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{October 25, 2009}   Chapter 11: The Discerning Man Is A Real Man

Reputation is who people think you are. 

Character is who your family knows you are.

I will let you think on this for a minute.

Now this chapter is very intense and may even hit home to some men out there.  Even women who are dealing with a life without a man, a male role.

Malachi 4: 5-6, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.  And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers.

In summary this scriptures says, before the coming of Jesus, there will be a turning of the hearts of the fathers back to their children.  Now this was in the Old Testament, but still affects us today in this generation.  Wait, listen before you rebuttal. 

As Pastor Franklin says, “There is a difference between being a male and being a man.  Just because you’re a male, that doesn’t make you a man.”  I couldn’t agree or say it any better then that.

What is a real man?

Some of you men may measure yourself by muscles, or how successful you are in business.  Shouldn’t you, as a man, be judged by the moral fiber  you are made of, or how successful you are in the home?  Isn’t this a better way to measure a man?

According to Pastor Jentezen Franklin it is, and in this chapter in his book he explains why.  I will do my best to portray my thoughts and his lesson the best I can in this post. 

He first begins by discussing marriage.  He states that a real marriage has to go beyond moonlight and roses to daylight and dishes.  We all have heard similar phrases through out life.  But isn’t it so very true?  Marriage has to go beyond the sex to sensitivity, from romance to responsibility.  I liked how he puts emphasis on the importance of a man in a home by putting in some know statics at the time this book was published. 

These statics are:  In a home where the father is a committed Christian, the children have a 75% chance of growing up to become committed Christians themselves.  But in a home where only the mother is a committed Christian, that number drops to 23%.

Now he did not list the statics for a home with both parents being committed Christian, but I would suspect this percentage would be even greater then 75% very close to 99% to a 100%.

Pastor Franklin discusses the cutting away of fleshly things and becoming re-sanctified.  I discusses the verse in Joshua 5:2 At that time the Lord spoke to Joshua.  He said, ‘Make knives out of hard stone. Circumcise the men of Israel.’  God was basically saying, “Sanctify them again,” as pastor Franklin states.   Every man knows circumcision is cutting of the flesh that designated Jewish men as set apart to be used by God.  That is what it meant then, most people see circumcise as a way to keep the male gender clean.  Hmmm the word clean, interesting, it means to be free from dirt, unsoiled, unstained, unadulterated, to be pure.  The truth is , you’ve been carrying some fleshy things in spite the circumcision.  Haven’t you?  If not, then great!  Some of you men do these things, as pastor Franklins says, “thinking that God will just sort of wink at it – ‘Boys will be boys.’ But God is saying something different.”  

God wants to do a ‘new’ thing in your life and it requires a re-sanctification in every man’s life.  I like how Franklin states it, “God is saying, ‘I want their eyes to be sanctified.  I want their hearts to be sanctified.  I want their eyes to be sanctified.  I want their hearts to be sanctified.  I want their minds and their spirits to be be pure.  I don’t want them just coming to church and taking a secondary role in spiritual things in the home.’”

Franklin describes circumcision as a cutting in those hidden, sensitive places.  Men need to deal with those secret issues, those fleshly things that are hanging on to them, hindering them from receiving God’s unprecedented blessings!  If men would burden themselves to cry out to God for their wives and children, God would save their families.  See in Ezekiel 9:4-6  “The Lord said to him, ‘Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all abominations that re done within it.’  To the others He said in my hearing, ‘Go after him through the city and kill; do not let  your eye spare, nor have any pity. … But do not come near anyone on whom is the mark.’Notice the last part of this passage, if there’s not a man in that house who will carry the burden, then the destroyer will slay the women and the children.

Now you are probably thinking that this does not apply due to the coming of Jesus Christ and the grace we are under stated in the New Testament, but please bare with me as I continue to illustrate the role and purpose of a ‘man’ that pastor Franklin illustrates in this chapter so well.

Suppose we are living in just such days when the devourer, the enemy better known as Satan, is targeting our children and your wives.  Or woman, your husbands.  Don’t you think this time is now?  We see such an increase in divorces.  An increase in women wanting the control in a relationship hungry for the fleshly desires just as a man.  I would say our times are just as sinful as those times in the Old Testament. Thankfully we do have Jesus, our redeemer, who sent His Holy Spirit to be our helper, councilor, and director.  But do we listen?  I know I try to. 

Anyway getting back to this lesson.   Men, there may have been a time you could get by with being secondary spiritually in allowing your wife to do the praying and Bible reading, etc.  and I must say I agree with Franklin on this, “We’re living in an hour when I believe God is marking homes.”  God is saying, “There needs to be a man in every home who knows how to cry out , who knows how to pray for himself.”  Franklin sates, The pastor of your church is not the spiritual head of your home; you are.  It is time for you to cry aloud.  It is time to mark your home for the blessing.  I would have to agree.

Those of you who know me and my situation are probably asking how could I agree with this due to being a divorced single mother raising her son.  This is why, I pray seeking whom God has for me, not going out looking for it in some club or some party.  I stay home.  I get involved in my community, my church, my work, and most importantly in the lives of my children.  When it is time, God will reveal to me the man He has for me.  One that will take the role and responsibility of the home and care for my son and perhaps I would have more children God wiling so this man and I would have created yet another blessing to share.

Anyway, back to this book.

Grow Up Into Discernment

1 Corinthians 13:11, Paul said, When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.  He is not necessarily speaking of a physical age. 

As Franklin stated, “There are some men out there who are locked in a protracted state of childhood.  Children act like children. ‘But when I became a man…’ It’s time for some of you to grow up.”

I like this phrase and it is so true not only for the male gender but also the female gender as well.  Moving from childhood to manhood (adulthood), Franklin says, “People who know you should be able to look at you a year from now and see that you’ve got bigger faith, bigger commitment, a bigger prayer life, and bigger dedication to God.”  Unfortunately there are some, many, stuck in spiritual childhood.  Paul said, “I put away childish things.”  It is a choice and action.  It was not something God did for him, but what he did for himself.

Curse Of The Fatherless

Pastor Franklin writes about a story where baby male elephants were separated from the older male elephants.  To the Kruger National Park and the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Reserve in South Africa, these younger male elephants with no mature influence in their lives formed into a gang and their behavior became violent killing the rare white rhino in this new region they had been moved to.  This behavior was not in their nature.

Now in America, don’t we hear of stories of gang violence, vandalism, rapes, shootings and worse like trafficking women and men of all ages.  Could this be because we do not have older mature men speaking into the lives of our younger men, mentoring and developing and maturing and teaching them in what is acceptable behavior verses what is unacceptable?  Same for the women over the daughters.  Even the father over the daughters in guiding them of how the male mind works, or the mother in explaining to the sons how a female heart and mind works.  Just a thought.

Men and Women Are Different

In conception of a child, the woman always provides the “x” chromosome because it is all the female has.  The man has both the “x” and “y” chromosomes.  He is determines the sex of a child.  I like how Franklin states, “If this is true in the natural world, think about the influence of a father to give identity to his children in the spiritual world.”  What a thought…huh?

Perhaps the greatest difference between male and female is how our brains are wired. I will quote Franklin on this part. He states:

At conception, men and women are basically identical.  But after a few days, men are washed by the chemical testosterone.  The moment this chemical hits the brain of the male child, it instantly destroys some of the connecting fibers between its left and right side.  This chemical never flows through the woman’s body; therefore, the left and right sides of her brain stay connected.  This is proof that the men are literally brain damaged at birth!  This frying of the connection between the right and the left sides of the brain causes the man to be lateral in his thinking.  He only uses one side of the brain at a time.  It’s a medical fact.

Women think using both sides of the brain. They’re like radar all the time, noticing everything.  Men on the other hand, are more logical, trying to make A plus B equal C.  Women on average, are more sensitive than men, sensitive to sound and light, as well as emotions.

Left side of the brain is challenge-oriented, focused on objectives and goals.  Where as the right side of the brain is more feeling-oriented, nurture-oriented and is better at remembering.

Both a Man and Woman are important in the home to provide the balance, stability, and protection it so needs.  As a single mother, I depend on my church to provide the strong male leadership for my sons.   There has to be men in the church willing to say, “Lord, I’m Yours,” allowing God to use them in the influences of my sons and others’ sons.  Same with women over single men homes with daughters. 

This chapter goes on to give examples of how men can be a better influences by taking action and how he can develop spiritual discernment to feel when things aren’t right in the household.  It is not just something women do.  It is easier for the female then the male due to the structure of how our minds work, but it is possible for a man to do.

He talks about the Trial of Pressure.  God does allow all of us to endure some kind of trial, complaint, and even false accusation to come into your life.  I have personally experienced this.  God will take His lamp and put it on your spirit as I hope and pray he does mine.  To allow those around me to see HIM in my life.  I have become stronger spiritually and emotionally because of these trials.  God wants to see if I have the right spirit in the face of adversity.  He wants to see if I am able to bless those who curse you (me), and pray for those who spitefully use you (me)  Luke 6:28

I couldn’t have said it any better then Franklin when he says, “It is in time of pressure, times of crisis, that your real spirit will come out.”  We are not perfect.  We as humans will mess up.  Thankfully God goes beneath the surface to illuminate our spirits.   So others can see how much light we are putting off through our spirit.    No matter what has happened to you in life; no matter who has hurt you; no matter who undermines your work; no matter what happens in your marriage or in your home, you need to have God’s spirit, not a bitter, unforgiving, and angry spirit.

The Spirit of Jesus

Jesus was going to the cross in the next twenty-four hours, and what did He do?  Jesus took a basin of water and a towel, and went around the table, washing the feet of His disciples. (John 13:4-5)  He even washed the feet of Judas, the very man He knew was about to betray Him.  Could you wash the feet of a person about to betray you?  Jesus demonstrated for them what a true spirit of a servant would do.  He also showed forgiveness toward Judas.  Jesus then instructed his disciples, “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet” (verse 14).   Are we not His disciples?  Yes, we are.   How much light does your spirit give off?  Your attitude His light will shine through. 

Project the Spirit of Jesus

So I leave you with this, when people curse you, persecute you, you move on, but when you have the chance to reconcile, reconcile.  When you have the chance to get back at someone who has harmed you, hold back.  It doesn’t matter how much one has offended you, get over it.  The desire of the heart of a man of God says, “ Make me like Jesus.  Give me the spirit of forgiveness.  Give me the spirit of purity.  Give me the spirit of holiness.  Give me the spirit of love.  Give me the Spirit of Jesus.”  Remember, Power withholding itself is far greater then power exerting itself in anger.

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Curtis says:

Glad you are back. You are in a good place right now. (Voice of experience.) Good stuff here in general. But one suggestion. Learn (if you haven\’t already) to hear from God for yourself. His relationship to you, His purpose for you, His destiny for you and consequent revelation to you is ENTIRELY personal. Glad that Franklin has a relationship with God and can hear from Him regarding what is REAL to Him. But He is no more special than you to God nor is His connection to God nor His purpose or destiny more special. Bottom line. Believe in the God IN YOU more than anything else. THAT is what pleases God most. Nothing is will fill the bill.



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