Learn Stability in the Storm!

Keep It Simple
Keep It Simple

Younger men, you do need guidance from older men. At the same time, the myth that the older generation has it all together must be erased. We don’t. We are learning and growing in many of the same ways young men are.

God has taught older men a number of things, though — through our strengths and weaknesses, through our successes and failures — that he may have intended for you. There is counsel that can ground you in the midst of life’s turbulence (inside of you and around you) and equip you to become more mature in Christ (Colossians 1:28).

Here are five points that have served me well…

1. Find your identity in Christ.

It might sound cliché, but far and away the most important thing I have to say to younger men is that your identity must be anchored in Christ (Romans 6:112 Corinthians 5:17). We all define ourselves in various ways, and some of these are appropriate to an extent. But our identity must, first and foremost, be grounded in Christ. It is in our union with him that we have deep and real security. We are perfectly known and deeply loved (Ephesians 1:4–5).

“Far and away the most important thing I have to say to younger men is your identity must be anchored in Christ.”

You might know this theologically, but there’s a difference between knowing and knowing, you know? Each day — often each moment — when you find yourself despairing of love, look to Christ. When you find yourself seeking affirmation, look to Christ. When you find yourself needing to feel significant, look to Christ. When you have been slighted, or treated unjustly, look to Christ (Philippians 1:29–30).

Of course, God gives us people in our lives to help with these things (Philemon 7), but they cannot do it ultimately or decisively. Only Christ can bring true contentment, true identity, and true security (Philippians 4:11). Stop seeking your vindication and approval, and receive what Jesus purchased in full for you at the cross.

2. Have a plan for maturity.

I don’t need to tell you to grow up. You already know your need to resist our culture’s slipping demands on boys to become men. A boy used to become a man at 21. Then it was 30. Now it’s 40. I know you want to be mature. Desire alone will not mature you, though. You need a plan. Just getting older does not guarantee that you will mature — there are few things sadder than a 36-year-old boy, but they are out there in bulk.

Look around at men who are older than you — maybe ten years or more. Who do you want to be like? What characteristics would you like to have by the time you’re their age? What would following Christ look like at that stage of life (1 Corinthians 11:1)? Imagine the more mature man you want to be and take specific steps to become him.

Put to death the sins of your youth (Romans 8:13). It’s easy to think we will just grow out of certain sinful practices, attitudes, or beliefs. By God’s grace, sometimes that happens. But more often we just grow more deeply ingrained into the patterns and habits we establish in our youth (James 1:15). So, you need to be proactive and put these things to death. Don’t just assume they’ll go away one day. With God’s power in you and behind you, “Work out your own salvation” (Philippians 2:12–13).

3. Invest in your friends.

I have not been good on this front, and I continue to pay the price (Ecclesiastes 4:12). You need two or three close male friends whom you can talk to about everything. Male friendship has fallen on hard times in our culture for various reasons, but it is one of the most precious gifts God can give to a young man. If you don’t have close friends, pray for one and seek him out.

“Getting older does not guarantee that you will mature.”

Be vulnerable, be honest, and share in his troubles too (1 John 1:9). But also be prepared for potential disappointment; not every guy is looking for the same thing, and many already have their key friendships in place.

Seeking an older brother is important too. We all need an older man’s perspective, someone who can encourage us, who’s been there, and who knows that we’ll get through it, whatever it is.

Invest in your friends, but don’t rely on them to do what only Christ can do. This will put too much pressure on your friendships, and you will ultimately be disappointed and possibly disillusioned. Friendship is great (1 Samuel 18:3), but we need Christ more than any friend.

4. Stop looking for the perfect woman.

The perfect woman does not exist, so stop looking for her. Hollywood has lied and taught you wrongly (Proverbs 7:21–23). If you hope to be married, better to spend your energy developing your own godliness and maturity. Become a better husband (1 Corinthians 16:13), rather than shopping for a better woman.

Your future wife, perfectly fit or not, will never give you the wholeness that comes only from Christ. If you are looking for a wife to make you feel complete, to be fully known, or to give you security, you will put too much pressure on your marriage and you’ll be disappointed. On the other hand, if you both know who you are in Christ, you will have the right foundation for a good marriage.

If you’re already married, you know by now that you didn’t marry the perfect woman. Don’t keep looking for the perfect woman (Proverbs 18:2219:14), as though you missed her. That lie comes from Hollywood too. That kind of thinking fails to trust God’s sovereign goodness (Proverbs 6:27–29). Love the wife he has given you, and don’t be a fool (Proverbs 5:18)!

 

5. Be strong — and gentle.

Masculinity is experiencing an identity crisis. Men don’t know whether they are supposed to be soft guys, tough guys, or something in between. I think we need men who have courage, especially courage in their convictions (Psalm 27:14Matthew 10:22). True courage comes from security, and that is only truly found in the truth about Christ (John 10:28). See point 1.

“We need men in the church who are strong, dependable, courageous, and tender.”

We need to be strong — strong enough to be gentle (2 Corinthians 10:9). God our Father is almighty and powerful (Psalm 147:5), but he also cares for the widow and the orphan (Psalm 146:9). He knows compassion and is tenderhearted (Isaiah 40:11Luke 1:78). This balance is hard to get right, but it’s important.

We don’t need more tough guys who are insensitive to the needs and feelings of others. But we also don’t need more sensitive guys without any backbone. Empathy matters, compassion matters, and gentleness matters. We need to be strong, dependable, and courageous. But we also need to know how to love, give, and comfort.

Stability in the Storm

When you’re young, it’s very easy to be overwhelmed by the details of every circumstance immediately in front of you — every opportunity lost, every breakup, every failure, every sin. As you’ve likely noticed above, the older you get, the more your union with Christ becomes a discernibly meaningful and stabilizing reality.

Cling to Christ, and as you mature as a man, he will make clear to you the beauty and relevance of your union with him. He promises, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5) — not now, not in your journey of growth as a man, and not when you are older. “He who calls you is faithful; he will surely [sanctify and mature you]” (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

A season of Promised Land

Psalm 22.3 tells us that God inhabits the praises of his people.  No matter what you are facing, when you choose to stop, cultivate your gratitude and give him praise, He meets you. This is a season of Promised Land testimonies. God is doing a new thing, filling your mouth with praise and endless hallelujahs! In this season, you get the opportunity to get over yourself and watch God create order around you. He is aligning your heart with His plans and purposes. Pull out your dream list and watch what God will do! 

ENDLESS HALLELUJAH 

Psalm 22.3 tells us God inhabits the praises of his people. The word “praise” means “offering grateful homage to God” (Patheo.com). There is beauty and power in taking the focus off the woes of our day and giving Him the honor He is due.  We are transformed in that moment, because, in a beautiful way, we are submitting ourselves to God.

The Hebrew word for worship is shachah which literally means “to bow down or prostrate oneself.”  It is in taking this stance that not only does God meet us, but He shifts things into place.  In taking this posture of submission and offering our sacrifice of praise, we are cultivating divine order in our life.  Give Him your endless hallelujah!

SWEET SURRENDER

“Create a new, clean heart within me.

Fill me with pure thoughts and holy desires, ready to please you.”

Psalm 51.10 (The Passion Translation)

God is bringing your heart into alignment with His purposes and His plans, and He’s calling you to take stock of your heart.  You have a continual invitation to evaluate your heart and purge anything that is not of God. Many of you have encountered relational difficulties.  Fights, betrayals and tension have hurt you deeply. Harsh words, pent up frustration, and bitterness were like daggers to your heart. In the midst of your pain, you have a choice in this season to surrender your offense.

Carrying offense wreaks havoc in our soul (and body), and ultimately it can lead to resentment and bitterness, making our heart hard. It is your choice to let things go so God can come in and heal you.  He makes all things new, and His brand of restoration makes you better than you were before.  

PROMISED LAND

This is the time of Promised Land testimonies.  God is doing a new thing; He’s causing promises, dreams, and relationships to come alive – to be birthed. Many of these hopes have been long-awaited. He’s bringing people together, causing divine set-ups and relational unions that never could’ve worked before.  This is a season for new couples, engagements, weddings, pregnancies, and all kinds of desires of the heart to come into being.  This is a time to pull out your dream list and watch what God will do.  Pay attention to what God is doing, because it will be part of a testimony.  Psalm 32.8 tells us, “I will guide you with my eye.” It is a time to look to Him, to be moved by His presence as He gracefully unveils what He has been orchestrating behind the scenes for years.  Prepare to be wowed, as it’s better than you could’ve hoped or dreamed. It will be the manifestation of abundance.

He’s also revealing a new facet of the bride of Christ.  The body is accessing new territory, corporately inhabiting more of the kingdom.  It is a season for souls to be saved, prodigals to return home, new levels in miracles, and supernatural increase in things of the spirit.  Just as the Israelites crossed over the Jordan and into the Promised Land, much was revealed as they stepped out of the water. It’s a whole new world! The bride of Christ is being purified in order to be seen for who she is in all her glory.  

FREEDOM

“Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”  

2 Corinthians 3.17

False beliefs have been a part of our world for so long that they often feel like truth. This season, watch as God makes clear to you any false beliefs you’ve been holding onto.

These false beliefs can sound like:

  • There is never enough
  • I will always be alone
  • God is not big enough to do that  

The primary belief He’s uncovering is fear.  Fear manifests in many ways in our lives, but it often feels like control, anxiety, or insecurity.  It can also look like isolation, anger, frustration, or judgment.  These false beliefs have been woven so intricatelyinto the fabric of our lives that it can feel scary to let go of them.  God is standing by ready to do the work to rid you of these lies – you need only surrender to His process.  Allow Him access into your vulnerable parts. Unparallelled freedom awaits you on the other side of these beliefs.   

DECLARATIONS

We at The Crowning Jewels believe in the absolute, transformational power of declarations.  We know truth comes by hearing (Romans 10.17), and speaking truth is a way to renew our minds (Romans 12.2). We also believe that in speaking forth these declarations, you will change your life.  We invite you to partner with what God is doing, and say these declarations as you journey throughout your season. We would love to hear what God does! Please email us your testimony at tellyourstory@thecrowningjewels.com.

  1. God inhabits the praises of His people.
  2. I choose to surrender my heart to the work God is doing.
  3. God is bringing me into my Promised Land.
  4. Fear is a liar and I choose truth.
  5. Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. a season of Promised Land  God inhabits the praises of His people.
  6. I choose to surrender my heart to the work God is doing.
  7. God is bringing me into my Promised Land.
  8. Fear is a liar and I choose truth.
  9. Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.