I remember it like it was yesterday! I was 18 years old, away from home for the first time as I began my freshman year of college. I was scared to death! I have always struggled with fear controlling my life, but this was different. I was out of my element completely!
It wasn’t like I didn’t know anyone at the college. My sister was a senior during my freshman year, so I knew some of her friends. So I had this comfort blanket to rely on, but still, I felt the enormity of change in my life.
Then it happened. Some of the guys in my dorm that I had met at orientation asked me to come with them dam jumping. Now, you have to understand, I am not an adventurous person by nature. I am cautious and careful. I grew up with a lot of fear issues because of abuse in my life. But that day, something inside of me said I needed to step up and conquer my fears if I was going to survive 4 years of college. So I accepted their offer.
As we drove towards the dam, I was literally shaking. I was scared to death. My fear was in no way alleviated when they told me to keep my eyes out for cops, because they frowned upon the college students jumping off the dam. Technically, it wasn’t completely legal, but all the cops could do was ticket you for parking along the side of the road. I wanted to go straight back to the car and drive back to campus! However, there were already about 20-30 other students there, so I couldn’t back out now!
I will never forget how I felt standing on the edge of the rocks, preparing to jump thousands of feet to my death! (ok, it was only about 30 feet, but to me it seemed WAY higher!) Somehow, I found the strength to run up and make the leap! I will NEVER forget the feeling as my feared was replaced by this amazing feeling of freedom and excitement as gravity pushed me to the water. I am sure I was screaming like a little girl the whole way down, but, when I resurfaced from the water, I felt such a sense of victory and freedom in my life! I had conquered a fear! I had survived! (btw, after jumping about 5 more times, a cop did come and ticketed the driver!)
This was just the first of many times I have had to step to the edge of a mile high cliff and jump (yes, I know it was only 20-30 feet!), pushing my fear aside to do what God was calling me to do. I had to learn that, in life, fear keeps you from moving forward, while courage brings you victory.
Guy’s every man has a call on his life. God has called us all to be strong and courageous. God has called us to boldly go where he leads, and follow his commands. God is calling us as his men to get some courage, stand up, and fight! He calls us to be men committed to obeying him and the principles in His word. Remember in the Bible when God told Joshua to be strong and courageous? In this same passage, he also told Joshua to not let the Book of the law depart from him. We need to make sure that, as we step into the place God called us, we do it according to his Word. Trust me, in the world in which we live, this is vitally important. Why?
Because in today’s society, men are under attack. The enemy has placed his bull’s eye square on our backs. He knows as go the men, so goes a nation. He is trying to devalue men. He is feminizing men.
Our culture is actively redefining men. The world says men are selfish, only in life for themselves. They say you live to play and be irresponsible, you only work to have money to play. They say you are too stupid to lead a family. They say you don’t care about family. They believe you will turn your back and abandon your family.
Men are seen as having no morals or convictions. We are all just playboys chasing after any and all women. A real man in society is a man who is with a different woman each night. You can’t stay faithful to one woman for the rest of your life.
You have been redefined as emotionless figures who cannot feel or express emotions.
You have been declared uninterested in God. You hate to learn and grow. You won’t read the Bible or pray. You have no interest in being in a men’s group. You’re not qualified to lead in your church.
According to culture, you have no ability to manage money or be financially responsible. You only use money for play and self-gratification.
Guys, the enemy is attacking and devaluing us at every turn. Unfortunately, his lies are being seen as fact, and as a result, the decline in men is resulting in a decline in our society. We are on the brink of facing God’s judgement as a nation. Once again, God is looking for strong and courageous men who will stand up and say, “I WILL STAND! I will do it God’s way, I will make a difference!”
We need to courageously declare, “I am going to be the head of my family. Even if men all around me desert their family, I am committed to standing beside My family!”
With courage we must proclaim, “I am committed to working hard and providing for my family. Even if everyone around me uses their money for their own selfish gain, I will be a Good steward and use it to provide for my family and to invest in God’s Kindgom.”
We must boldly say to the world around us “I am committed to being a one woman man. I will never cheat on my wife. I have eyes only for her” …if you are single, then commit to standing pure and abstaining until your married. Show the world men can stand pure and not be a womanizer.
We can all stand for God, and declare, “I am a strong-confident man, confident enough to express emotion if I feel them. I will not fall into the worlds trap of saying I have no emotions or feelings. I will express my feelings like a mature, godly man, while not allowing my emotions to overflow in an unhealthy way.
Guys, we need to man up and courageously take a stand for God. We must declare we are men who love God’s word, who make it a priority, and who strive to live by his commandments. We will follow God wholeheartedly. We will submit to Him. We will take our place in the church and give to others instead of always taking. We will have active thriving men’s ministries, not designed around sucking each other dry, but designed around giving to each other and the community while providing help and support to each other in our spiritual battles.
Guys, God is looking for strong men! He is looking for men with courage! Will You walk to the cliff and find the strength to leap into God’s calling on your life?
A man can never realize his full potential in God’s kingdom until he comes to the place where he is willing to conquer his fears and be strong and courageous. Our world is crying out for men who will be strong and courageous! The question is, Will you be that man?
Will you begin to live your life with God with strength and courage? Will you make it your life’s goal to follow God wherever he sends you, to do whatever he asks you to do, no matter how big or overwhelming the job may be? Will you leap from the cliff to follow where God leads you to go? If so, you are well on your way to becoming a strong and courageous man!
Jamie is a graduate of the University of Valley Forge. He is also an ordained minister with the Penndel District of the Assemblies of God. Jamie’s passion is to help men overcome the pain of their past and reach their full potential as God’s men. “
Along with planning Mantour Conferences, Jamie enjoys writing and speaking to men. He's had articles featured in Prodigal Magazine, New Man Magazine, and on the Assemblies of God Men’s Ministry Website. His book “Putting On Manhood”, a book designed to help men grow into mature, godly men, was published in 2014.