Stephen Mansfield in his book, “Building Your Band of Brothers” makes this observation: “Men are made to protect the territory assigned to them and to assure that everything within that territory fulfills its God-ordained purpose.” “Manly men tend their field” is a vibrant theme in Mansfield’s work with men. It is based on II Cor. 10:13, where Paul defines the boundaries of his responsibility. “We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the field God has assigned to us, a field that reaches even to you.” Men, how well are you protecting your field. Many men are missing in action, having surrendered their responsibility.
This blog comes as a “Wildman alert.” “Don’t get taken out!” Don’t let the evil one take you out as manly man. “The thief,” Jesus warns, ” comes only to steal and kill and destroy” ( John 10:10). Men, we are warned, “Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour” ( I Peter 5:8 – Amplified). Satan is cunning and cruel. “He attacks when least expected and desires to destroy completely those whom he attacks” (Amplified footnote).
Recently I was mediating on Mat 24:42-ff, where Jesus tell us to “keep watch” and to be ready. “If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into” (Matt 24:43). I had been going through some “emotional and spiritual turbulence” with my lovely bride. I was withdrawn in my spirit causing me to neglect my wife. Then I woke up to the realization that I had allowed the enemy to break into my spiritual house. He was robbing our marriage of its usual harmony and oneness. I cried out for mercy, repenting of my attitude and rebuking the enemy’s presence in my marriage. I had almost been taken out.
Men, our primary assignment is tend and protect our home, that is, our marriage and family. The enemy wants to take you out. I was missing in action, licking my self-righteous wounds, justifying my attitude and finding ways to blame my wife for her behavior. When I stood and rebuked the enemy, I immediately felt a heaviness lift and a new energy to engage my wife on a more intimate level. I had to confess to my wife my selfish withdrawal from her. I had not been alert. The enemy had gotten me with his “flaming arrows.”
Here is what I want you to know from my experience of almost being taken out. First, don’t let your guard down. We need to be awake. That means practicing the presence of Jesus. Live in his presence throughout the day, no matter what you are doing. His Spirit will alert you to the dangers of the enemy. It came to me in a flash of a moment. I knew immediately why there was such “spiritual turbulence” in my home. Secondly, stand in the strength of the Lord. Your wife and kids can not do this for you. You are responsible for protecting your family. Ask Jesus for his help.
Thirdly, tend your field. Being AWOL is not an option. God asked Adam, “Where are you?” What do you have to say about tending our field? Fourthly, the enemy will attack you. He wants to take you out of action. Above all else, stay engage spiritual. That means making your relationship with the Lord central to all you do.