Deuteronomy 31:6 (NLT) So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
I love this verse above. I love that God calls me to be strong and courageous. However, in life, I don’t always feel that way. As a man I cannot be afraid because that is socially unacceptable and a public cry of weakness. Our society has two categories for men: weak and strong. There seems to be no middle ground. What God has been showing me, about myself, is that society is wrong and I can’t let those negative images define who God says I am.
Growing up, and even now, I am not an outdoors person. I don’t hunt, fish, camp, work on cars or fix things. I like to be indoors. I like to play board games with my kids and watch funny movies. I play video games and read books. Does that make me weak? I used to think so. I used to think that the guys that loved all of that outdoorsy stuff were super manly however, God is changing my mind.
What I see in the Bible are people that rise up and listen to what God says to do and do it. In Deuteronomy, Moses asks Joshua to lead the Israelites into the promised land because he cannot go. Joshua had been following Moses for 40 years and then had to take all of the Israelites into the promised land. Moses knew that Joshua was the man for the job because he just scoped out the promised land. Joshua was operating in the gifts God had given him. Instead of doubting or letting fear take hold he trusted in God knowing that he was doing His will. Joshua would lead his people into the promised land and God would be with him.
Joshua 1:9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Being strong and courageous for God is as simple as talking to that person in the grocery store that looks upset or down. Or using the gifts God has given you in a new way, like singing at church or stepping out in a Bible study. God is showing me that as I take steps to do what He asks I am being strong and courageous. It doesn’t matter how fast I can split a cord of wood (which isn’t fast), being a man can be how slow I am to anger with my family or friends. Or just simply showing up. Maybe a friend needs help moving and you may not be able to move the grand piano alone however showing up is what God wanted you to do.
The world wants men to believe a false image of what makes you a man. They want you to deny who God has created and called you to be. But that isn’t what God wants for you. He wants us to rely on Him. Jesus will not ask us to do the impossible. He will equip and empower us to finish the task. As a man, we can take heart knowing that as we operate in the gifts He has given us we can stand strong and courageous. Just simply saying yes to Jesus, and no to ourselves, is how to be a strong man of God.
Romans 8:31... If God is for us, who can ever be against us?