The Number 1 Lie Keeping You on The Sidelines

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What’s the number one lie that's keeping you on the sidelines?

There may be something right now in your life that's keeping you from moving into the fullness of everything that God has for you. In Does God want me to be Successful? we asked the question, what does success look like for us as modern Christian men, and should we be pursuing it? The principal we discovered was that God's will is synonymous with success. God has a specific unique plan for each one of us. In the book of Proverbs king Solomon writes that a man's gifts make room for him. A man's gift will bring him before great men. There are unique, specific callings and giftings that the Lord has placed within each one of us that opens up doors, expands our sphere of influence and brings us into our appointed assignment and place of destiny.

We need to learn how to partner and agree with God’s will so we can step into success for our life. The apostle Paul talks in terms that his modern-day listeners would fully grasp and understand. One of my favorite metaphors that he uses as he's writing the new Testament scriptures is this picture of a well-disciplined athlete. This would have been widely understood due to the backdrop of the Roman games. It was common to see the athletes dedicating their time and their life to training all for winning the prize.

The athletes prize was a wreath that would quickly perish and fade away, but our prize is eternal. When Paul is encouraging the first century, Christians to “run your race.” He's talking about pressing towards the upward call. He's talking about striving and running in such a way so you will win. He also uses the metaphor of fight. He talks about fighting and wrestling, this presents the image of all out grappling and fighting with iron on your knuckles. He compares our walk with the Lord and the pursuit of the call on our life to a fight and to a race. There's something about striving, moving, pushing and pressing in. That is the picture the apostle Paul gives us and that's the way he lived his life in the fulfillment of the call of God for him.

What is the number one lie that's keeping men on the sidelines when they're called to be in the game, when they're called to take territory but they're not even getting off the bench? There is a mindset that is pervasive right now that says, God is in complete control of every aspect of my life, regardless of what I do or the choices I make.  I am not questioning the sovereignty of God. However, we need to beware of buying into this idea that He is in complete control of my life as an individual with or without my partnership and my cooperation with His will.

In Genesis, God endows man with free will and that means we have a choice. We can agree, or we can choose not to agree. We can partner or we can choose not to partner. We can obey, or we can choose to disobey. If we are not living in right standing with Him and we are not walking according to what He has called us to then we are out of alignment. So, this lie that's holding you back is that God is in complete control of every single aspect of my life and I don't have to do anything. I just have to sit here, and if it's meant to be, it's going to come to pass, It does not require anything of me.

Do you know anyone who lives like this? There are people that do and maybe you bought into this too at some point where you're said “it just hasn't happened yet. I guess it's not the Lord's will for my life. I guess when I accomplish that or when I step into something, then I'll know it's from the Lord because it happened sovereignly.” God's sovereign will can bring connections and appointments into your life at the appointed time. However, this idea that we don't have to do anything and that we can live our lives anyway we want, not aligning with the Lord's will for us is holding many back right now We're sitting back and we're asking that the Lord would just do ‘the thing’ for us, whatever that thing is that you're waiting for. Like it's just going to show up one day and I don't have to do anything for it.

That's one side of the coin. The other side of the coin is if it's meant to be it's up to me. And that side also has faults. This mindset is grounded in grit, grind, hustle and productivity. This perspective says if I want it to happen, I'm going to go out and use my human willpower. I'm going to make this thing happen in my life and that's not necessarily what the will of the Lord looks like as well.

The question is what is the role we have to play in this equation? Let’s look at Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written within it for then you will make your way prosperous and then you will have success.

Notice this verse does not say that the Lord was going to make Joshua’s way prosperous. The Lord is actually telling Joshua what to do. He's giving him instructions and He's saying, when you do these things, you will make your way prosperous. There is a part of the equation that we have to fulfill. The Lord does not do all of it for us, there's an agreement, there's a partnership and there's a fulfillment that comes when we agree with the Lord and we partner with Him.

In my book, The Standard, Discovering Jesus as The Standard for Masculinity I dedicate a whole chapter to a powerful principle. In the chapter called ‘Jesus speaks in mysteries, that invite discovery.’ The principle highlighted is around the conditional agreements that God makes with man. Jesus spoke in a way that cultivated an attitude of curiosity, He spoke directly to people to inspire the search. He was looking for seekers. If you were a casual listener when Jesus was walking the earth and spreading the good news of the kingdom, you would not have ears to hear. His message would have bypassed all the superficial listeners because He was speaking to those that were hungry. He was speaking to those that were searching and He was speaking to those who were seeking. As He speaks, He's cultivating this hunger and this attitude of a seeker. He wants you to be a seeker. He wants me to be a seeker and there's this principle that I call the, if then principle, if you do this, then the Lord will do this.

I am not reducing the word of God to a formula that's meant to be hacked, but we need to recognize that the promises of God are conditional. They do require something from us. It's not sit back and just wait for it to show up. The pattern and principle can be observed throughout the Old Testament. If Israel obeys, if they turn from their sins, if they turn from idols, then the Lord promises blessings. It's the same way for us today. If we are aligned with his will, if we listen and we obey, then we can expect for him to help us and show us how to make our way prosperous and have success. Success is synonymous with God's will for our life.

One of the things Jesus always said whenever he brought the good news of the kingdom was this peculiar saying “he who has ears to hear, let him hear,” another way to put that saying is, listen up carefully to what I'm saying, pay attention, obey, and align yourself with these words. If you have ears to hear… God's will for your life is synonymous with success.

This will require you to do something. Don't sit back, let's throw out passive Christianity, where we sit on the sidelines, watching the game and you're wondering, when's it going to be my time to get in the game? When's it going to be my time when the coach calls me up? The Lord may be waiting on you to make the first move right now. If you take one step towards him, I have found he takes 10 steps towards you.

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