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How to Become a Man of God
“I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart.” Acts 13:22
David was a man after God’s own heart. He was humble, trustworthy, loved God, spent time alone with God, and was obedient to God. You may be thinking, “How can David be a man after God’s heart, he committed adultery with Bathsheba and murdered her husband to cover it up?”
“For though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity.” Proverbs 24:16
He repented of his sins, got back up, and started living for God again (Psalm 51). If the “man after God’s own heart” can stumble and fall, we need to be vigilant. I would in no way compare myself with David. As Christians, we will struggle with sin until the day we die. We need to be proactive and continually pursue our relationship with God.
"The Christian life is impossible without God." - Tom Harmon
Living the Christian Life
At a men’s retreat at Camp Barakel in Fairview, Michigan, I heard Itinerant preacher Tom Harmon say “being a man is easy, being a good man is hard, and being a Godly man is impossible without God.” Living the Christian life is not easy it takes hard work and a lot of effort. Becoming a man of God does not happen overnight. It takes pursuing God day after day by practicing the spiritual disciples.
Why Focus on Men?
Why am I writing this towards men and not both men and women? First, because I know the struggles that men face since I am a man and have similar struggles. The second reason is that God calls men to be the leader of their families. However, these principles are use to women as well.
Have you been Born Again?
You Must be Born Again
Becoming a man of God first requires you to be born again. To people like me who have grown up in the church, the phrase being born again is second nature. People who did not grow up in the church may be thinking, “What is he talking about?” That phrase comes from John chapter 3 where Jesus is talking with Nicodemus, who was a Pharisee (religious leader).
“In reply Jesus declared, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.’” John 3:3
You may be thinking, how do I become born again? By repenting of your sins and placing your trust in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Why do you need a savior?
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life.” Romans 6:23
God is holy and he takes that holiness very seriously. He cannot allow sin to go unpunished. One sin is enough to put us under eternal judgment. No matter how good we are compared to anyone else, we still fall short of God’s standard of perfection. God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to die in our place.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16
If you would like to be born again, pray this prayer and mean it with all your heart:
“Dear Jesus, I confess that I am a sinner and cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus lived a perfect life, died on the cross for my sins, and rose again the third day. Please come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior. Thank you for saving me. In Jesus name, Amen.”
If you prayed that prayer, God has promised to save you.
Practice the Spiritual Disciplines
The best way to draw near to God is to regularly practice the spiritual disciplines. It is critical that you approach them as a way to draw closer to God and not just some religious rituals. The biggest advice that I can give is to set goals on certain disciplines that you want to improve keep track of how you do. To quote Tom Harmon again, “Shooting at nothing is easy, you hit it every time.” What is the worse that can happen? A good starting point is to try to do it more this year than last year.
Great book on the spiritual disciplines
How Often do You Read the Bible?
Reading and Studying the Bible
To a Christian, the Bible is your playbook. It contains the Word of God. Its principles teach us how to live and to be more like Christ. The better that you know the Word, the better you will be able to apply it in your daily walk. Making reading your Bible an everyday a priority is a big commitment. It is not easy. The best way that I have found to do it is to set aside the same time everyday to read it. Another suggestion is to download a Bible app for your smart phone so that you can read it wherever you are. I suggest either the Bible Gateway app or the You Version app. Both are great and have multiple translations. They also contain preloaded reading plans.
There is no better way to stay connected to God than to spend time in prayer with Him everyday. Prayer is our lifeline to God. The Bible tells us in Hebrews 4:16 that we can “approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” God is saying come before me and ask whatever you want. I am always here and ready to listen to you. I have a set time to pray on my commute to work in which, I go through my prayer list. I try to pray here and there throughout the day. It has helped me to enter my prayer list into a sticky note app on my phone so that I have it with me.
Memorizing Scripture is important in the life of a Christian. It is a great way to internalize God’s Word so that it is readily available for the Holy Spirit to bring to mind in times of temptation. This can be a hard process. I would suggest purchasing 3” x 5” cards or downloading an app for your phone so that you can practice your verses anywhere you are. I use the Verse Box app and it comes preloaded with verses or you can choose to enter your own verses. As a starting point if you do not know where to begin, I have included a list of verses that you may want to start with.
Suggested Bible Memory Verses
2 Corinthians 5:17
1 Peter 2:11
1 John 1:9
1 Peter 5:7
Fasting is also a great way to turn your focus towards God. It does not matter if you fast for a meal, a day, or a few days. Spend the time that you would normally spend eating, reading your Bible and praying. Use it as a special time to draw near to the throne of God.
Be Accountable to Other Men
Men trying to live for Christ face many challenges such as providing for his family, being a father, a husband, trying to stay pure in a depraved culture, balancing work and life, etc. It is critical to have a group of men to hold you accountable and who you can hold accountable. There is no such thing as a Lone Ranger Christian. We need other men to help to keep us on the right path. Also, as part of being accountable, it is a great idea to install a Internet filter/accountability software, such as Covenant Eyes or XXXchurch to keep you safe online.
Fellowship with Other Believers
It is important for Christians to be involved in a local church and to spend time in fellowship with other believers. Joining a men’s small group is a great idea. In addition, developing friendships with other Christian men will help your walk with Christ. If you are married, you may want to find a few like-minded couples and get together regularly for fellowship.
Spending time in worship is another critical discipline. God is so good and has done so much for us; we need to spend time praising and worshiping Him. Also, worship is a great way to fight against temptation because it takes your mind off of the temptation and refocuses your thoughts on God. A practical way to spend time in worship is to keep praise and worship songs on my phone so that I can listen to them wherever I go.
Pride is what caused Satan to rebel against God. He wanted to be worshiped and to ascend to God’s throne. Pride also is what caused Adam and Eve to fall because they wanted to be like God. Pride is a big issue for us today. The Bible says:
“Pride goes before the destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18
We need to humble ourselves and live as recipients of God’s grace. We need to put others before ourselves. If we are not careful, pride can easily creep into our lives.
Becoming a man of God will be a lot of hard work and will not come easy. It is a daily pursuit requires consistency to gain ground. You will have good days in this process and bad. It is important that you keep getting up every time you fail. The most important thing to remember is to keep your focus on your relationship with Christ and not let the spiritual disciplines become an empty religious exercise.
“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” 1 Timothy 6:12