As the shephard of our family I’ve been convicted of late and have had to repent. I’ve had to redeem some time over the last few weeks and have been diligent to do a consistant devotion time together. It has been a glorious experience and the Lord is really showing forth a pattern of direction for us as the new year gets underway. But it has also dawned on me that this is manhood training for me as well.
Reading out of the first 4 chapters of Romans, one can hardly escape the blatent repetition of “we have been made right in God’s sight by faith” (righteousness by faith). I am realizing that as a worldly man in my understanding, even my Christianity, I am prone to resort to a “works based” relationship with God. I realize that, that is key characteristic of “worldly manhood”. Pull up your bootstraps and do it yourself. Figure out what needs to be done and do it.
However, I’m learning that redeemed manhood in God’s sight is much different. He looks to the one who becomes a child. A child of Abraham, “for Abraham is the father of all who believe” (Rom 4:16). We are used to law-living from the head(intellect). Tell me what I have to do and I’ll systematically do it. God’s ways revolve around His promises, not that we have to “do it” but that we have to believe on Him (from the heart), to “do it”. It is such a subtle difference and yet it’s the difference betweem grace and works (legalism), ultimately heaven and hell. The simple distance between the head and the heart, 18″, yet so far!
As men, we must learn this foundational element of our religion. (see Hebrews 6:1-3) Our wives and those around us, know and sense the difference between a man following a law and a man touched by the grace that comes through faith. I’ve found it to be the determining factor in the weight our words carry with others, the difference between whether they listen or whether they disregard our testimony. God help us to seek You from our hearts, the only place where Your grace can touch this deep part of our character as we learn to truly live by faith.