Recently Judy and I hosted a “wildman Saturday.” This group has been meeting for over seven years. It has caused me to often ask the Lord, “What do you want to do among these men?” Within the last year I began to wonder if the group should disband. But in the last few times, there has been a new stirring of the Spirit. I wonder, is there a “new stirring” occurring among committed men in our culture, hidden from public awareness, but becoming a leaven for renewal, where men are planted in their communities and churches. A good watch word for these men would be I Cor 16:13-14, “Be on guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.”
I want to share some of these “wonderings” in this blog. First, and foremost, experiencing the love of God. I John 4:19 tells us, “We love because He first loved us” (4:19). This is what God does within us. He loves us that we might love Him, through the love he has for us. Nothing is more important than for men to be secure at the center, knowing they are love for who they are; men who have been fathered by God. Secondly, having a contemplative posture before God. Men are desiring to know the abiding presence of the Lord in a “dry and thirsty land.” It is reassuring to know of other men who have a hunger and passion to know God beyond “God talk.” “Soul talk” is prominent among these men. Thirdly, men are sharing with vulnerability their stories of faith, the good, the bad and the ugly, among themselves. Hearing the honest stories of other brothers, helps in learning to articulate “the Good News” over and against the dominant cultural narrative.
Fourthly, men are gathering to share their experiences of living in “occupied territory.” They don’t want to talk about ideas or programs. They want to know how other men are doing on the battle field. Much of the sharing comes from “wounded warriors.” How do we, “Fight the good fight of faith” ( I Tim. 6:12) in a foreign land? The Fifth wondering has to do with discernment. Men feel alone and isolated on the journey. The blare of opinions, along with empty promises for the future, cause men to wonder if they should simply go into “coast” rather than stand for the right. There is a deep need for discernment regarding the moral and spiritual condition of our culture viewed through the lens of the presence of God’s kingdom in our midst.
I wonder if God is not raising up “watchmen” in strategic locations all across our land. These are men who feel a deep stirring in their souls that our culture is coming under judgment. These men need to be encouraged that God is speaking to their hearts. “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak, and give them warning from me” (Ezk. 33:7). God is placing men on the walls of the culture, to give warning to the church. He is raising men up in the spirit of Elijah. “And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous – to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:16). “Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill” (Joel 2:1). A watchmen warns of a coming danger. Are we already seeing the signs of God’s judgement?