A Christian Man’s Survival Guide.

Where do you go when SHTF?

Your moral compass has disappointed you. Your intelligence lacking. All those reps you did on your biceps aren’t doing squat for you now.

Hanging by your fingernails, your taking fire from multiple locations. No brother is there to reach down and pull you out. Time you’ve put into God’s word determines the outcome. The Truth needs to be stapled into your cranium cause it’s time to launch counter-measures.

Live Fire Training

This is my current Go-bag of memory verses. I need to handle them often and keep them close. Cause stuff will go south. Count on it. When I got them all mapped, there’s more. I added them to a cue card app to test myself. Testing is Mandatory! Use this or make your own. But just get training. Don’t think about it. Act.

Stay True. Stay Ready.

1 John 1:9 (ESV)
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Hebrews 10:39 (ESV)   But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (ESV)   But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Proverbs 18:9 (ESV)   Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys.

1 Peter 2:24 (ESV)   He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

John 3:16-17 (ESV)   For God so loved the world,that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV)   Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Joshua 1:8-9 (ESV)   This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Galatians 2:20 (ESV)   I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

2 Corinthians 5:21 (ESV)   For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)   Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Romans 8:37-39 (ESV)  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6:10-11 (ESV)   For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Proverbs 22:17-18 (ESV)   Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge, for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you, if all of them are ready on your lips.

Proverbs 22:29 (ESV)  Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.

Psalm 103:12 ESV)  as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

Ephesians 5:15-16 (ESV)  Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.

Psalm 119:9-11 (ESV)  How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

Philippians 3:8-11 (ESV)   Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith– that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Proverbs 4:25-27 (ESV)   Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.

Proverbs 25:28 (ESV)   A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.

Christian Man: Warrior or Civilian

One of the young men answered, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence, and the LORD is with him.” – 1 Samuel 16:18

I have been reading a lot about David recently. He was man after God’s own heart and I want that so bad in my own life. The preceding verse really spoke to me on who he was.

Skillful. Man of Valor. Man of War. Prudent. Presence. The Lord was WITH HIM.

If that’s not a description of a Christian Warrior, I don’t know what is. We, as men, have a lot of decisions to make in life. The most important, by far, is the type of Christian man you Decide to be. Warrior or Civilian.

How do they differ? Let’s see…

When a gun fight breaks out, how does a Civilian react? They run for cover. That is who they are. They are conflict adverse. They do not engage hostile forces. In our scenario, we sit in pews, drink coffee, and eat cake.

Warriors, on the other hand, run to the sound of gun fire. That’s their call to action. It has been bred into their DNA. The aren’t just winging it. They train themselves for battle. They keep their weapons clean and ready. They EXPECT A FIGHT.

The question needs to be asked then… How do you approach your faith?

Do you person read the bible and actually believe it to be the sword of truth? Do you memorize scripture and expect your thinking to change? Do you pray for those around you, knowing that God will do stuff in peoples lives?  Are you engaged or just playing bible games?

For me, I gotta take a good hard look in the freakin’ mirror, assess what I see, and be honest with myself. Man after God’s heart or total suckage? I know the answer. If I were actually engaged and in battle, I would have the scars to prove it.

I don’t think that’s enough for me. There is no resemblance to David. I need to accept where I am weak and uncommitted, change it up, and engage myself spiritually like it’s something worth giving my life for.

Stop the binge watching Netflix and read Proverbs. Get wise. Do something hard on your brain like memorize a chapter. Pray for a neighbor. Pray for a hundred neighbors!!! God isn’t just floating around and doesn’t care what your at. He wants men to be engaged in the fight.

I’m gonna read that verse again and check my pulse. Battle tested Warrior. Solid character. The LORD, who creates worlds with His breathe, was with him.  If it DOESN’T make my heart pump just a little and inspire something more in me… Bad news… I may be as good as dead.

Gettin’ Blow Up!

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 ESV

 I, for the first time in my life, really felt like a child of God.

Funny thing, it wasn’t at some jacked up church service. It wasn’t at an all-night prayer service. It wasn’t during some devotional time when God’s word felt it was speaking right to me.

It was after the bomb went off in my life and I got crushed. Crushed by the consequences that played out from My Own Sin.

I had taken advantage of God. Taken advantage of his blessing. Of his love. Of his patience. I was an Entitled Disciple.

So now here I was with my head ringing and stressed beyond being sensible. Work failure. Social implosion. Financial hardship. A man in classic failure mode.

Cowards Hide.

When adversity confronts us it’s so easy to hide. Hide in bad choices. Hide by blaming others. Hide by making excuses. Hiding makes things worse.

It is not Christ-like. It is not being a Man. It is not being a Warrior. It’s being a freakin’ wuss. Good thing for us, God specializes in having grace for repentant wusses. He works as a craftsman in giving men a ground-up rebuild to be used for His glory.

There is a bible verse that I hold tightly now, that makes me feel more loved than any other,

 “And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” 

Hebrews 12:5-6 ESV

Fathers Discipline. Fathers Love.

There is two things that I have learned through this. Fathers should discipline there sons when they need it, and give them unearned love when they don’t deserve it. I was getting both.

God had allowed my careless handling of my faith, and sinful behavior to come full circle and bite me in the rear. He didn’t do this out of hate. He did it out of love and not wanting me to destroy myself or my family.

I made the bad decisions and He allowed the consequences to happen . That’s Discipline and Love. A two for one deal.

God didn’t stop there with me. While I was having thoughts like, “God, you got the wrong guy.  I am just not good enough for this,” something very clear was impressed upon me. “Your right. Your not. But I am.”

Thats where the love comes in. That’s where strength comes in. When we confess our sins, God is so willing to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. He becomes our strength.

With me, he started a change with one verse. Then another. Building brick upon brick.

Was it painfully slow? Absolutely. God forgives us eternally but the temporal consequences of sin seem to hang around. And that’s a good thing for us.

Remembering the result of sin and the Need of a Savior is something no believer wants to take advantage of. I did. And it hurt. Bad.

God hasn’t fixed everything up. He continues to allow different struggles. But I know I have a father that uses hardship to harden me and build my trust in Him. Trustworthiness begets love.

I don’t want faith just when times are good. I want it when Stuff Hits The Fan. When life’s bad and ugly. Faith is measured by the strain it’s put under.

Being a child of God isn’t easy. Never was supposed to be. Ask Jesus. Ask Paul. Ask Peter. It brings Suffering. But suffering can bring joy when we understand the outcome of it. The really cool part is….

 Our greatest opportunites for growth come from the challenges we don’t get to pick.

For mine, I am thankful.

Trust God that He is using them for HIS GLORY and YOUR SALVATION.