27 Jan Five tricks to becoming a Godlier man

When folks only know me from afar, some put me on an undeserved pedestal.

Upon actually spending time with me, others are disappointed to find out that I’m just another imperfect dude.

But for friends who stick around long enough, they come to discover that—despite my faults—God has blessed me with a deep, growing love for Him, my family, and others.

Recently a friend (who I’ll call Derrick) asked me how to become a Godlier man. Knowing my shortcomings, I immediately felt unworthy.  But after I prayed about it, the Father put several things on my heart.

Here’s what I wrote:

Derrick,

You have probably heard of the four spiritual laws (www.godlovestheworld.com), but just in case you haven’t, they are the single most important facts that I ever learned as a churchgoer.

After acting on them—and following through on the prayer in law four—my walk with Jesus took deep root, and never stopped growing.

Best of all, He continues to change me from the inside out.

But Derrick?

Once I asked Jesus into my heart, to be my Lord and Savior, I learned a handful of wonderful ways to become a better man.

As I send these pointers along to you, I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you one thing: for many years I tried—so hard—to obey Christ under my own strength. Now I realize that I have to go to Him every morning for His power…

With that in mind, I have a simple prayer that I say most days (partly learned from my amazing wife). I don’t know if you would like to use it, but here it is:

Dear Jesus,

I need you today.  I cannot be a good follower, husband, father, family member, friend, or worker without you.  Please come and take over thoughts, words, actions, and feelings…leading what I see and hear.  Please flood each member of my family (and future and extended family) with your peace, presence, light, and Spirit.  Please cover us with your armor and surround us with your angels…. 

Beyond that, when I start to struggle I tend to note that one or more of the following disciplines has gotten out of wack:

[Side note: I have found no shortcuts]

1)  Daily time in God’s word–it is free, online in many locations.

 A daily Quiet Time might look like: 

A Proverb a day for advice on how to serve God and stay pure, or

A Psalm a day to learn how another emotional Christ follower (like you and me), King David, sought the Father, or

A chapter of the book of James a day (to kick me in the rear end when I am not walking in obedience), or

A number of free, online devotionals sent to my email (right now I receive several from Biblegateway.com or Crosswalk.com, including Francis Chan’s “Crazy Love” and a Bible Verse of the Day.

2)  Daily, honest, real time in prayer.  Sometimes I do it in my garage, or other times on my commute.  I try to progress through “C.A.T.S” the following way:

a.  CONFESS any known sins

b.  Spend a little time ADORING God (“God you’re great b/c…”)

c.  Give THANKSGIVING for all He’s doing

d.  SUPPLICATE (e.g., ask God for help).

3)  Weekly—almost without fail—attendance at a Bible-preaching church.  

That way I am around other guys for fellowship, I learn from the pastor, and Jill, the kids, and I are growing. As we grow closer to God, we automatically feel closer to each other!

4)  Fleeing temptation.

No female friends, besides quick hellos or conversations at work,

Filters on our computer (Covenant Eyes) for purity,

I will write more later. 🙂  Gotta run to another meeting….

Love ya man!

JJ

And that’s what I shared with Derrick. Who knows? Perhaps it will encourage you and yours.  Do you have tips that can help me grow closer to the Father?  If so, I’d love to hear ’em.  I learn a ton from the incredible families and staff at LCS.

Thanks for letting me minister to your precious children,

Jon Johansen