Tag Archives: flesh

The Courage to Stand Firm Even When Everyone Around You Seems to Fall

The world crumbles and falls around us. Men (and women) of high regard and Christian leaders falling from grace in view for all to see, although grace abounds much. Why? How did they get to this point in life, only to forget the things that brought them strength and purpose?

Maybe we all forget to whom the glory belongs at some point in our life. Don’t forget.

Christian Manliness: The Courage to Stand Firm.

There are other problems when, out of fear, we live for the glory that comes from man rather than that which comes from God. It would have appeared to anyone that men like Lentz loved the glory that comes from man. If you would have watched him preach you would have
thought, “he really loves his people.” And in a sense, it was true. He loved them. But what was more important to him was that they loved him. You could see it in many things that he did and spoke. The man wants to be loved and praised by all. Again, I don’t know him, and I didn’t
research him too deeply, but I know the human condition all too well. Am I not also a man in a fallen world? Would I stand firm if I somehow become “popular”?

The sad fact is that often the only difference between most of us and a Carl Lentz or a Jimmy Swaggart is that we are not gifted or handsome enough to attract such a following and so much temptation. We do not have the capacity to sin on the level of those high-profile celebrities, so we think we are better. “Take heed, lest you fall” (1 Cor 10:12). For most men, it is not that
they succumb to the temptation of throngs of women throwing themselves at them, or thousands and thousands of people in a congregation lapping up everything they say. For most of us, it is smaller and more subtle. Perhaps it is an addiction to pornography, or allowing yourself to be manipulated by female colleagues, because you want them to like you.

— From the book: Christian Manliness: The Courage to Stand Firm

The fear of speaking up and speaking out in truth is destroying the modern Christian church in the United States. Christian men have lost courage.

Christian men are not being courageous in the home, church, or communities. This must Stop! Our King deserves courage as He had courage in the face of opposition. The enemy and fleshly comfort is being allowed to have an unchecked lead role as head of our lives.

The fear of losing the praise of men, the fear of losing our jobs, the fear of fully believing the Truth of who Jesus is. This first battle is within us, as men, to overcome our own doubt and start living like we genuinely believe in Truth!

My hope is that Christian Manliness: The Courage to Stand Firm is going to spur reflection and action and act as a reminder that we, as Christians, are on the side of Truth. We don’t dabble in far flung conspiracy, false teachings or hope in man, but we stand firm on the Truth of Jesus Christ.

We must be courageous in the face of opposition and be ready to accept the price of following Christ as we also must be willing to accept and repent of our own failures.

Taming the Flesh and Extending the Mission (My Journey to Physical Fitness)

Disciplining the body is one of the hardest things for people to do, especially for someone who is going through a life change like a new job, new baby, a financial decision, and any number of life situations.

Yet disciplining our bodies and taming our fleshly desires are a required step in our journey to spiritual maturity and a good physical state of health.

At one point in my life, at around age 36, I started losing my confidence. I felt like I was getting physically weak, I was overweight, and I didn’t feel like anyone would want to ever take me seriously because of the way I looked. This, of course, is partly a lie of the evil one to try and hold me back from the purpose God has for me. But, it was somewhat true. Because of my lack of confidence, I was being held back and I was not being impactful.

I wasn’t being as impactful at work, in my home, in my career or in the mission and purpose to share the Gospel.

We all want to be able to work on our mission to spread the Gospel of Christ with vigor and energy until the day we die. Right?

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
Romans 6:12‭-‬14 NASB
https://bible.com/bible/100/rom.6.12-14.NASB

In our mission to share the Gospel we must often remove the pole from our own eye before helping our neighbor remove the speck from his eye.

If we are struggling to tame our own fleshly desires, how can we help anyone else see a better way?

Guess what, you don’t have to be a pastor, full time preacher or evangelist to preach/teach others. And I don’t want to disqualify myself by allowing my fleshly desires to rule over me.

Though I will stumble Lord, help me not to fall. And if a fall is ever necessary for learning, Lord never let it be so. Let my body be used for your service until the day I meet you face to face.

but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.
1 Corinthians 9:27 NASB
https://bible.com/bible/100/1co.9.27.NASB

In full context this passage relates to sharing the Gospel with others where they are in life, but not partaking in the circumstance that they are in. We must exercise self-control.

I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it. Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.
1 Corinthians 9:23‭-‬27 NASB
https://bible.com/bible/100/1co.9.23-27.NASB

For me, exercising self-control first started with my food addictions and stress behavior. Setting goals in the app MyFitnessPal was the best thing for me.

Then I hit a weight loss plateau after losing 30 pounds. Why? Because I was getting about 15% of my calories from sugary foods? (sweet tea)

Then I lost another 10 pounds after cutting out excessive sugar. I try to stay around 50 grams of sugar a day, but most days I am under that around 20 grams.

I felt great about my weight loss at that point. And my self-esteem and confidence were allowing me to be bolder in my sharing of the Gospel. Though I know my boldness should come from my faith and the Holy Spirit working in me, and it does. But a little self-confidence does not hurt. 

Then I hit another plateau. I knew at that point I would have to hit the gym. Which I didn’t want to do. Having to miss my lunch time to change clothes and make my body hurt was not appealing. But then Eric joined my team. Eric runs marathons and hits the weight room. So now I had a partner to teach me.

It was accountability and expert advice on how to train that moved me on to reaching my personal fitness goal.

I started seeing body changes after about a month that motivated me tremendously. Then comes a goal, run a 5K. I hated running. Why would anyone want to run? I’ve hated it since high school.

Check.

Next goal run a half marathon. Check. Run in under 2 hours. Check

But then I set myself another goal. Goals must be achievable but not easy. My new goal was to prove I had abs. I’d never seen them, but I was sure they must exist.

I’m still working at this goal because I’m not satisfied. But I press on. (March 2019 Update: They do exist at about 11% body fat and under, I’m currently at ~10%)

But the ultimate goal is to extend and invigorate the mission I have to share the Gospel for as long as God has me in this flesh tent.

Now what? Well, now I want to help others reach their goals.

In the winter of 2019, I began studying for my NASM Certified Personal Trainer test. And in the spring of 2020, finally after the Covid lockdowns end and allowed the testing centers to open, I am now a Certified NASM Personal Trainer.

And my mission is to help other men, like me, to achieve their fitness goals, to regain their confidence, and begin Taming the Flesh!