I am using the acronym CORE to help me and hopefully others understand the design of our masculine hearts and souls. Our physical core needs exercise to help it develop and strengthen so too does our masculine core.
In the previous post I shared thoughts about certainty as a core muscle, so let’s look at opinions.
Opinions are like arm pits, everyone’s got a set and some stink!
Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me, is mostly true.
Mostly, because only words we choose to take to heart can wound and hurt us. The singer Cher puts it well –
“Words are like weapons, they wound sometime!”
Why are opinions important to the development and maturing of the masculine heart and soul? In the beginning, this was the core strategy of the enemy’s attack on the masculine soul; he used opinions!
“Did God really say?” “You will not surely die!”
Both of the above are rooted in opinions. The first is asking the masculine heart and soul for their opinion: did God really say? The second is Satan’s opinion about the answer Adam gave: You will not surely die!
A simple and timeless strategy of the enemy; getting us to doubt Father’s word by the introduction of another opinion. We can only be two-souled which is the New Testament meaning of doubt; when we are listening and paying attention to two opinions.
Did God really say?
Is a direct attack on His essence and character and our confidence in His character! Adam answered in the affirmative and Jesus, the second Adam continued to answer in the affirmative!
You will not surely die.
Is also an attack on the character of the Father which has to do with consequence and conclusion, i.e. what outcomes He’s set in place in response to our actions.
This addition of an opinion is a direct attempt to move us from our consecration to His word, having failed in his attempt at undermining our confidence in His word. Satan then and now; constantly seeks to undermine our confidence in and our commitment to staying with and remaining in Father’s word. In His opinions about who we are, whose we are and what we have been given.
Why is that?
The Father’s words, internalised, that is taken to heart, into our core, contain tremendous power and nutrition for our masculine hearts and souls. As a man thinks in his heart so shall he be and the heart is the source and starting point for all the issue of life. Cf Prov 23:7 & Prov 4:23
Let me say again (see blog on certainty 9/6/) meditation which is focusing on and repeating words, so they enter our heart, is the core muscle developing exercise.
It is the spiritual plank!
The words I hold in my heart are directly setting the boundaries of my life, namely what I will or will not attempt. The primary function of the word of God is to test the thoughts and attitudes of the heart [our opinions about His opinions] See Hebs 4:12
The classic Biblical eg of a struggling masculine heart & soul receiving God’s opinion and transforming is Gideon!
No one’s opinion of me, not even the Father’s, can become my reality without my co-operation. Meditation is co-operation and through this discipline my core is developed and strengthen by the opinions I am focusing on. These eventually flow out of my core in actions which affect the context and reality of my life, for good or bad.
No words are neutral they all flow from someone’s spirit, heart and mind.
The reality I am in and that surrounds me which is my context has within it characters who all have opinions and these can lead to pressurised times. Yet my context is not the ‘Ultimate Reality.’ The dimension or realm I live and move in is superseded by the reality called the Kingdom of God.
This truth about the dual nature of reality that I hold, has two aspects to it. I hold these aspects by meditation in my heart and mind which then empowers, develops & matures my masculine soul.
All reality, global and local was spoken into being by my Father
Jesus the Word became flesh and dwelt, as a man, in this lower reality.
All time, space and matter were formed by Father speaking them into being, by His command. So, what is seen was not made out of what was visible. Heb 1:3 Jesus the Word, was with the Father in the beginning (Jn 1:1) and then entered our time and space reality and walked through it as a man. (Jn 1:14) Jesus’ incarnation is a vital revelation and meditation that daily adds nutrition to my masculine heart and soul because I am not in covenant with a distant deity, rather with the Son of God who also was the Son of man!
Therefore, Jesus’ opinions are the most important to me, for He has experienced both realities and is the only man I know who whilst on earth was tempted in every way but did not cross the line once. The pressures within my local context and reality He has also faced and defeated!
Opinions matter and some opinions are still affecting our matter, both as a person and in our performance.
There’s a phrase that Jesus often used towards the men He was training and mentoring – “you have heard it said; now I tell you! Matt 5:21-43
Knowingly or unknowing we have internalised someone’s opinion. Is it time to evaluate these and consider Jesus’ thoughts and opinions about us?
The Word and His words can and will change our matter and our time and space context. When we receive the Word and believe what the Word has done, we are given power to become. Become what? Adopted sons of the Father and given full rights, privileges and responsibilities and the power to accomplish and achieve, all He’s put in us at the desire level.
To a group of men Jesus once said these words – you have no room in your heart for my word! Jn 8:37
I hope and pray there’s space in ours for His?
Father is a ‘filler!’
A re-read of Genesis 1&2 reveals that He fills all He creates – the sea, land, plants, us!
I love the phrase describing the sea – it was teeming with life.
Father is draw to emptiness. He desires to bring His life to empty spaces.
There is a space that He particularly desires to fill that is often overlooked and misunderstood: unconscious incompetence.
This can be defined as not being aware that I don’t know what I need to know!
Father is clear about a lack of knowledge – it’s a dangerous place.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Hos 4:6 NKJV
When I become aware that I don’t know, what I need to know, this can become a sacred place. Father invites us into this space and holds His breathe to see if we will RSVP and enter?
As men, when we lack info, knowledge, experience, skill, we have a number of choices – blag it, ignore it or humble ourselves and ask for help.
I don’t know, what I don’t know, is a core obstacle to learning, development & transformation.
All great teachers are aware of the space that learners have to enter and remain in until they’ve received the info, experience, knowledge or skill they need.
Blaggers hate this space and time but learners positively love it.
Learning lies at the heart of Christianity because Jesus defined everyone who followed Him as a disciple. Disciple means ‘disciplined learner’ and we have this label until we see Him face to face.
I am therefore a lifelong learner!
Right at the front end of His earthly ministry, the Father took His Son into a sacred space for a specific reason.
The Holy Spirit led Jesus into a stark, dangerous and potentially deadly place. See Luke 4:1. Jesus was tested and His humanity was put under great pressure. What He’d been acquiring for around 30yrs, (see Lk 2:52) He now began to apply.
The contrast between how He went into this sacred space and how He came out is remarkable.
He went in full of the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:1) and came out in the power of the Spirit (v 14).
This was a test and He passed it with flying colours!
The verses in the Bible that give me the most trouble are the ones I understand! Take this one –
He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. Roms 8:29 The Message.
“Along the same lines as the Son!”
The Holy Spirit wants to lead me into a thought through place, so I can apply what He’s be teaching me, realise and release the potential He has given me and have new experiences to learn from!
If we RSVP to the Spirit’s leading, we can be sure that we will enter the sacred space one way and come out completely different.
We will return with new power; His super on our natural and with renewed confidence and increased enthusiasm.
Let’s face it, He created us men to take stuff on and with His power win some battles.
Father desires to empower us so we become acquirers of knowledge, understanding and wisdom.
“Wisdom is supreme, therefore get wisdom. Though it cost you all you have get understanding. Prov 4:7
There is a cost and a price attached to learning which is more than monetary.
We have to admit, enter the space and find what we lack.
Humility is the prerequisite to learning and Father always gives grace to the humble. 1 Pet 5:5
He does not intend to leave us as mere acquirers. He wants to take us into that sacred space so we can apply what He’s been showing us, mature and mark that place with His grace!
It will cost us but sacrifice lies at the heart of biblical masculinity.
I am learning to love those times when He leads me to this unconscious incompetence space. I know that this is a sacred space and a divine appointment and I will become aware of what I don’t know or what I’ve been given but am not using!
At these times, Father is setting me up for a new revelation, insight or experience that will empower me to transform and to move up, move out or move into!