Establishing a SPIRITUAL FRAMEWORK


“If you want small changes in your life, work on your attitude. But if you want big and primary changes, work on your paradigm.”
Stephen Covey


READ

Genesis 2:7; 1 Corinthians 2:13; Romans 1:19-20; Hebrews 11:6


REFLECT

  WHY DOES IT MATTER?

Imagine for a minute that there is no God and that man is truly the master of his own fate; that man is the ultimate source of purpose, meaning, and truth.  If man gets to make up his own rules about what is right and wrong, then how do we determine the difference between two opposing “rights” or “wrongs”.  Think about it; if Bob says that he is right and George says he is right, but both get to determine their own set of “right”, then who is Sam to come in make a judgment call.  Do we use the “majority rule”?  Do we draw straws?  Who gets to decide what is “normal” in culture?  With no foundation of what is practical truth, society would rapidly self-destruct in total anarchy.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1, NIV)

The reality is that God does exist and there are plenty of intellectually satisfying reasons that will sustain a rational and well reasoned faith in God.  Establishing a Spiritual Framework is the systematic process of finding the right PERSPECTIVE on who is God and how we should respond to that truth.  As men, once we come face to face with the reality of God, then it becomes critical that we respond accordingly.

  The DECLINE of Christianity in the USA

According to a recent Pew Research study, Christianity in America has dropped by almost 8% between 2007 and 2014.  During the same period, people who claimed no-affiliation, Atheist, or Agnostic rose from 16% to almost 23%.  (Source: 2014 Religious Landscape Study, conducted June-Sept. 2014.  Pew Research Center.)

If this is the case (at least in Western culture), then I have to ask about the elephant in the room.   WHY?  Back in the mid-80’s, this country went through a charity explosion with “Hands Across America”, “We are the World”, “Farm Aid”, and many more.  People were just looking for a reason to believe in something greater than themselves.

It’s a real shame that Christianity has cast such a poor reflection of God that the world looks on with disbelief and scoffs at our hypocrisy.   Isn’t it time as men that we turn back toward God in repentance (1 John 1:9) and ask Him to help us recapture a Biblical Vision for Authentic Manhood?  There is a lost and dying world that is desperately looking for authenticity and a people that genuinely live out what they claim to believe.

  So WHY DOES IT MATTER?

Man is a created being, made in the image of God, and consists of both a physical and a spiritual identity.  Man’s spiritual “self” can only be understood within the context of a “spiritual” framework and as revealed by the Spirit of God.  This matters because:

  • We have a God ABOVE US:
    • We need to MAN UP and LOOK UP and deal with the most important questions that man can ask.  Does God really exist? and if God exists, is there sufficient and intellectually satisfying evidence to support a sustainable faith in the God of the bible?  The answers are YES and YES.
  • We have an eternity AHEAD of US:
    • We need to MAN UP and GIVE UP and stop trying to conquer eternity by sheer willpower and uncompromising determination.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with the word “surrender” when understood within the context of eternity.
  • We have an enemy AGAINST US:
    • We need to MAN UP and stay HEAD’s UP to the fact that we have an enemy of our souls that seeks to divide and destroy our faith, our families, and our future.  There is a spiritual battle that is raging that is just as real and relevant as your next heartbeat.

RESPOND

“Dear God, I don’t claim to know everything and especially when it comes to spiritual things, I often feel like I have more questions than answers.  I want to ask you to forgive my unbelief and help build my faith so that I can stand strong for my family as a faithful man of God.  Help me to LOOK UP to You and acknowledge You as my God, my rock and my redeemer.  I surrender my everything; I GIVE UP my desires and trust Your plan for my life.  Give me wisdom and courage as I stay HEAD’s UP and stand strong against the enemy in Jesus Name.   AMEN”