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EVERY MAN'S DESTINY EVERY WOMAN'S DREAM
By Anthony T. Evans
TYNDALE HOUSE PUBLISHERS, INC.
Copyright © 2012 Anthony T. Evans
All right reserved.
Chapter One The Cry for a Kingdom Man
A kingdom man is the kind of man that when his feet hit the floor each morning the devil says, "Oh crap, he's up!"
When a kingdom man steps out his door each day, heaven, earth, and hell take notice. When he protects the woman under his care, she can do little to resist him. His children look to him with confidence. Other men look to him as someone to emulate. His church calls on him for strength and leadership. He is a preserver of culture and a champion of society to keep out evil and usher in good. A kingdom man understands that God never said a godly life would be easy; He just said it would be worth it.
Like a football player erupting from the tunnel at the start of a game, so starts a kingdom man each day. Not only does he take to the field in an explosion of fire, but he also dominates all opposition that rises against him. A kingdom man zeros in on one purpose and one purpose only—advancing the kingdom for the betterment of those within it, which glorifies the King. And he will pursue this at whatever personal cost.
As a chaplain for the Dallas Cowboys both now and during the height of the Tom Landry years, I've been to my share of NFL games. I also played football every evening and weekend from just about the time I was crawling until a leg injury requiring surgery ended my game. Yet no matter how many games I have gone to or played in, I have never heard a player complain that the opponents were too tough or that the goal was too difficult to obtain.
Anyone who has ever played or followed football knows that victory does not come just because you want it. Victory is earned only through sweat, guts, and blood. When nearly four quarters of a game have sucked the air from the heaving lungs of the linemen, battered the bodies of those carrying or chasing after the ball, and tortured the minds and muscles of everyone involved—a win often comes through nothing more than sheer determination. It comes to those who know that exhaustion is simply a word. And that purpose is far greater than pain.
The Third Team
Football is a man's sport. No doubt about it. It is the closest thing to an organized gladiator battle in our nation. In it, passion, strength, and power fuse with precision and skill as two teams face off in an epic display of both force and will. Yet unlike most battles and unlike most wars, a third team is in this conflict. Three teams take to the field.
In fact, this third team is intricately involved within every aspect of the fight that leads to the declaration of a victor.
Maybe you have never noticed that three teams are on the football field. But I guarantee that you would have noticed if the third team hadn't shown up. Because without this third team, there would be chaos on the field. There would be confusion in the face-off. In fact, there would be no way to play football as we know it.
This is because the third team is the team of officials.
The officials are unique in that their ultimate commitment is not to the teams on the field, nor do they align themselves with any of the other agendas. The officials' obligations do not lie with those who are in the battle, nor even with those watching it take place. Their commitment, as well as their allegiance, belongs to an entirely different kingdom called the NFL office. This kingdom supersedes, overrules, and sits above all others.
From the League office, the officials have been given a book. They have their own book with the governances, guidelines, rules, and regulations by which they are to manage the events on the field. While both teams are constantly pulling at the officials to choose a side, call penalties, or endorse plays, the team of officials must, in spite of personal preferences or emotions, rule according to its kingdom's book. Every decision made by every person on this third team must comply with the rulebook they have. It is their obligation to follow this book that has come directly from the commissioner—who has delegated authority to them.
If at any time an official makes a decision that sides with a team or a particular player—because of pressure from the fans, influence of players or coaching staff, or simply personal preferences—and that does not abide by the book, that official will have immediately lost the support and authority of not only the League office, but also of the commissioner. If the viewpoint of an official ever overrules the viewpoint of the book, superseding the kingdom to which the official is ultimately obligated, the official will no longer rule at all. This is because the NFL headquarters at 345 Park Avenue, New York, New York, will stand by an official only if that official stands by the book. Once an official leaves the book, he has just demoted himself to the status of a fan and become illegitimate in terms of his previously held authority.
Making the Call
Men, you are in a battle. You are in a war. The stakes of this war and its casualties are higher than a checkmark in the win or loss column. Lives will be lost. Eternities will be shaped. Destinies will either be discovered or dismissed. Dreams will be attained or relinquished.
Jesus has not asked you to be a fan. He has plenty of fans already. Every Sunday morning at 11:00 am, His fan base shows up in full force. They show up in stadiums, often filled to capacity, all around the world. Within these stadiums, there is great emotion, great singing, preaching, excitement, cheers of adulation, recognition, and statements of affirmation. But Jesus is not interested in just having fans. No fan ever set the stage for a battle to be won. Jesus wants men who will carry out His agenda, governance, and guidelines in a world in crisis.
Jesus wants men who will rule well.
This kingdom of men has been intentionally placed in a location called Earth, yet these men receive their instructions from the League office in heaven. This group of men is neither swayed by what the majority says, nor by what the most popular thought at the moment might be, nor even by their own personal preferences. Rather, these men are governed by the kingdom to which they belong. Men who make their calls according to the Book under the authority of their Commissioner, the Lord Jesus Christ, so that chaos will not ensue in this war called life. Keep in mind, that to rule something does not refer to domination or illegitimate control. Humankind's misuse of the term rule through dictatorships and abusive relationships has distorted the legitimate call on man to rule under God's sovereign rule and according to His principles.
In any game, as you might imagine, if the team of officials does not rule correctly, there is a loud cry not only from the stands or the people watching on their televisions but also from the players and coaches. There is a cry in response to the chaos taking place on the field—a cry for the officials to rule well.
The Cry for a Kingdom Man
If you listen closely, you might be able to hear the cry for kingdom men to rule well too. You can hear it in the chaos in the culture causing a cry to rise up from the homes, schools, neighborhoods, communities, states, and from every shattered soul affected by the absence of kingdom men. Never has our nation, or our world, stood on the precipice of adversity in such dire need of men answering the cry to rule well.
It is everywhere. It is loud. It is in the heartbeat of every child born or raised without a father, every woman's dream drowned by an irresponsible or neglectful man, every hope snuffed out by confusing circumstances, every lonely soul of a single woman searching for someone worthy to marry, and every sanctuary and community devoid of significant male contributions.
It is a cry for a kingdom man.
If the team of officials stood on the sidelines of a game and never said a word about what was happening on the field, no one would go to the players who are committing the infractions and ask them why they are breaking the rules. Fans would look for the officials and demand, "Where are you? Get out there and do something." Because without the third team on the field, all battles would be chaos after the coin toss, leading to a loss of motivation, interest, and order. As a kingdom man, you have been commissioned by heaven to rule on Earth while wearing a different kind of stripe. You have been cut from a different kind of cloth because you represent a different kind of kingdom in this battle.
You represent the King.
And as a representative of the King, your purpose is much higher than merely your own and impacts a sphere much wider than you may ever know.
As a kingdom man, there is more to you than you may have even realized.
The Kingdom Ruler
The Greek word used for kingdom in the New Testament is basileia, which means authority and rule. A kingdom always includes three fundamental components: a ruler, a realm of subjects who fall under his rule, and the rules or governances. The kingdom of God is the authoritative execution of His comprehensive rule in all creation. The kingdom agenda is simply the visible demonstration of the comprehensive rule of God over every area of life.
God's kingdom transcends time, space, politics, denominations, cultures, and the realms of society. It is both now and not yet (see Mark 1:15 and Matthew 16:28), close by and removed (see Luke 17:20–21 and Matthew 7:21). Governed by covenant systems, the kingdom's institutions include the family, church, and civil government. God has given the guidelines for the operation of all three, and negligence to adhere to these guidelines results in disorder and loss.
While each of the three fundamental components maintains separate responsibilities and dominion, all three are to work in conjunction with the others under divine rule based on an absolute standard of truth. When the components work this way, they bring order to a world of confusion and promote personal responsibility under God.
The primary component upon which all else rests in a kingdom is the authority of the ruler. Without that, there is anarchy resulting in mess. Knowing this is exactly why Satan's very first move in the garden was to subtly and deceitfully dethrone the ruler. Before we read about Satan approaching Eve in the garden, every Scripture reference to God in relation to Adam is made as Lord God. Anytime you read the word Lord (in all caps), it refers to the name Yahweh used for God. The special title Yahweh means master and absolute ruler and is the name God used to reveal himself in His relationship with man. Prior to the name Yahweh, God had revealed himself as Creator, which is the name Elohim.
However, when Satan spoke to Eve about eating that which she should not, he did not refer to God as Lord God. Satan essentially stripped off the name Lord—removing master and absolute ruler—and instead said, "Indeed, has God said ..." Thus Satan sought to reduce God's rulership over humankind by beginning with the subtle but effective twist of His name. In doing so, Satan kept the concept of religion while eliminating divine authority.
By removing Lord from the authoritative nature of the relationship between God and Adam and Eve and in bypassing Adam, Satan not only caused humankind to rebel, but he also took over the dominion that man was supposed to be exercising under God's authority. By eating the fruit in disobedience, Adam and Eve chose to change how they viewed their Creator from Lord God to God, resulting in the loss of their intimate fellowship with Him and each other, as well as the power of the dominion that flows from the ultimate Ruler.
Even though Eve ate the fruit first, God went looking for Adam. It had been Adam whom God had revealed himself to as Lord God in the context of giving Adam divine instruction. As a result, when the title of master and absolute ruler was removed, Adam was ultimately held responsible.
Ever since then a continual battle has existed over who will rule humankind. This is because Adam's importance wasn't simply that he was the first man God made. Rather, Adam was to be the prototype that all men were to seek to become. Therefore, when men make decisions based on their own thoughts, beliefs, or values—like Adam—rather than based on what God has to say as Ruler, then men are choosing to rule themselves as Adam did. They are choosing to call the King God without recognizing His authority by removing His rightful name of Lord God or Lord God, also found in Scripture referring to 'adown (master)-the verbal parallel to Yahweh. Essentially, they—like Adam—are seeking to dethrone their own Creator while still recognizing His existence.
It is religion without the ruler relationship of Yahweh.
There are two answers to every question—God's answer and everyone else's. When they contradict, everyone else is wrong. Removing master and absolute ruler from God's relationship with man essentially places God's answer on the same level as everyone else's. Adam's sin was allowing his wife's human viewpoint, which had been initiated by Satan, to override the revealed will and Word of God. Adam allowed a person close to him to overrule God.
Men, only by putting Lord back into the equation will you experience the dominion and authority you were created to have.
God told the Israelites, as described in Exodus 34:23, that three times a year all of their males were to appear together before Him to receive instructions from Him. Yet when God told them to appear, He specifically called them out before the "Lord GOD, the God of Israel." He called them to submit themselves to His complete authority.
If the men submitted, they were told that they, and those connected to them, would receive God's covering, protection, and provision. But they would receive this only if they positioned themselves under His absolute rule. So essential was this element of rulership that God used three of His names as a reminder. The Israelites were told to appear before the
God of Israel ('Elohim)
God was in charge, to the third power. In using three different names for himself, God emphasized His supreme authority over the men of the nation and their accountability to Him.
The same principle of God's rulership that applied to the Israelites is no different than God's rulership today. He is God—Lord, GOD, God of Israel, master, supreme God, ruler, and judge. A kingdom man, therefore, is one who places himself under His rulership and submits his life to the lordship of Jesus Christ. Rather than Adam being the prototype for man, now Jesus Christ—as the last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45)—is the prototype for a kingdom man.
A kingdom man is a man who rules according to God's rule.
Just as a referee in an NFL game is able to rule only according to the rulebook, a kingdom man is released to rule when he makes his decisions and orders his world according to God's rule.
When a kingdom man functions according to the principles and precepts of the kingdom, there will be order, authority, and provision. Yet when he doesn't, he opens himself up, and those connected to him, to a life of chaos.
The Miracle on the Hudson
The Hudson River runs through New York City—at one point actually separating Manhattan from the New Jersey border. The Hudson swells with both history and heritage. It is also one of the most scenic rivers in the United States, earning it the nickname of "America's Rhine."
Two occurrences on the Hudson grabbed my attention recently because each reveals what happens when a man rules, or does not rule, his realm well.
The first happened in 2009 during the icy cold month of January when birds flew straight into the engines of US Airways Flight 1549 immediately after the plane's takeoff, simultaneously shutting down both engines.
With only minutes until what seemed like an inevitable disaster, the pilot contacted the air control tower to seek clearance for rerouting and an emergency landing. He was told to return to the LaGuardia Airport.
At that point the captain, Chesley B. Sullenberger III, had to make a decision. The airport wasn't close enough for landing, so Sullenberger's only option was to ditch the plane in the Hudson. Yet landing a wide-bodied commercial plane on water without accruing fatalities was unlikely. Sullenberger, a veteran pilot of four decades, was acutely aware that the odds were not in favor of his surviving. Having served as a flight instructor, accident investigator, and flight crew instructor, Sullenberger didn't have to dig too deep in his mind to ascertain what the outcome could be.
Yet with two engines out and nowhere else for the plane to go, Sullenberger took charge of the realm for which he was responsible. Against the backdrop of passengers crying out for someone to bring order to the chaos, Sullenberger made a few quick adjustments, kept the plane just high enough to fly over the George Washington Bridge, and did what few pilots have ever attempted to do—he ditched the plane in the river. Ninety seconds before landing, he addressed the frantic cries of the passengers, stating calmly, "Brace for impact."
What happened next was nothing short of a perfect textbook ditching. In order for a plane not to break up on water impact, it has to land at precisely the correct speed as well as at precisely the correct level. Sullenberger gently pulled up on the nose of the plane, leveled the wings, and adjusted the speed simultaneously upon hitting the water to prevent the plane from breaking into a thousand pieces. And he did this with a jarring, violently vibrating 80-ton piece of metal.
Excerpted from Kingdom Man by Anthony T. Evans Copyright © 2012 by Anthony T. Evans. Excerpted by permission of TYNDALE HOUSE PUBLISHERS, INC.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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