Here’s my notes on Carl’s recent talk when we were at Soul Survivor, Watford. Great stuff and it was a sell out! Looking forward to playing at home for the ‘North’ version in January! Details of that so you can book in here (why not organise a group from your church?);
IRON SHARPENS IRON
Life’s up and down, and often gets very hard – and we men retreat too often. Testosterone gives us ‘fight or flight’ but we run too much too soon, rather than go through the muck and mud.
Romans 5:3 says ‘We glory in our sufferings’ why – because of what it produces! If we didn’t go through this we’ll be spoilt brats who sulk when something goes wrong. 9 out of 12 apostles were killed. William Carey saw his wife die. Peter preaches and sees 3000 saved, Stephen says, ‘I’ll have a crack at that.’ And gets 3000 bricks on his head. This helps us understand why so many men are down and depressed. The measure of a man is how you hold up in those times.
When you gave your life to Jesus, you got a target on your back. Carl had a medium once say to him Christians GLOW. Those who know who they are in Christ glow more strongly!
Paul the apostle was known in hell. (The sons of Scheva weren’t).
You are known in hell, too.
But what are you known for!?
Picture of a bullfight. The bullfighter stacks everything in his favour. He has helpers who put spears into its neck, so its losing blood. And all it can do is look at the ground. That’s how our enemy works. To get us men looking down. Men with spears in them.
But the Holy Spirit keeps saying, ‘Look at me! Look up!’
The enemy wants to take you out.
You might be just clinging on. Feeling a fraud.
God says, ‘Lift up your eyes.’
1 Kings 18. Elijah and the prophets of Baal.
But then look at the next chapter and he’s running from this woman Jezebel, fearful and suicidal.
Fight – or flight!
1 Sam 17.
David and Goliath.
What’s the difference? He focuses on God. Fight!
But he had a wandering eye. He’s a passionate man. And passionate men have a flip side. 2 Sam 11. He can’t keep his trousers on.
Samson was a chancer. Strong alright, but he had a flip side. Your testosterone will take you places you don’t want to go. So how do we stay on the narrow way? How do we not fall?
Or when we do, get up again – because we have resurrection DNA .
This is not about solo Rambo Christians. We run alongside others, and if we do – we’ll get there in the end. We need relationships that are vulnerable and to pick each other up on things and pick us up when we fall.
The more you press into enemy territory, the more pressure we’ll face. We need to be like the army, the SAS, to get close to the enemy so you can be effective – you go into ‘hard routine.’ The enemy is overrunning the church because we refuse hard routine, and instead we sulk when we get a little knock.
The Lord can extract the spears from your neck. So you can lift up your head!