REDEFINING MANHOOD BACK TO ITS ORIGINAL INTENT
INTRODUCTION AND ORIENTATION
BY Isaiah-Phillips Akintola
There is certainly no doubt that one of the greatest battles the church and creation is currently faced with since the advent of the fall of man in the garden, up unto this very moment has been the continuous, relentless assault on the precise definition of man’s integrated image and identity.
Within the framework of man’s true image and identity lies the divine power and authority to change and transform the destructive mechanisms being used by extremist religious sects and the humanist system currently governing the larger part of society.
A man with a restored image, carries the very essence and value standard to reform, transform and ultimately restore creation back to its original ordained place in God.
The determining breakthrough factor of any society is largely hinges on the visionary capacity of its men. The advance of any nation is largely determined by the quality of its men. Highly productive, visionary sustained societies are birthed by quality men who are very well-developed, skilled, informed, and driven by strong ethical principles.
Men, by design are visionaries; they are pathfinders with a strong sense of INTENT, PURPOSE AND DIRECTION. Ideally, their adventurous nature allows them to break into new grounds and territories with little inhibitions.
Although they may be leaders, but sometimes not too effective managers, and that is the main reason, the Lord places wise and virtuous women around them, who are wired with exceptional qualities of managerial skills to help them carry out their assignment. Whenever their inborn qualities are not functioning the way they have been designed, it simply means that something has gone wrong that needs to be urgently fixed.
We do know that the unholy conversation between Satan and Eve, and the subsequent deception that led to the fall was indirectly targeted at Adam and the male race. The assault did not just distort and neutralize God’s ordained image and identity in man, but having cost him his position of relationship with his heavenly father, he subsequently lost his assigned authority as the chief administrator of God’s estate.
Subsequent struggles, from the days of Cain and Abel, to the epic battles of our Lord Jesus Christ in the wilderness, and that of the garden of Gethsemane before his death and resurrection were all contentions for the eternal seed and identity of God in man.
The nature and scale of the battle also shifts at different levels. From being an internal contradictions within an individual to contending with socio-cultural forces, it can also assume a powerful ideological dimension of the state’s warfare against religion.
The plan to neutralize man’s spiritual IMAGE, IDENTITY and FUNCTION identity, and therefore, his ordained assignment within the structure of his family, home and church and the larger society has never been so ruthless severe.
It is extremely impossible for a state to assume the place and function of a man, and expect society to run smoothly. It is becoming evidentially clear that under today’s concept of democracy, just like in the days of communism, the state is trying to take total control with regard to how the home and families should be run.
Men are being stripped of their manhood in the name of promoting human rights. The ravaging feminist ideology, an off-shoot of humanism will not only destroy the family, but will also destroy the society as a whole.
In the context of a home, it is important to state that the notion of a rivalry between the man and the woman is alien to the original divine plan. God, in His divine order has set things in place, including how the male man and his family ought to live, and if we follow His values and set principles, we will enjoy a blissful society. The more rights the state tries to strip from men, the more dysfunctional society will become.
The way to empower women and children is by empowering the men with the Spirit of their Heavenly Father. The more men learn of their original identity in Christ, the easier it becomes for them to sacrificially offer their lives for the provision and protection of their family and community. It is highly important that I stress that the battle of the 21st century society will be determined and won by the quality of men produced by the society, and not the other way around.
As the Lord highlights the key qualities of men that He will use in this season to challenge the assault of darkness, we need to remind ourselves that we have to first unclothe our minds from the soulish carnal garment of Saul and that of Babylon with which we have been clothed by our natural birth circumstances.
Who we are, and the exploit we are able to carry out on behalf of God’s people will ultimately be by the quality and state of our spiritual and mental states. David learnt to unclothe himself first from the mentality of Saul before he faced Goliath.
“Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. “I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off.
“Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.”
Your mentality defines your internal awareness and competence; in other words, the garment you wear will either prepare you for battle or prevent you from standing out when Goliath come calling.
Many of the men of our time truly have the desire, and even to some extent, the passion to want to bring change to their family and community but they are wrongly dressed.
Wrong value standards like that of King Saul is certainly a wrong gear-amour to wear in the days of confronting the horns and the [principalities] gates hindering the rise of the church and nations in fulfilling their destiny.
The scripture above highlighted four insightful conversations between King Saul, David the Shepherd boy, his brothers and Goliath of Gath. These conversations actually reveal whose manhood was adequately prepared and ready from all the four characters.
Extracting certain core principles for the reality of manhood from the 1 Samuel 17:28-40 in my opinion, gives insightful wisdom to how to deal with the issue of a true visionary, competent company of men ready to bring deliverance to this generation.
Let’s highlight these four key conversations;
- 1. First conversation with Eliab, David’s eldest brother:
When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”
- 2. Second, the conversation of David with King Saul:
What David said was overheard and reported to Saul, and Saul sent for him. David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”
- Third, the conversation of Saul with David:
Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”
- The last conversation which is the declaration of Goliath
Is the key point we shall be considering.
First Samuel 17
Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me.
If he is ABLE to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.
Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child, and your princes feast in the morning! Blessed are you, O land, when your king is the son of nobles, and your princes feast at the proper time— For strength and not for drunkenness! (Eccles 10:16-17)
THE TWO PILLAR FOUNDATION
These two scriptures introduce us to the whole essence of the subject matter of the reality manhood, and I do believe that as we approach this subject from the accurate realm of the knowledge of the tree of life, we will be able to systematically identify and neutralize from within the inner man, the carnal fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This latter has been the source of all known natural concepts of manhood. It is important that we do not base the interpretation of spiritual reality on carnal humanistic wisdom and ideology.
The approach of defining manhood from spiritual the dimension should further enhance the strength, courage, and determination of our spiritual pursuits unto that zenith of a perfect corporate man, which should be our default operating pattern in Christ.
The sad reality of Goliath’s unprecedented challenge was that not a single man in the entire parade of King Saul’s army, including the seemingly strong brothers of David were brave enough to face and challenge Goliath.
To understand the reason why King Saul and his men could not face Goliath, we need to look into the structure of Saul’s inner configuration; what kind of man was he on the inside? The architectural configuration of Saul’s inner make-up is a powerful indicator of the kind of values system that defined his manhood’s outlook, especially with his men on the battlefield.
It is clear that the life of Saul directly or indirectly impacts the moral capabilities of his men. A man (i.e. leader) with the right inner configuration will not only motivate and inspire other men within and around his world to function with uttermost skill and capacity, but will also equip them with the necessary courage and determination to advance and succeed in carrying out their assignments.
Saul, like Goliath, represents various layers of predominantly soulish, satanic strongholds and systems, positioned within and outside our world’s environment, and David represents a type of quality and character icon required to challenge and defeat this principality known as Goliath.
Therefore, accurate manhood exudes the qualities of a courageous fearless life to challenge and overcome the various satanic hindrances against the advancement of the people of God from one point of transition to the next.
The evidence of the days we live in both from the economic, sociocultural, geopolitical, and the religious ideological extremism, demands a total shift in the configuration of the male man from the old pattern of a weak, carnal and lack of visionary character lifestyle, to the very nature of a well perfected, ascended vision driven nature of the second man, the last Adam.
David, to some degree speaks into some of the core character qualities the lord is looking for in the men of our time for us to be truly empowered to take on the challenge of the Goliath of our day.
The remark of David to Saul in terms of his identity and believe system proves to us that, though he lives in a society that is generally controlled and influence by the King Saul ideological beliefs, he draws his own identity, ideology and inspiration of life from a higher dimension everyone else seem to be unaware of.
Even when the king tried to enforce his concept of manhood and warfare on him, he will not give in because they are alien to his identity. He said to the king, I cannot go with these because they have not been proven. Here is a powerful concept David is showing us that for the fact that the instruction is coming from a highly respected and influential person does not make it acceptable.
He proved to the King and all the men of his generation that there is another realm where true men gains insight, instruction and direction that transcend this limited weak realm of existence. The scriptures said he reach deep into his shepherd’s bag for one of the five smooth stones he had earlier collected from the river.
This young lad once again is calling and challenging the men of South Africa and this generation to gather at the foot of this epic battle season, and start learning again what it means to be a real man who will stand up to the challenge, and completely defeat the Goliath’s of economic, sociocultural and religious giants of our time. It’s time to undress our minds from its weakness and dysfunctional past. It’s a new day to war in righteousness.
Contemporary patterns often demonstrated in the economic, socio-cultural, political, and religious contexts reveal the need for a total shift in the configuration of the male man from the old pattern of a carnal, spiritually sightless and character-deficient personality to that of the morally whole well perfected, ascended vision-driven nature of the last Adam, the man Jesus.
Solomon further expresses his apprehension regarding a city, family or society that positions immature men in highly sensitive leadership position. In fact, he sees such blind decision as a curse on the entire community, city or nation.