The Man of God
By Gary Kantola
The Word is quite clear in declaring that the godly man does indeed impact his generation. Solomon simply stated, "When the righteous triumph, there is great elation; but when the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding" (Prov. 28:12, TNIV).
Think with me about this idea. How many men does it take to make a difference in a life lived? Probably not too many. I can count on one hand the number of men who have had an influence on me that determined the direction and character of my life. And that transference of godliness is a model that Jesus used in taking just 12 men under His spiritual guidance and with them He has changed the world. Jesus knew the power of the difference of one. One man of God can do the impossible as he cooperates with the God of power and authority.
Here are a few qualities a man of God possesses that are key ingredients in making it possible for the world to be changed—for His will to be done here on earth, just as it is in heaven:
1. Great Vision
While most are debating whether the glass is half full or half empty, the man of God oozes vision. He sees things that God has planned way before it is apparent to the masses. One man can turn the tide for God. Gideon was a powerful example of the difference one man can make on an entire region. How many men did God appear to when He needed to free His people from their intolerable bondage of a despotic ruler? Only one.
Before Gideon had accomplished a thing, the Lord processed a vision in him. And before too long, in spite of Gideon's timidity and small beginnings, he was leading the charge with 300 men that changed the course of history. God's people again enjoyed the blessings of God's promises as the enemy was completely destroyed.
Andy Stanley writes in his book Visioneering: "When we embrace a vision in its infancy, before anything has really 'happened,' we are making a statement about our confidence in the person and character of God. Pursuing a divine vision is really an act of worship. It is a declaration of our confidence in God. It is a proclamation of how important we believe His agenda to be. And God is honored."
2. Good Gifts
We live in a world that is obsessed with stuff. Yet a man of God doesn't live to gather stuff—he lives to give stuff away. James said it like this, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures" (James 1:17-18, NKJV).
A man of God lives like His Father does—giving good gifts, perfect gifts, away to others because that is how God designed it. The greatest gifts yet to be given to humanity are locked up in the heart of a real man of God. Some of our world's greatest gifts will be given by a man who has steeled himself to finding God's perfect will in his life when no one was looking. Out of the abundance of that generous heart, fabulous and profound gifts will come that will bless generations to come. Entire nations will be impacted by the difference of one man of God that is living his life as a gift to others.
3. Singleness of Heart
Even in the church, many men have yet to settle the question "Who's in charge?" A man may say he is a Christian, but his life may exhibit less than a godly lifestyle. James tells the double-minded man to cleanse his heart. Paul told the Hebrew Christians that a double-minded man was unstable in all his ways.
A man of God has settled the sin issue. It is possible for him to sin, just not probable. He has decided to become a “slave to righteousness.” In his book When Heaven Invades Earth, Bill Johnson states this principle eloquently: "I cannot limit my values and pursuits to what makes others comfortable. Being possessed by a promise, I live without options. I will spend the rest of my life exploring what could happen through the life of one who is willing to cultivate the God-given appetite to see impossibilities bow to the name of Jesus. All my eggs are in one basket. There is no 'plan B.' And it is from this posture that I live."
4. Effective Prayer
"The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with. Elijah, for instance, human just like us, prayed hard that it wouldn't rain, and it didn't—not a drop for three and a half years. Then he prayed that it would rain, and it did. The showers came and everything started growing again" (James 3:17-18, The Message). The man who knows God will be more effective in prayer than the man who knows about God. One man's prayer can change the atmosphere of his home. One man's prayer can change the atmosphere in the work place. One man's prayer can change the direction of a nation. Jesus actually gave us permission to pray that His kingdom would come, and that His will would be done on earth, just as it is in heaven.
5. A Superb Eternity
The angelic hosts break out into rejoicing when just one sinner repents. Why? Because they understand that there is a profound change in what heaven will look like for eternity. While the angels sing, Jesus builds another mansion for one more of His children.
A man of God spends much of his energy on one of his most important of responsibilities—to disciple another one into the kingdom of Christ. He lives to give Jesus away. A man of God lives to make Jesus relevant to those he has been commissioned to reach with the good news.
What our world desperately needs, more than another technological advance or more wealth, is another man of God. Another man who understands the difference of just one man, committed to following the call and voice of God in his life. In The Call, Os Guinness issues this challenge: "The caller may be unseen and the destination unknown, but those who follow His call have a voice above and vision ahead that subverts every status quo and unsettles every resting place. … God's calling inspires and guarantees only those visions that are truly the result of calling."
And with just one more man, we can change our world! And Christ will be lifted up and His kingdom will be advanced. With just one more man of God. Are you that man?
Gary Kantola is the pastoral adviser for United Men of Faith in Catasauqua, Penn.