The apostle Paul had a way with words. Sometimes he used big words, like sanctification, justification, and redemption. At times he could be painfully obtuse and at other times, glaringly clear. He could be deep and he could be kiddie-pool shallow. But no matter what he said or how he said it, he was always spot on. And one of my favorite sayings of his is found in his letter to the church in Philippi. He simply states, “But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14 ESV). Paul was a man who lived with a sense of momentum, a forward-looking, never-complacent, always-striving outlook on life. He was saved and glad for it. But he was anything but satisfied. Don’t get me wrong. He was content, but that’s something altogether different than a stagnant state of satisfaction that settles for the status quo. Paul is famous for saying, “I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little” (Philippians 4:11-12 NLT). In other words, Paul was content to be content with Christ and nothing more. He had had all the accolades for his accomplishments. He had known what it was like to be respected and even feared. He had been a mover and shaker in the religious world, working his way up the ecclesiastical ladder. But after coming to know Jesus as his Savior, he had a change of tune, an alteration to his perspective. He said, “I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ” (Philippians 3:7-8 NLT)
From the moment he met Jesus on the road to Damascus, Paul’s life had been propelled along a radically different trajectory. His encounter with the resurrected Christ had rocked his world and sent him careening down a path he had never seen coming. And he had some serious momentum behind him. As far as Paul was concerned, there was no going back. He had no desire to turn back to his old way of life. It was ancient history. He was a new man with a new lease on life, a new Master and a brand-spanking new desire to change the world one person at a time. Paul was passionate about the cause of Christ and his job description as an ambassador for the Kingdom of God. And it’s Paul’s sense of holy zeal that I find attractive and in short supply today. For the last 15 years I have spent my life trying to reach men with the Good News of Jesus Christ. As the men’s minister at a large non-denomination church, my target audience has been primarily made up of self-proclaimed believers. These have been men who, for the most part, have professed faith in Christ, but who, in many cases have lacked a true sense of momentum. Don’t get me wrong, there have been more than a handful of legit Christ-followers in the ranks – men who share Paul’s passion for the Kingdom and his insatiable desire for ongoing spiritual transformation. But I would say that the number of men who take Paul’s challenge to “be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1 ESV), are in the minority. So I am making it my life’s mission to change all that. Which is why we are rebranding our men’s ministry and calling it momentum. Our tagline is “Pressing on. Reaching forward.” Gone are the days of complacency and compromise. We’re going to raise the bar and ask God to create in us a sense of momentum that we’ve never felt before. No more business-as-usual. We are living in critical days and God is looking for men who will step into the gap and stand for the cause of Christ. Paul would issue us the same challenge he gave to the men of Corinth. “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13 ESV). But before you get all Braveheart on me, listen to what he says next. “Let all that you do be done in love” (1 Corinthians 16:14 ESV). God is looking for men who will lead in love. He is raising up an army of men who will fight for the hopeless and helpless. Men who will stand up for righteousness and not put up with the moral compromise that is killing the church today. I want to see men who will do everything in their strength, according to the Holy Spirit’s power, to see that God’s Church makes a difference in the world in which we are living. There is a famous quote, most often attributed to Dwight L. Moody, but which was actually spoken to him by Henry Varley, a British revivalist. According to Moody’s account, Varley said, “Moody, the world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to him. By God’s help, I aim to be that man.”
That is what I hope to be. And my prayer is that I will not be alone. May God raise up an army of men motivated by His Spirit and driven by a divine momentum to make a radical difference in the world. Will you join me?