“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.” (Philippians 2:1-2 ESV)
I am really into video games. I go all the way back to Atari and Activision. I still remember getting my first Nintendo as a teenager with the classic game, Space Invaders. Space Invaders would look pretty silly to young people playing video games today, but for me back then, I was in video game heaven.
Space Invaders is about alien creatures descending upon earth and the objective is to take out all these alien creatures before they take over the world. One of the reasons this game was so popular was because it came out during a time when alien invasion movies were still pretty popular. Remember movies like “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” “Alien,” and “Predator”?
Well, even though we are not dealing with alien invasions as such, we are living as men in a time of invasions on some level. There are evil and invisible forces attempting to invade our lives. Through television and various forms of media, there are visible messages and temptations trying to infiltrate our souls and shape how we live as men in the sinful and broken world. Some boys never grow into the men that God created them to be because they have been invaded by neglect, abandonment, pride, anger, hatred and oppression. Some grow up in communities that have been overtaken by poverty, violence, and failing institutions. Though this is the reality of the sinful and broken world in which we live, there is another invasion taking place -- a more liberating and transformative invasion that has eternal ramifications. God is invading this world as well.
Well over 2,000 years ago, God descended upon this world through His only begotten Son: Jesus the Christ; God in human form. Through the Holy Spirit, God is still invading repentant lives for transformation today. God desires to invade our manhood with love, truth, grace, justice, empowerment and wisdom.
To live as a Godly man, we must open up our lives to be taken over by Christ daily. I propose to you three areas, based on Paul’s words found in Philippians 2:1-2: We must allow God to invade our minds, our hearts, and our will so that we can align more deeply with the character of Christ and become a more unified army of Kingdom men.
Allowing God to invade our minds begins with admitting that there are still things in our thought life that we need God to deal with. What are the thoughts in our heads that don’t align with God’s thinking? Romans 12 reminds us that being transformed by God is directly connected to our minds being renewed. We must be humble enough to admit that our thinking alone is not enough to navigate the challenges and complexities that we face on a daily basis. We need the mind of Christ for true wisdom, insight, knowledge and revelation.
We must also allow God to invade our hearts. Christ shares in the Gospels that the two greatest commandments are to love God with all that we are and to love our neighbor as ourselves. God’s transformative love ought to be flowing through us as men in order to love our wives, children, siblings, neighbors, and even our enemies. To love this way, we need to be invaded by God’s love daily. We don’t have it in our own power to love others the way God wants them to be loved. The best we can do is to open up our lives so that God can love others through us.
Finally, we must be on one accord with God and live in unity as Godly men, allowing God to invade our will. God must have reign in the very places where we make decisions. On any given day. we have the opportunity to decide whether to forgive or not, to serve or not, to sacrifice or not, to be generous or not. These decisions ultimately must come from a surrendered life. Allowing God to invade our will is about submitting to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
If there was ever a time to allow God to invade our manhood, that time is now. In a season of violence, abuse, discrimination, oppression and broken families, a movement of manhood surrendered to Christ is needed like never before.
Pastor Efrem Smith is the President and CEO of World Impact an urban missions, church planting, and leadership development organization. He is also a Teaching Pastor at Bayside Midtown Church in Sacramento, California. He is the author of the books, “Raising-up Young Heroes”, “The Hip Hop Church”, “Jump”, and “The Post-Black and Post-White Church.” Efrem is married to Donecia and has two daughters, Jaeda and Mireya. He and his family reside in the Bay Area of Northern California.