Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Staying in the Battle by Locking Arms Together

I can’t think of a time in the last several decades when so many men were hurting and being tested as they are today. The economic meltdown is taking a heavy toll on not only our families and finances but on our hopes and dreams. Anxiety and isolation are widespread. Many men are retreating into isolation, confused and concerned about their identity, legacy and destiny.

In a dramatic scene in the movie Gladiator, Maximus Decimus Meridius and his fellow gladiators stand in the center of the Roman Coliseum before the Emperor and a blood thirsty crowd. This band of brothers face whatever horrors Caesar chooses send against them. Maximus says to his men, “Whatever comes out of these gates, we’ve got a better chance of survival if we work together. If we stay together we survive. Come together. Lock your shields, stay as one! Hold!”.

In John 15;15, Jesus says, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” “Nothing” doesn’t mean a little something! He means none of us can withstand on our own the challenges that come against us every day. We depend on His presence and power to live our lives 24/7. God so often works his sustaining power through our brothers in Christ. He does not intend us to be “Alone Rangers”. The wolf loves the lone sheep. Satan loves “Alone Rangers”. God wants us to have “battle brothers” with whom we can do life together through thick and thin. We need brothers who will watch our back, speak truth into our lives and cheer for us and affirm us in the fiercest storms.

Come join us at NCMM and be equipped and encouraged for whatever battle you’re in or heading into. Bring your “battle buddies” and connect to new brothers as together we experience the special camaraderie we have in Christ Jesus, who is our true identity, legacy and destiny.

© 2011, Dave Brown is a pastor and the director of the Washington Area Coalition of Men’s Ministries (WACMM) and has been the men’s pastor at McLean Bible Church in McLean, Va. He served for 30 years in the federal government’s Senior Executive Service (SES), including eight years as an appointee of President Ronald Reagan. He did his seminary work at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Reformed Theological Seminary. He’s been a leadership consultant, university administrator and member of the board of directors for the C.S. Lewis Institute.