221 – Preview: How God Makes Men
NOTE: My new book How God Makes Men comes out on November 5, 2013. Here’s a preview. Hope you like it!
From the Preface
When I travel and meet strangers, someone will often say, “You work with men. That must really be hard.”
My response is always the same. “You’ve got the wrong guy! I have the best job in the world. Every day we see men coming to Christ and growing as disciples. God is powerfully at work in men’s lives!”
With that said, we need to do a reality check. Men today are under severe attack. A counter-Christian pop culture ridicules men in general and Christian men in particular. The battle line against biblical manhood is clearly drawn and fiercely contested. As a result, legions of men struggle to sustain what they started and finish the race….
Most men I talk with feel like there’s “another” man coiled up inside of them who desperately wants to get out. How about you?
- Maybe your faith is being tested to the breaking point.
- Maybe you’ve been down so long you feel like God has abandoned you.
- Maybe you thought God was going to use you, but now you feel like you’ve been sidelined.
- Maybe you feel inadequate for your roles in life.
- Maybe you’re in a tough situation and see no way out.
- Maybe you are not genuinely content with who you are and what you do.
- Maybe you feel like giving up.
- Maybe you find it difficult to let go of the cares of this world.
Can you relate? If so, I’ve got some really great news for you. It’s all wrapped up in the one sentence that best describes my own life: Because God is good, your life will not turn out like you planned.
That’s because God has a better plan. A much better plan. God’s plan is made up of strikingly relevant, time-tested lessons written down and preserved for us in the Bible. It pulsates with stories about men who released and sustained the passion of their faith. And you can too.
However, it’s shocking how many of these life-changing principles are gathering dust. It’s as though we’re afraid to tell men, “Following Christ is harder than it looks and takes longer than expected. But God does have a plan, and it comes packed with real answers and genuine hope.”
So in How God Makes Men I want to share with you the most powerful principles about biblical manhood from ten of the most well-known of those men. In each of their epic stories, we can see the hand of God at work–shaping them, leading them, making them into the men He always planned for them to become. That “always planned for them to become” is for you too. And it’s one of the main features we’ll be exploring together.
How did God mold and mobilize these men? What were the obstacles they faced? What held them back? How did God get them uncoiled? And what was their part? As we spend time listening to their lives, we will come face to face with the gritty truth that can release and sustain the passion of our faith too. When added together, they’re not just ten amazing stories but one big story–yours!
Here’s the promise of How God Makes Men. And it’s a huge one. If you will absorb and embrace the timeless principles offered by these ten men, you can get past the shallow, cultural Christianity that wants to gut your manhood and get to–or back to–a more biblical Christianity.
If you will let these ten men mentor you, then, like them, you will become the man God created you to be. You will release the power of God in every direction and detail of your life. You will know how to sustain the passion of your faith. And you will be well on the way to writing your own epic story. Why? Because God is way too good to let our lives merely turn out like we planned!
You always knew that one day you would be called upon to take your place on the battlefront, right? This is that call. Together, we can turn this around. This is a battle we can win. We cannot, we must not, and by God’s grace we will not fail.
If these are the things you want, turn the page. I have some guys I want you to meet.
1. Abraham: The Principle of Believing God Anyway
Never has a man been tested more than Abraham. From Abraham, we learn that God makes men by showing us how we can believe Him anyway in the face of what seem like impossible circumstances.
2. Joseph: The Principle of a Greater Good
Never has a man been more mistreated than Joseph. From Joseph we learn that God makes men by orchestrating even the toughest circumstances of our lives for a greater good.
3. Moses: The Principle of Personal Transformation
Never has a man felt more abandoned than Moses. From Moses we learn that God makes men by taking us through a humbling process that fundamentally changes the way we think.
4. Gideon: The Principle of the Unexpected Leader
Never has a man felt less qualified than Gideon. From Gideon we learn that God makes men by turning our weakness into strength in such a striking way that only He can get the glory.
5. David: The Principle of Correction
Never has a man sinned more egregiously than David. From David we learn that God makes men by doing whatever it takes to correct and restore us when we go astray.
6. Solomon: The Principle of Success That Matters
Never has a man tried harder to find happiness without God than Solomon. From Solomon we learn that God makes men by making it impossible for us to find lasting happiness in any pursuit apart from Him.
7. Nehemiah: The Principle of a Passionate Calling
Never has a man felt more passionate about taking action than Nehemiah. From Nehemiah we learn that God makes men by turning what breaks our hearts into a passionate calling to help redeem some broken part of His world.
8. Job: The Principle of Suffering for No Apparent Reason
Never has a man suffered more than Job. From Job we learn that God makes men by allowing us to gain through suffering what can be gained no other way.
9. Peter: The Principle of Making Disciples
Never has a man known more about making disciples than Peter. From Peter we learn that God makes men by a process of calling, equipping, and sending us so we can call, equip, and send others.
10. Paul: The Principle of a Surrendered Life
Never has a man been more passionate about following and serving Christ than Paul. Finally, from Paul we learn that God makes men by forging us into humble servants who are increasingly surrendered to the lordship of Jesus.
And that’s how God makes men!