If a man lives with an undercurrent of mistrust in the Father, in his deep masculine heart, then becoming the Beloved Son will be unattainable. Walking with the Father will be impossible, and fighting for the kingdom will not go well.
This is where many “men’s ministries” fall woefully short of their mark. Their default is to start with training men what to do (or not to do) and how to live. In other words, they focus on men’s behavior rather than on reworking the foundation of who men are and who God is.
If they do address the “who we are,” it is usually with a list of biblical truths to memorize or paragraphs of character traits to which we should aspire. Not all of this is wrong, but it is ill-timed. It puts the proverbial cart before the horse.
We’ve got to set the horse back out in front, beginning with what the heart of God is really like. Our greatest obstacle to becoming Beloved Sons may well be the lies we’ve bought about our heavenly Father and the belief that he is anything other than good.
As I’ve shared, for much of my life, I believed that God was mostly just a little ticked off. Not so mad that another flood was coming (he did promise not to do that again), but mad enough that I didn’t want to cross him or draw more attention to myself than necessary.
Opening my heart to examine how I really saw the Father, and why, and inviting him to show me, was both a challenge and a milestone in upgrading my beliefs. My “after” is still in the making, but I can tell you, it is far better than my before—and my Father is far better than I used to believe.
It is impossible for us to love what we don’t trust.
The nineteenth century Scottish pastor and author George MacDonald once wrote:
“To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved.”
We are loved to the degree that we are known and in human relationships we are known to the degree that we trust. God, of course, knows us completely and loves us unconditionally whether we trust him or not. The question then becomes, will we let him love us?
Choosing to trust him is the key. In the words of Jesus:
“Trust in me . . . let me love you.” (John 14:1; 15:9).
The Father is trustworthy! He knows what each and every man can become and he is all in. Satan also knows what a man might become—and fears it! There are more forces at work in our story than just God and us. There is an evil that is out to steal, kill, and destroy. Evil is lurking, working far deeper behind a man’s front lines than most men realize. More on this in days to come, but suffice it to say, we live in a perilous fight, a dangerous environment, a place of high stakes. A man must discern the propaganda he has been fed about God and himself and find his way to the true heart of the Father, trusting that the Father can show him who he truly isn’t, who he truly is, and then set him free!
In your time alone with God:
How do you see the Father? What is your experience growing up that has shaped your belief?
What if you you’ve been wrong? Ask the Father to show you how, where, when and then turn any of that in to Him through confessing you believed a lie and asking Him to reveal the truth.