APRIL 9, 2014
Dangerous and Free. Those are the kinds of men Jesus builds.
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34).
I was in St. Louis recently teaching the Dangerous Freedom seminar to some great guys at Ridgecrest Baptist, and two guys who drove from Indiana and two who drove from Tennessee to be there…I mean those guys are truly spiritual! Thanks for coming so far.
When we’re little boys, we don’t typically want to be sweet and nice, cuddley and quiet momma’s boys. We want momma to love us and hug us, yes, but as we get a bit older, we like to get the hug and then escape into a bigger world…a world of adventure and risk. We don’t want to be called little boys, we want to be manly and somewhat dangerous. My dad’s first name was Peter. I am Peter too. To differentiate who they were talking to…people would call me “Petie.” As soon as I could understand that name I hated it…hate it still. I’m mad just thinking about it right now. It’s demeaning in all the wrong ways. I think my mom thought it was endearing and loving. I begged to differ. I’m still in recovery from that huge early life trauma. My two sons have their stories too…have I ever told you about the shotgun and the basketball…?
Where was I? At the seminar I give guys time around the table to talk about some of their exploits of boyhood and the risks they took to prove they were big guys. My new friend Bob told about crawling underneath one of the bridges that spanned the Mississippi (I think he said the Franklin Bridge). He would light and drop M80′s onto the River Boat decks below and watch the people scatter. Dang, I love that one! I was seriously addicted to M80′s in my day too. One guy said he was always lighting things on fire. We used to bend straight pins in half, and shoot them from a rubber band…at each other. Man, we drew blood and it was fun. Thankfully none of us ever lost an eye over it.
God made us to be free and adventurous, but sin made us slaves. In the grip of sin men have turned this masculine urge to freedom and adventure and even danger into being dangerous to themselves and to others.
Enter Jesus. “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1).
Freedom for us cost an awful lot for Jesus, but He was compelled to pay in blood for we who live in the flesh.
Hey, if you’re now a grown man who’s been freed by Christ that means you’re not anchored to either the condemning or the controlling power of sin, and are able now to be dangerous in a way that matters.
In a way that matters to the King and to people all around you.
One way you are free, because Jesus is your Elder Brother, is that your identity has been changed from outsider to insider; from no name to re-named; from being one of the great unwashed to being one of the those cleaned up and dressed in the righteous clothes of Christ. Because you’re now a son of the Father because of the Son, you have a new identity that is not something you earned or ever could earn, and can never be taken away.
You are free from worth via human approval or personal achievement. That’s a horrible idol to worship. A “scum sweetheart.”
Now you can be dangerous to the enemy. Since you know who you are, you can serve the King, not worrying what people think about you or if you’re getting enough praise. You can sacrifice, spend your money for Him along with your time as you tell people about Jesus and build up His people all around you. PC aside now…Jesus is Who really matters. You can even be a more loving husband because criticisms at home won’t destroy you inside where the Son resides to remind you that you are a son.
An internal, unchanging and high identity always makes confident men who can keep growing and taking ground previously owned by who Johnny Cash called “the long-tongued liar.”
Christians have always been fewer in numbers than others around them but ten times more influential…because they knew who they were and it set them free to invade enemy territory.
Freedom precedes being dangerous in the Matthew 10 sense. Both are what we want as men.
Where are you going to step onto enemy turf this week and wreak some havoc?