I Kings 2:1-3 “Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying, I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and show thyself a man; And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself:”
David is telling his son to ‘show thyself a man’. That doesn’t have to do with gender. It means that by your deeds, show yourself to be a man, a leader, God’s man.
In nature, we see that in a pride of lions, there is one head. In a group of gorillas, there is one head. Scientists call them alpha males. There are also alpha females who lead the females in a hunt.
We aren’t like animals, but God uses nature to teach us. In our civilized, modern, contemporary settings, we have alphas.
An alpha is described as ‘strong, often abrupt, confident, intelligent, opinionated, stubborn, playful, charismatic, decision makers, not easily intimidated, leaders in a group setting, usually successful in their professions.’ You might be an alpha if you’ve ever served in the military, you might be an alpha if you can take over another person’s job and not be intimidated by it, you might be an alpha if people assume you’re a manager at your job and they have no idea what you actually do.
The first part of knowing ‘why you’re here’ is knowing who God is and knowing who you are. If you can look into the mirror and see who God wants you to be. If your vision of who you are is not based on your looks, finances, bloodline, but is based on who God wants you to be.
Alphas according to the world’s standards are often times contrary to the Word of God.
Mat 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
You might be a child of God if you’ve forgiven people who don’t deserve it. Remember Joseph? He got thrown into a pit and sold into slavery. Then, he became the second most powerful man in the world. He could’ve had his brothers killed at any time. Remember Jesus? When He was on the cross, he asked that they would be forgiven. Remember Stephen? He was a young man who was put in charge of feeding the old people. While he was being bitten and stoned, he said, ‘lay this not to their charge.’
You might be a child of God if you can submit yourself to a leader without wavering. Joshua is called the minister of Moses. The word ‘minister’ means servant. Joshua was the servant of Moses. He brought him food, water, etc. Elisha, the prophet, was Elijah’s servant. Neither Elisha nor Joshua ever questioned their masters. Both men stuck by their masters without wavering.
You might be a child of God if you do not look at prayer as an obligation but as a privilege. Do you think that Abraham when he was negotiating with the Lord did it out of obligation? He counted it as a great privilege. David wrote songs to the Lord because he knew that what he was allowed to do was a privilege. Hannah was in the tabernacle before the priest weeping and crying because she knew it was her opportunity to make her requests to the Lord. She looked forward to it. It was her desire, her passion. When we get up in the morning, our first desire should be fellowships with the Lord. It is a privilege and a blessing.
You might be a child of God if you do not lose faith no matter how bad it looks. People talk about the faith of Job. I can’t imaging going through what he did. Job said, ‘Even if God kills me, I will still trust Him.’ Trust is greater than faith. Faith is based on you and what you’re looking forward to. Trust is based on what God wants, no matter what it costs. Mary trusted God even though He caused her to be with child without being married yet.
In the Old Testament, there was a great woman who saw the man of God going by her house and she decided to feed him. She talked to her husband and they made a room especially for this prophet. The prophet told the servant to find out what she wanted. She had no kids and the prophet prayed that she might have one. After this child was grown, he went out to his father in the field, and said, ‘My head, my head.’ He sat with his mother and died. She had faith no matter what. She took her child into the man of God’s room. She then went to her husband and told him she needed a donkey to go get the man of God. She didn’t tell her husband their son was dead. She said instead, ‘It is well.’ She got her donkey and went as fast she could. The man of God saw her afar off. (God will see you from afar off!) While she was yet afar off, the man of God saw her and sent his servant to her and ask her, ‘Are you okay? Is your husband okay? Is your little boy okay?’ She said, ‘It is well.’ The boy died on her lap, but she didn’t fall down. She knew her answer was with God. You might be a child of God if you never miss church. Your answer is with the man of God. This woman knew that to get in touch with God, she needed to get with the man of God. She had the mentality that she needed to hurry to get to the man of God and the people of God. (Her son was raised from the dead.)
You might be a child of God if you choose righteousness no matter what the consequences are. Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego didn’t care that they were going to be tossed into the fire. They would worship God and God alone. Daniel refused to give up praying to God, even though it was law to pray only to the king. He knew he would be thrown into the lion’s den. That was the punishment. The early Christians faced lions and other horrors because they refused to worship anyone else but God. All those early Christians had to do was say, ‘hail Caesar’, but they refused. Peter, history says, watched his sons and his wife crucified and then was crucified himself.
Will you live by godly standards and choose righteousness no matter what?
You might be a Christian if sacrifice is a way of life. Jephtha said, ‘I’ll sacrifice the first thing that comes out of my tent if I win this battle.’ The first thing to greet him was his one and only child, his daughter. Not only did he not turn back on his vow, his daughter accepted the vow as well and told him to do it. She dedicated the rest of her life unto the Lord. She never got married but served in the temple all the days of her life. The apostle Paul counted all his money, all his education, all his life and power as loss. He loved Jesus more. A little widow gave all she had in the temple.
Elisha performed 14 miracles in his life. Jesus performed 14 miracles in a single day. Yet, He said we would do these and greater. We are meant to be alphas in this day. We are supposed to have vision. In the mirror, what do you see? When a man of God looks in the mirror, he should see a man of God. He should say, ‘I act, I walk, I talk as a Christian.’
When you go on a fast, you can go into it with an understanding that you’re doing your duty or you can look at this as training, as boot camp that is preparing you for things to come. This is a privilege to make you a better child of God. You are greater than what the world says you are because God has called you His sons and daughters and friends.
Are you living life to get by? Or are you living life to be over-comers? You must not accept mediocre, but strive to be a child of God. Do you love Him enough to die to self and live for Him?
We go to work to have a house that will be gone or a car that will die or clothes that we’ll throw out. Sacrifice, endure to further the kingdom of God. We live in an age where we don’t have to hunt or wait for our food to grow. We live in an age where information is easy to get, true or not. People are more involved in their lives than in their faith. But, we are in the latter age. God isn’t surprised by this.
Jesus said, ‘Why do you marvel at the things that I do? You are going to do greater.’ Salvation is not free. Jesus bought it for us. If we want to see crippled people healed, blind eyes opened, deaf ears hearing, we need to be willing to spend time praying and seeking God. We need to sacrifice in order to get closer to God. He must increase. We must decrease. We don’t need to be identified by culture or color. Let us be identified by our faith in God. The few, the humble, the children of God.
Don’t accept where you’ve been, what you’ve been, your heritage, whatever stereotype you fall into. Instead, seek after what the Lord sees in you, what the Lord wants for you. What weight is holding me down? Is it my culture, my entertainment? What holds me back? Be willing to sacrifice to get closer to Him. Trust Him no matter what you see, no matter what happens. Come higher. Let Him lift you up. He’s here and He wants to.
Excerpted from a sermon preached by: Pastor Skip Christo.
If you are in the Chicagoland area, come to The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm.