A friend went to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting with his dad, just to show support. He happened to bring his son with him. A man in the AA meeting viewed the trio and said, “That gives me hope.” Someone asked, “What?” The man said, “Three men from the same family—the oldest one kicked the habit so the others could live free.”
You as a man, and the men you minister to canbreak free. The amazing thing is, when men break free, the people around them will get their chance to be free, too.
Two men in the first century illustrate this. Paul and Silas were a couple of young, hardworking followers of Jesus. Because they talked about their faith, magistrates in a Roman city ordered them to be beaten and thrown into the local dungeon—not a great place to be.
At midnight, deep in the darkness of the dank squalid hole carved out of the side of a hill, Paul and Silas start singing. They sing of their faith. Songs of praise and joy. Jesus is Lord. God is my shepherd. On and on. The other men in prison listen (as if they have a choice).
As they sing, a sudden earthquake shakes the city. The dungeon doors fly open. Paul and Silas’s chains drop off them…and every other prisoner’s chains drop off, too. When Paul and Silas have their breakout moment—it becomes a breakout moment for everyone around them.
In that prison, it may have seemed like just some guys singing, but their words shook the heavens.
There is a real enemy that wants to rip out a man’s heart and cause him to quit. This enemy is after our identity.
Your identity is the story you tell yourself about yourself. If the enemy can steal your identity—he can control your heart. And it’s from your heart that the story of your life unfolds.
There are people in your life who are just waiting for you to break free, because when you get set free, they’ll be set free. There are people in your world who will not get their breakthrough until you get your breakthrough.
My prayer for you is to break through and break free, to grab hold of your identity and refuse to listen to the enemy’s accusations and condemnation. It takes prayer. It takes God’s Word. And it takes partners, men who are there for you. I encourage you to find a Christian Men’s Network group in a local church near you. If you can’t find one, start one. Get in relationship with other men. Get into the Word and pray.
When you break free from the enemy, you’ll have the identity God has given you—and you’ll bring others with you.