But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you…Acts 1:8
After being raised conservative Baptist I had, what I believed to be, a solid fundamental foundation of Christianity. I was secure in my salvation and continued in my faith well into my early 40’s. Growing up in private Christian Schools and remaining dedicated to seeking and growing in my Christian life I would not describe my life as “secular” and definitely never “backsliden”. Sure, there were times I can look back and know I wasn’t as close to Christ as I should have been but I definitely saw myself as a person who sought a life following Christ, my Savior. But even with this mindset and drive, I would describe my life as one of spiritual frustration and falling short. Guilt was an everyday feeling. Never living up to the man God wanted me to be was a constant reminder of falling short of God’s standard for my life. How could this be? The Bible is full of scripture speaking of the transforming power of God, yet where was this power? Where was the freedom found in Christ if the only constant in life was was not living up?
Is this you? I believe this sense of mediocrity plagues the men of today. After years of working with Christian men, leading men’s ministry, I saw more men struggling with this same issue than not. Why did I witness men, whose true desire was to follow Christ with whole-hearted dedication, seem to settle with being lukewarm?
One simple theological concept continued to haunt me. One thing that never made sense. My Christian “knowledge”, and even the knowledge of those who had taught me, failed to answer one simple, but very important question. I was taught that the Bible is as relevant to us today as it was to the early Christian Church, with one exception. Acts chapter 2 was an odd and even spooky chapter in God’s Word. It describes the Day of Pentecost. It describes a very unusual incident in which the Holy Spirit came upon these early believers. But that’s not all. The Spirit came down as tongues of fire and everyone present began to speak in tongues. It was an uncomfortable topic to discuss in the conservative baptist world, almost a spiritual taboo if you will. When the subject was questioned or questions were asked that would cause a deeper dive into the subject, the answer was always the same…this was a one time incident that occurred to only those first believers; it was a supernatural event to “jump start” the early church and spread of the gospel.
What does this have to do with the missing link, the mediocrity of the modern day male? This is the question my blog will answer in my upcoming posts. I’m no scholar, no PhD in Theology hangs on my wall. However, because I have been faithful in seeking Him, His grace has brought me to an understanding on this subject that has drawn me closer to Christ and immersed in His love. Guilt no longer plagues me. I still fail everyday to live the life I was created to live. But, the freedom is there, the mercy is abundant and the power to push on is alive and well. Not in me per se but in the Spirit who lives inside me. If you find yourself in this situation please read this series of posts. May the God who loves you, the Savior who died for you and the Spirit who indwells you lead you into a full understanding of the missing link.
Recommended reading: Remembering the Forgotten God by Francis Chan.