The great problem of the earth and the great aim of the masculine journey boil down to this: when can you trust a man with power? – John Eldredge
When can you entrust a man with power? It was 20 years ago that this question erupted for me. At the time, looking around me as well as within, what I mostly saw was evidence of men being entrusted with power and it bringing harm to themselves and others. Is there another way? Is there a path to becoming the kind of whole-hearted man who can be entrusted with power and have it turn out for good? Through leaning into the wisdom of contemporary sages as well as the wisdom of sages from millenia past, a path began to take shape. And that path is a process, a process of transformation to become the kind of man to whom God can entrust his power.
The Imago Dei
The desire to be powerful transcends both social constructs and our boyhood dreams of becoming firefighters, policemen, NFL football players, Olympic athletes, fighter pilots, or soldiers. This longing transcends because it is the image of God in us.
We need to look no further than the opening chapter of Genesis for this reminder. God formed us from soil into his image, then breathed us to life in order that we might rule and reign under the authority of his goodness. To share valiantly and effectively in God’s power was the first mission entrusted to humankind.
With deep anticipation, God declared to Adam and Eve, “I want you to rule.”
When we strip away the religious veil, this command is more rousing than we might first think; it is the invitation to become who we were meant to be. As bearers of God’s image, we were meant to embody God’s heart, character, and power, partnering with God to fulfill his purposes in our days. As John shares in Waking the Dead, we were meant to rule, “like a foreman runs a ranch or like a skipper runs his ship. Better still, like a king rules a kingdom, God appoints us as the governors of his domain.” A kingdom is, as Dallas Willard pointed out, simply the range of our effective will. It is where we have say, where our will is done. It is within the context of kingdom-language and kingdom-thinking that we must reconsider God’s design for effective power-sharing with created-yet-creative human beings.
God, to be entrusted with power is a sacred responsibility, fraught with the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Thank you for leading me to this journey and assuring me that there are other like-hearted men who want to become the kind of man to whom you can gladly entrust the care of your kingdom. I consent to this process. Reveal what is next and align me with your pace and portion as we dig deeper. I consecrate my masculine soul to you. I celebrate that the most important thing about me is that I have been created as your masterpiece, from your image. I am made in your likeness. And you are inviting me to partner with you in the process of the restoration of my heart as a man. I give you permission and access once again. I want my whole heart back. I choose to trust your leadership. Give me eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart filled with courage to go with you, wherever you want to lead me. Amen.