In battle, strategically speaking, the higher ground is that place where you can see the enemy coming. The person who holds the high ground typically has the advantage.
Such imagery takes me back to playing the game “King of the Mountain” (or “…Hill,” depending on the part of the country you are from), as a junior higher at Snow Camp. The goal was to maintain the high ground at all cost. It took a lot to unseat the king, and usually you needed the cooperation of others and a plan of attack to have victory. Once gained, you had to watch each other’s backs as you weathered each assault to reclaim the high ground.
Take the Super Bowl Test
The battle for integrity plays out all the time when it comes to the battle for men’s hearts, minds and souls, particularly in the arena of sexual integrity. There is an ever-pervasive attack on our visual senses, as well as our fears of inadequacy.
If you were to question the veracity of that statement, I would urge you to try to take this little test during the Super Bowl this Sunday:
Keep a pad of paper by your side and see if you can count how many commercials use sex or an appeal to our need for adequacy as a selling point for men.
And don’t expect the onslaught to end during the halftime show, or at any time following the game.
I have heard it said that there are three elements that must be present for someone to follow temptation:
- Motivation – Is there a sense of loss or need from which we desire relief so we turn to our own devices for satisfaction?
- Justification – Have we played out scenarios in our hearts and minds that make the unthinkable plausible?
- Opportunity – Are we out of the watchful eyes of others, isolated to a certain degree, and able to carry out that which we know is wrong?
As I recall the victories in my life where the change of behaviors became sustainable, I have noticed some similarities. Until my mind has been convinced to the point that my heart is affected, my actions have not been sustainable. Even then, I needed God to remind me, empower me, and surround me with community that had been won over to the same convictions. Is it any wonder that the battle in men’s minds for sexual integrity is often lost?
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. – 2 Cor. 10:4-5
In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul talked about the battle for the strongholds in our lives. He identified the root of those strongholds as being arguments or pretensions. Arguments in which pride determines what is true over what God says is true and our pretensions as the things we assume or maintain as truth out of ignorance. He pointed out that such battles require divine power to demolish the strongholds and, in the context of community, we are to take captive these thoughts to the point of being won over through obedience.
‘Manning Up’ has never been God’s plan
I wish it was as simple as resisting temptation or “manning up,” but when has it ever been by God’s design to win out against sin by mere will power alone? Has God ever told us we could do this apart from Him or the support of others? Isn’t the power of grace supposed to be part of the equation? And when does grace come to us apart from humility and community?
In cooperation with Prodigals International and several local churches, Westminster Chapel is hosting the 4th annual Higher Ground Men’s Conference, a regional gathering of men of faith, Saturday, Feb. 27. Men (including fathers and their teenage sons) will come together and, by the grace of God, demolish some of the strongholds of our over-sexualized culture.
Pastors, Dads, Men & Young Men: Do yourself a favor and join us Saturday, Feb. 27th. Let “The Super Bowl Test” remind us of the constant battle we’re in, and our need to gather with hundreds of other men who desire to reclaim the higher ground – for ourselves and for the next generation.
Register Online Now. Tickets available for individuals, groups, fathers & sons, students and active military and first responders. Early Bird Discount extended for Groups and Active Military through Sunday, Feb. 21! Registration is for entire day and includes continental breakfast and lunch.
The 2016 Higher Ground Men’s Conference features more than 20 in-depth breakout sessions facilitated by leading psychologists, pastors and thought leaders on topics of sexual brokenness and recovery, father-son relationships, integrity in the workplace, spiritual authenticity, Biblical manhood, and being agents of social justice in regard to poverty and the sex trade. Special tracts available for pastors/ministry leaders, fathers & sons and military men.