This is dedicated to all the great men of God that I personally know and interact with on a daily basis, and also to the great men of God that toil day in and day out, completely unseen by man.
*I know that my blog audience is mainly women, but in light of Father's Day coming up, and also because it fits with some personal battles I am facing in life right now, I wanted to write a post to encourage the men in our lives. Men need encouragement, too! If you feel this can be a help to the great men in your life, please, pass it on.
When I was younger, we would have men come through our church to preach. "These are great men of God!" my preacher would tell the congregation, and with wide eyes, I would listen intently to the sermon that followed. I wanted to learn from the great men of God! I wanted to marry someone just like the preachers that came through my church! I started praying for my husband from the time I was a young girl. I mean, who doesn't want to marry a great man of God?
Growing up, I always viewed the great men of God as ones who were in the public eye. They were the fluent, great speakers. They had charisma. They drew crowds. They were the "big name speakers" asked to speak at all the national conferences. They were the great men of God! At least, that's what I was told.
As I have gotten older, though, my perception has changed.
I did end up marrying a great man of God. But he isn't the "status quo", and he isn't thought of by the world, or even other Christians, as a great man of God.
Let me back up a little, and set a foundation. One of my favorite stories in the Bible is about a man named Shammah. Not much is said about Shammah. There are a couple verses about him in II Samuel. He was one of David's mighty men, and boy, did he sound mighty. Here is the story of him in II Samuel.
II Samuel 23:11-12 And after him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. And the Philistines were gathered together into a troop, where was a piece of ground full of lentiles: and the people fled from the Philistines.12 But he stood in the midst of the ground, and defended it, and slew the Philistines: and the Lord wrought a great victory.
Do you know what lentiles are? Peas. Shammah felt so passionate about a pea patch, that he stood his ground and wouldn't back down. He stood in the face of many, many Philistines, and the Lord wrought a great victory. Even though to most it was a little insignificant pea patch, to him, it was worth dying for. He was a great man of God.
May I submit to you what a true "great man of God" is?
It's men that have staked their pea patch, and they aren't backing down. Their pea patch is the Word of God. They have said, "This is my pea patch, and come what may, I will defend it to the death!"
When the sodomites of the land and the heathen rage, and all hell throws its fury at the lone man in the pea patch, he stands strong.
He doesn't waver. He doesn't back down. He stares the opposition in the face, and he says, "Thus sayeth the Lord!"
He doesn't get the big speaking engagements. He doesn't get the fancy accolades. In fact, his name is mud. The world has mocked him. They have taunted him. They have smeared his name, and laughed, and jested. Other Christians who have given into the peer pressure and softened their message roll their eyes at him. They talk about him, and "Tsk tsk" him, saying with a sneer, "What a shame to the cause of Christ."
And for what reason? Our Savior was taunted. He was spat upon, and rejected of men. He was beaten, and jeered at, and betrayed. Evil men plotted against him constantly, wanting to take his life. Where do Christians of today get off saying that someone who the world hates is a "shame to the cause of Christ?" The world hated my Savior. Why would they not hate a true man of God?
A true man of God is hated. He is hated by the world, by the heathen, by the sodomites, by the baby killers, by the murderers, by the adulterers, and yes, even by other Christians. Standing on the Word of God is not popular in today's society. Except for a few followers, almost the entire Jewish community as a whole rejected Christ, and hated him. Why should our community accept us?
A true man of God is not someone like Billy Graham.
Luke 6:26 King James Version (KJV)26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
I can't think of anyone who fits that description more than Billy Graham, yet look how people refer to him as a "great man of God!" Billy Graham preached a false gospel. Who knows how many people he sent to hell. Billy Graham was never spat upon, or talked evil of. In fact, it was quite the opposite. He was invited to speak by presidents, and dignitaries, and people in high places. Fame doesn't equal great in my book, nor the Bible.
Oftentimes, a great man of God isn't someone who is well known at all. He is the country pastor who has been toiling in his tiny church. He labors, day in and day out, no one ever seeing anything he does. He doesn't get the big speaking engagements. He uses his personal money, what little he has, to pay the bills at the church. He knocks doors and gives the gospel by himself. He does it all in the background, never getting any thanks, or praise. He does it all without recognition, and he does it all with a smile and a humble heart. He preaches hard against sin. Even though society is changing, he does not. He shakes his fist into the air, and he preaches hard against the unpopular things of the day. He watches people come and go, and he cries when his people cry, and rejoices when his people rejoice. He is loyal to God, his family, and his church. That is a great man of God.
A great man of God is the husband who works a long, hard job to provide for his family. He raises his kids right. He prays for them and with them. He loves his wife. He is faithful to her. He provides for her all his days. He doesn't have a position at the church, but he is a faithful soulwinner, church member, and he supports his pastor through action, word, and deed. He tells his family, "This is what the Bible says, and we are going to do it," even if it brings ridicule from family and friends. He is resolute in what he believes. He never preaches one sermon, yet he knows the Bible, reads it, and lives it. He is a great man of God.
So, here is a tribute to all our husbands who are great men of God. Here is a tribute to the men who have claimed their pea patch, and they aren't moving. They shake their fist at the opposition and yell with a warrior's cry, "Thus sayeth the Lord!" Let all hell be hurled at our men. They aren't moving. Let the sodomites plot, and plan for our husbands' demise, but they will not shake them. Let the heathen rage. In the end, our men will be victorious in their stance.
They are the true great men of God.
Don't tell me about some big name and expect me to be impressed. Most of the big names I know have watered down their message so that the world will accept them.
Tell me about the men who are leading their families. Tell me about the ones who won't back down in face of perversion, and sin, and filth. Tell me about the ones who have claimed their pea patch and aren't budging.
And if you are married to such a man, stand behind him! Hold him up when he falters a tiny bit, as he sees the army advancing. Whisper encouragement to him. And if you are like me, grab up the Sword of the Lord alongside him, and battle the forces of evil with him.
My husband is one of the great men. He has staked his claim in his pea patch, and he isn't backing down, and neither am I.
If you are married to a great man of God, hold your head up, and don't be ashamed while the world rages.
For, you see, you are one of the few- the few who married a warrior.
*Shout out to my friend, Gina, who gave me this idea for a blog post. She is one of the lucky few who is also married to a great man of God.