted in who be, not in what we do. This truth and experience avoids the massive deception that we as men can get so easily suck into – ‘performance related approval!’ PRA is a toxin to the masculine heart and soul; a slow killer that leads to either driveness, striving or hiding.
My father never validated and affirmed me because I don’t think he ever got me and now, retrospectively I understand this and no longer hold a frustrative attitude toward him. He did a very good job. Thanks Dad!
Certainty is really about confidence which is the doctrine of assurance and this truth is a vital experience our Heavenly Father deeply desires we understand, live in and function from.
Before Jesus had preached a sermon, healed or driven out a demon, His Father locked onto His heart, who He be and loaded it with His love, His assurance, His approval. Out of this Fatherly assurance, Jesus ministered, worked and rested! We can and must too!
Uncertainty has its root in fear: Future Events Appearing Real. We look out from our core as men and ask two vital questions – What is a man? Am I one? The Father’s love drives out fear 1 Jn 4:18 and His love starts by answering, in the affirmative, the above two questions. The Father does this by asking us to meditate on the finished work of His Son and inviting the Holy Spirit to testify to our spirits.
John 1:12 says to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave them power to become children of God. To all! Period!
Meditation is the core mental exercise that will build our certainty muscle, along with taking stuff on but that’s another blog.
If we have come back to our Father by believing His Son’s finished work on the cross, then He has given us the power to become His adopted sons. This title and all the realities that come with it are bestowed. They are an utter gift. Not earned but given! This is a real stumbling block for us men who have been raised to believe there’s no such thing as a free lunch.
Well guys, that’s untrue and grace will continue to be a stumbling block until we let go of this lie.
The primary work or ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of an adopted son, is to testify to them that they ARE, who Father says they are and they HAVE what Father says they have. The key verses to memorise and meditate on regularly, I call this my ‘gym time’ is Roms 8: 15-17
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. Rom 8:15-17 ESV
Meditation on His word is the spiritual equivalent of the plank exercise to our core.
The Holy Spirit bears witness to our spirit that we are, by the gift of grace bestowed; sons, heirs and co-heirs! Heirs of all the Father has put in His will and co-heirs of all that He promised to His son.
This isn’t a free lunch. It’s a lifelong feast and we are distinguished guests.
Lack of Father given validation and affirmation in men, leads to us being and becoming increasingly frustrated. There are a lot of angry men out there and the answer to their struggle is to come home to Father, get His validation and affirmation and begin to feast at His table.
There we find the Father given nutrition that will feed, grow and develop our masculine souls.
Is it time to come home men? The table is set!
In my last blog (18/8/16) I shared some thoughts about unconscious incompetence.
The dynamic of not knowing that we don’t know what we need to know as men.
Our Father loves to bring His life and fill those spaces that are empty.
Today’s blog is a reflection about one man, who one day was led into a sacred space and divine appointment by Jesus.
His teacher was trying to make him aware of the competency that was already in him, which would fill the space and meet the need which was coming over the horizon.
That man was Philip. That day is found in John 6:5-13
As a disciple, a man within His team, Philip had the mandate and the designated power to ‘fill the earth.’ Cf See Gen 1:28 & Eph 1:23
Jesus was intentionally training His men to do what He’d been doing and do greater things. Jn 14:12
This particularly day Jesus saw the need before Philip and He turns and asks Philip, there were other team players there, a direct question.
Teachers and questions are historically almost negative for me.
What is it about being put on the spot by being asked a question?
This is one of the uncomfortable sides of Jesus but a side I now expect and am learning to love.
Here’s my paraphrase of that event (Jn 6:5) – Jesus saw on the horizon a pressing need; hungry people. “I can and will feed them, yet I need to train the lads because when I go back they’ll have to do what I’ve been doing. Who’s ready for this test, this pressure? Phil!
Turn up the heat, apply great pressure are the dynamics of the word test.
Jesus intentionally puts His friend and team mate in the zone, and He makes no apology for it!
The words of the late Myles Munroe are very insightful –
“Potential is determined and revealed by the demands placed on it by its creator.” Myles Munroe
Jesus puts Philip in an exacting place and a sacred space, for the sole purpose of bringing out what’s dormant: the power to fill the space and meet the need!
Some time back, during an intense time, I asked the Father want was going on and He said this-
Exacting places; are extracting places!
- Exacting – trying or unremittingly severe in making demands.
- Extracting – to draw out, withdraw.
I came to realise that the problem I was facing and the pressure I was under, were designed and factored in by Father. Through me, He would fill the space, meet the need and relieve the problem!
The problem was, I didn’t know what He’d put in me and how it related to what I was facing.
I was unconsciously competent!
This problem in me needed to be addressed before the external problem could be properly faced and solved.
Are we under pressure?
Is a problem coming over or covering the landscape of our life?
Perhaps these are designed and factored in by your Father?
Is He trying to get us to realise what we’ve been given, so we can release it?
Pressure is essential for muscle growth.
Is He asking us to wake up and grow a latent ability, gift or skill?
Willing us to pick up the bar, start to rep and produce?
Unless we realise, become consciously competent, we cannot release and we and others will miss out.
O I wish it could be Christmas everyday! Really?
Why is special crucial to the monotony of everyday?
What is special and how do we produce it?
Is presentation really as important as the present?
Why does Christmas Eve bring so many men to the shops?
Are awe & wonder relevant today?
What did your granny always tell you?
Silent night! Have you plan one?
It’s the thought that counts!
Naming the reindeer is a stupid game anyway!
Are jolly and fat really related?
Do real men wear Christmas jumpers?