8/21/2015 – Mike’s Blog: When the men rise up

WHEN THE MEN RISE UP

“Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.” (Luke 18:5-6)

I’m part of a unique fellowship on Thursday mornings dedicated to seeking the leading of the Holy Spirit, with no agenda other than to seek Him. We open with a prayer for revelation and we marvel in where He leads. Some may think it a stretch for men in modern Christendom to fill five hours talking about God. Hardly. We are never at a loss for material, for these men don’t just seek God on Thursday or Sunday mornings. When amongst men who seek and serve Him 24/7 there’s always material enough.

Though I’ve witnessed amazing things in this group, nothing could have prepared me for a woman of tenacious faith named Barbara [names ficticious]. A mom at the end of her rope, Barbara came along with her son Brad seeking healing for her family. She said her husband couldn’t make it, and her other son Jimmy was curled up in the car outside in the parking lot, no doubt unexcited to join a bunch of “old guys” in one more futile prayer session.

Barbara’s husband had spent his life suffering from severe asthma, and now two sons spent theirs constantly battling severe food allergies that led to constant headaches for Brad and non-stop ringing in Jimmy’s ears. One had told her he didn’t want to live any more. As Barbara spoke and I witnessed the look of pure hopelessness in Brad’s eyes, I fought to hold back the tears. We were all sent scrambling to move burritos and coffee when Barbara informed us just the odors would make him sick.

The family had been to many physicians, including the famous Mayo Clinic. No answers. Having become convinced God would be the One to bring healing, they had also been to number of famous faith healers. No healing. But Barbara was not one to give up. We all knew what courage it took for the first woman to show up at our men’s meeting. Barbara, like the woman in the parable, was fully prepared to wear out the ears of heaven!

We asked her why she had come to a group of ordinary men when the renowned healers had failed. Barbara’s answer pierced me down to the bone! She said her husband Chuck had been told by God to go and find a group of godly men, saying, “When the men pray your family will be healed.” God’s Spirit cried out in mine, “I told them to go find the sort of unrenowned men My Son sought: the fishermen, tax collectors, and doctors who will arise when I call in these latter days to restore My church as they did before. Find these who worship Me in Spirit and in truth, and who gather in community as one to seek Me and act. Go find the men!”

God is calling us out, men, to restore the church His Son revealed. As before, He’s calling us out of our lavish temples and away from our mundane, comfortable existence. He’s calling us out from what too many years of religious freedom and too little religious suffering have reduced us to. He’s calling us to follow Jesus Christ out in to our homes, our board rooms and our coffee shops, to rebuild true Christian community.

He’s calling us out to just be the men of God people like Barbara and her family are looking for—transformed, fully engaged, on fire apostles! The comforts of this world, so abundant for so long, are even now beginning to fail us. These are “only the beginnings of the birth pangs.” There will be a new and desperate hunger for Jesus Christ as calamity increases and the world’s solutions fail us. It will be this new breed of apostles the Spirit will tell the lost and desperate to seek out.

We spent two hours talking and praying with Barbara and her two sons [after praying with Barbara and Brad, we felt moved to gather around Jimmy in the parking lot to pray for him]. I’m not the charismatic type, but I came away from there fully expecting healing because I fully believed we were the men. If Brad’s non-reaction to the food and coffee odors still permeating the room was any indication, healing was on its way. They were clearly not a problem, and Brad’s countenance had noticeably changed.

So thank you, Barbara, for being one of the bravest people I’ve ever met, and for displaying a faith so rare these days. Moreover, thank you for reminding me of the importance of my mission: calling men out of the culture and religion of Laodicea to become the transformed men of His new church. The great Judge is calling out, and searching for, the men of no great renown yet who are ready, willing, and able to declare “Here am I, Lord. Send me” into Your kingdom to grant the lost protection in a world teetering on the brink.

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