The Son of God does the works of God He has been put on earth to do. The man of God imitates the Son of God and focuses his heart, soul, mind, and strength on doing the works of God with Jesus.
from Dangerous Good, by Kenny Luck
The truest thing about you is what God says is true.
But why? Why should I let God redefine me? Why should I release every last part of my will to this process? What will God do in my life if I say yes? If you are not asking these kinds of questions, you should.
Fortunately, we have a complete picture available to us of what a dangerous good life looks like. Jesus came and lived His life as a man; as such, we have a model in real time for how a man lives out his truest identity. He came not only to show us that living for an audience of one is the right way to be, believe, and behave, but also to motivate us to do the same as men in our time and context. Masculinity starts and stops with Jesus. He is both alpha and omega male when it comes to living in front of God.
As you see Jesus, see yourself reproducing His life in your context. This “identity-driven life” is your precise answer to how a man of God lives, what it means, and how it feels in the masculine context. Specifically, Jesus shows you four things.
1. Living out my truest identity gives me the greatest integrity.
They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.” (Mark 12:14 NIV)
The word integrity comes from the math term integer, which means whole or undivided. To possess personal and spiritual integrity means to have a life that is undivided between what you believe and how you actually live and think in real time. Jesus knew that He came from God and that He was going back to God; He knew who He was, so He didn’t have to become someone else. His identity in the Father provided an uncommon power over the opinions of people regarding His behavior, as well as an uncommon ability to advance God’s purposes without worry. His critics could not accuse Him of hypocrisy; even though they wanted to find dirt, Jesus was the real deal and they had to admit it.
Jesus was not a man pleaser but a God pleaser. He was an audience-of-one kind of guy. He didn’t have to overthink social settings or situational ethics because His identity told Him to do that one thing that would show love for God and people in a given moment.
2.Living out my truest identity gives me my strongest liberty.
[Jesus said,] “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.” (Matthew 11:19)
Unbound by the opinions of men and only concerned about the opinion of the Father, Jesus was free to associate with anyone and care for anyone. In fact, His identity in the Father provided Him with such a transcendent freedom that people mistook it for having low standards.
When we watch Jesus live out His truest identity, we both see and sense a personal liberty of thought and action. We see Jesus regularly accept those deemed physically unacceptable (lepers), ethnically unacceptable (Samaritans), morally unacceptable (prostitutes), and socially unacceptable (tax collectors) into His life and ministry. His identity in the Father allowed Him to jettison the boundaries and self-absorption of broken-male culture and get into the lives of those who most needed the grace and truth of God.
3. Living out my truest identity gets my best energy.
[Jesus said,] “As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.” (John 9 NIV)
A fireman puts out fires. A policeman protects the community against lawbreakers. A businessman makes money by providing a service. A foreman manages a project through to completion. What does a man of God do?
Again, our precise example is Jesus. The Son of God does the works of God He has been put on earth to do. The man of God imitates the Son of God and focuses his heart, soul, mind, and strength on doing the works of God with Jesus.
Jesus did not dabble around.
The picture Jesus paints for His followers above is that of a window of time closing on us. Think about an elevator you need to get on and the doors are starting to close. What do you do? Think about the game clock when your team is behind in a close game. How are they acting on the court or field? Think about a surfer who sees the wave he’s been waiting for all morning suddenly start to build on the ocean horizon. How does he react?
Jesus’ identity as Son of the Father drove His perspective. He was on mission to accomplish what God had uniquely given Him to do during His limited time on earth. The key word? Limited. He did not get bogged down in peripheral, trivial, or temporal focuses competing for His energy. He chose instead to focus on what was central to His identity: heaven.
4. My truest identity reflects my ultimate destiny.
Jesus . . . looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. (John 17:1-5 NIV)
What happens when we die? How you answer that question directly reflects your identity. A man of God believes he’s going to God, and when he goes, it’s not for the purpose of being ruled in or out of heaven but to be examined as a manager of his life.
Before Jesus went voluntarily to the cross, He contemplated His physical death, offering His most transparent and reflective prayers. Some personal accounting with respect to His life’s journey was taking place in this prayer.
Jesus’ prayer reveals that He was ready to go back home to the Father: He had no unfinished business here on earth; He had been faithful; He was complete. His prayer functioned as a kind of final check with the Father.
Living out your truest identity in God is the essence of true masculinity.
Don’t let rip-off ways of being, believing, and behaving rob you of becoming the dangerous good man God created you to be. You are a son of Christ, not a son of culture.
Examine yourself and know that God wants His sons at full force. Secure in our truest identity and with the Spirit of Christ inside us, we will know what it means to live fearless, free, focused, and faithful to the Father’s ultimate purpose and destiny for us.
Dangerous Good by Kenny Luck
It’s time to wake the sleeping giant in our world, in our communities, in our churches, and in our homes.
There’s a revolution brewing, a sleeping giant coming out of a long slumber. For years men have been sitting to the side, minding their own business, nursing their own wounds. But that time is reaching its end. Our wounds must surely be tended to, and our business must surely be minded. We are meant for greater things than these, and the world can no longer indulge our slumber. Justice demands a response to these troubling times. Righteousness demands a champion to counter a climate of moral relativism. God made us men; it’s time to act like it.
Good men are in high demand but low supply. That reality is creating suffering and injustice at every level of society in every community worldwide. Dangerous Good calls on the millennial generation of men who follow Jesus worldwide to confront that by deciding, individually and as a group, to be dangerous with goodness like Jesus. Here is the next revolution of masculinity the world is waiting for.