Every man needs to be prepared for the battles that will come and to be aware of his blind spots. Temptations and idols are issues for all of us, and this has devastated men throughout history. But God is for us, not against us. John 10:10 says that Jesus came so that we could have life—and not just life, but an abundant life.
Many men think that their desires are the problem and spend their time and energy focused on constantly trying to limit their desires. But it's not that our desires are too strong and need to be dialed back; actually they're too weak and need to be redirected. So the problem isn't desire. The problem is misplaced desire.
Here are three steps to build a battle plan that will help guide you on your journey to Authentic Manhood:
Admit the Struggle
- Admit your struggle to yourself and to God. Own up that there is an external issue causing problems and that has become an idol in your life.
- Get an accurate picture of where you really are and what you are really struggling with.
- Be brutally honest about your struggles with one or more trustworthy men.
- Avoid the 97 percent rule. Do not hold back the worst, and potentially most important, details of your struggle.
- Remove your mask with trustworthy teammates and begin moving towards God's grace.
Identify the Lie
- Go below the surface and identify the lie that is seducing you, the lie that you believe at the core of your heart.
- Remember that all idols over-promise and under-deliver. How is this idol duping you? What is it promising?
- It helps to work through the diagnostic questions on pages 22-23 of the Training Guide. They will help you connect your behaviors with the real issues of your heart.
Replace With the Truth
- Replace your idols with something that is better, something reliable that comes through ... with (1) the truth of grace and forgiveness in Jesus and (2) the more satisfying promises of Scripture.
- Believe with all of your heart in the grace of Christ, that His gift of salvation makes us come alive in Him.
- Totally embrace the reality that God's grace is the most powerful thing in the universe.
- Follow Jesus' example in the wilderness (Matt. 4) by replacing the lies that you are believing with the truth offered in God's Word.
- Transformation (true life-change, replacing your idols) begins with the renewing of your mind with the truth of God's Word.
Remember God is for, not against, our true happiness. With these three steps, you now have a biblical process, a battle plan, to fight fire with fire.