How to Recognize a Man of God - Nathele Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
Scripture is filled with accounts of men who obeyed God. Though none of these men were perfect and sometimes failed, they all are remembered for their service to God. There are many godly men to consider, but let's look at a few.
Abram lived in a pagan culture filled with idols and false gods. One day he heard the one true God call him out of that way of life. When Abram finally obeyed God, he moved away from that pagan society and that is when God was able to work in his life. Through Abraham (formerly known as Abram) the foundation of the nation of Israel was established and today we see the promise God made to Abraham regarding the Jews entitlement to the Promise Land coming about. God promised that he would be the father of a great nation, and so he was. It took faith for him to believe that in his old age he would father a son, Isaac. It was Abraham's twelve great-grandsons who were the fathers of the twelve tribes of Israel. It would be the privilege of one of those tribes, Judah, to be the bloodline that would produce King David. More importantly, the Messiah would come through that line. God had wonderful plans for Abraham and his descendants, but until Abraham left the pagan life surrounding him, he was unable to fulfill God's plan for him. A man of God obeys God and moves away from satanic ways.
Moses was a Jew who was raised in Pharaoh's court. One day he saw an Egyptian beating a Jewish slave. Instead of ignoring this injustice, he stood up for the one being wronged. Moses sinned by killing the Egyptian, but God can use even a murderer. God chose Moses to lead the Israelites from Egyptian captivity and Moses went boldly to Pharaoh many times demanding that the Jews be set free. When Pharaoh finally consented, Moses lead the nation Israel on a journey to the Promise Land. By faith he led them through the Red Sea, received the Law, brought a flood of drinking water from a rock, and much more. One would think of Moses as an outspoken man, big and burley, yet he is described this way "Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth." Numbers 12:3. Moses was humble man, but God was his strength.
King David loved the LORD. He wrote many psalms in praise of God, but many were cries for help and for justice. David was not perfect but he stands out as a man of God. Temptation was a failure of David. He lusted after a married woman and when she became pregnant with his child, David had her husband (who was a soldier in David's army) put in a position where he would be killed. When his sin was brought to his attention, David wrote a beautiful cry to God. "...Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions." Psalm 51:1b. David was grieved by his sin and turned to God. "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." Psalm 51:10. A man of God humbles himself before God, asks for forgiveness, and asks God to change him.
Daniel and three friends were young when the Babylonians captured Jerusalem. They were taken from Jerusalem as captives to Babylon. Even today Babylon stands out as a symbol of demonic idol worship. King Nebuchadnezzar built a huge golden statue and issued a decree that when music was played everyone must fall down and worship that statue. When the music sounded Daniel's three friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, would not bow to the statue. The penalty? They were to be thrown into a fiery furnace. They made it clear that they trusted God and would not bow to idols. "If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up." Daniel 3:17-18. Indeed, they were thrown into the furnace, yet God protected them...even walked in the furnace with them. Nebuchadnezzar looked into the furnace and saw four men walking in there. "He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God." Daniel 3:25. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out of the fire healthy with not so much as the smell of smoke on them. Because of this King Nebuchadnezzar decreed that nobody was to speak against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. A man of God can be recognized because he does not bow his knee to idols and will always honor God.
Time went on and a new king ruled in Babylon. Daniel's integrity won favor of the king and he rose high in leadership. This did not set well with the king's advisors who convinced King Darius to issue a decree that no petition to any god (or God) or man could be made except to the king. In other words, it was illegal to pray to God Almighty. "Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime." Daniel 6:10. Daniel didn't change his routine. He honored God and would not stop his prayers. His obedience to God landed him in a den of lions. The next morning Daniel was alive and well. "My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me: and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt." Daniel 6:22. A man of God will follow the laws of the land, except when those laws are contrary to God. He chooses to follow God.
The New Testament is also full of examples of Godly men. Matthew was in a less than honest business as a tax collector, but left it to follow Jesus. Thomas had doubts until he saw the risen Lord for himself, then he wholeheartedly worshipped Him. Peter was rash and outspoken, but Jesus mellowed him and he became a strong leader of the Christian faith. Paul was on a mission of destruction until he was changed by the Living Lord. These men and others are examples of how to recognize a man of God.
God entrusted men with great responsibility. Adam was created first and God gave him the responsibility of tending the Garden of Eden, as well as the responsibility of obedience. "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Genesis 2:16-17. Later Eve was taken out of Adam and he was responsible to teach his wife to obey God. Leadership is still man's responsibility. "But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression." 1 Timothy 2:14. Men, turn your desire towards God and away from the temptations of the world. Seek God first and your needs will be provided for. You will then be qualified to take the place of leadership which God has given to you. "But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." 1 Timothy 6:9-10. A man of God will take leadership seriously.
Young man or old, take your place in the service of God; He has given you a great calling. Put off the desires of the flesh and seek after the character of God. Scripture is clear in what constitutes desires of the flesh. Model your life after God's standards, not man's. You cannot be a leader or example to others if you compromise God's word. Are you single? Then abstain from fornication. "But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn." 1 Corinthians 7:9. Marriage between one man and one woman is the only acceptable standard, and that is the only place to engage in sexual activity. If you are "sowing your wild oats" and think it's normal, you are not a man of God. The relationship between a husband and wife is a precious union which God uses as an example of the relationship between Jesus Christ and His ekklēsia...His bride. You mock Him if you do not respect marriage.
Throughout God's word, submission to God is a must. When you submit to God then you are walking with Him, not against Him. "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;" Ephesians 5:25. How did Christ love us? He gave His life. Pride did not stop the Creator of the universe from leaving Heaven, entering His creation, and shedding His blood to redeem us. Men, it is you who are to exemplify Christ by loving your wife and giving yourself to her and for her. She is to submit to her husband, but if you are abusive or rule over her as a tyrant then you are failing as a man of God and as a husband. You are also the example that your children will follow. "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Ephesians 6:4. How can you raise a child to respect and obey God if you do not follow Him yourself? Marry the mother of your children before those children are conceived. Provide for your family. Lead them in Bible study. Base your choices in life on Biblical truth and be open in your love for Jesus. Your sons will see how a man of God behaves and will follow that example. Your daughters will see how a man of God behaves and will choose a husband accordingly. Your grandchildren will benefit for your example. "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6.
Many men today seem to put more emphasis on pursuing the ways of the world rather than the ways of God. Foul language and filthy jokes have become the standard even among those who claim to be Christians. Many men, young and old, claim to be Christian but when you look at their Facebook page the jokes and links found there say otherwise. To many men, women are there for their own pleasure and Christian values have no part in their life. "But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness." 1 Timothy 6:11. A man of God puts God first in his life.
How do you recognize a man of God? Not by how tall or short he is. His skin color, hair color, and eye color won't tell you. You recognize him by his character and his integrity. He separates himself from the pagan world around him, he hears God's voice and meekly obeys, he doesn't bow to idols, but humbles himself before the Lord God Almighty. When he sins he asks God to forgive and change him. He is a leader who respects women and loves his wife as Christ loves His Bride. He is a father to his children and teaches them to love their Heavenly Father. You can recognize a man of God because he studies Scripture and applies it to his life. "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." 2 Timothy 3:17. God's ways are his ways.
You can recognize a man of God because through his words and actions Christ is seen living in him.
God bless you all,
Ron Graham’s previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.
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