THE MALE MAN IN PRIESTHOOD : THE ENEMY’S MULTI-FRONT SIEGE (Zechariah 3:1)
“And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord stood by. And the angel of the Lord protested unto Joshua, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by. Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.” Zechariah 3:1-8 KJV
“Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”
Hebrews 10:18-22 KJV
Please permit me to welcome you to this mount. The LORD has promised and said that this will be a Mount of Transfiguration experience for all, in Jesus name. During the last summit, we made so much about men taking life responsibility in their priestly headship of the home, work place and in Kingdom service. But this time, we wish to ensure that we have made our way clear, and there is nothing between us and our Saviour, and we too can claim “The Lord God of Israel, before whom I stand..” So, this time we have come to receive help from Shiloh, to be what we ought to be and where we ought be standing in faith and by faith. Nevertheless there are hurdles to clear, and in our “dying daily”, there are some things we need to die unto, To-day. The place of brokenness where God takes men, before they can stand before Him as those upheld by Him alone (1 King 17:1; Isa 42:1).
As I was preparing for this retreat I sense that it is first for my life and then yours. And that is because I belong like you do, to the same often assailed and assaulted kindred species – the male man. We were created in the background of a conflict of ages. Shortly after our creation by our Father, the adversary invented his vengeance strategy : to alienate the crowning creation of God from Him. The prime target? Yes, you get it, the male man. That battle is still extant. But for you and for me, every storm will be stilled in the mighty name of Jesus. We will leave this place to reign in life through the One who redeemed our paradise lost unto us.
As we were praying more for this Summit, a burden and compassion fell on my heart for the male man with an intensity totally unknown to me before this time. The Divine provenance of this burden is convincing and I thought to share it with you as we look up to the Lord for help on this mount. Like a movie, many instances of travails of the male man was played before me, some of which I now share below. However, the Divine marching order impression is “….tell my children, that the greater task ahead of you demands a deeper level of brokenness, a higher measure of grace; say to them that I know their estate and I have come to help them and deliver from the spirit of stagnation, ..because I see, I feel and I know.. their pains…And I have come to help them across this ford Jabbok, unto which I have invited them.” (Gen 32:22)
Since the first time that the adversary visited man’s Eden home to exact his vengeance on God by literally destroying man, he has never ceased his hunt. Significant is his strategy of reaching out to the woman to get at the man. While some of us here are blessed with spiritually mature wives, and we with such privilege are grateful to the Lord for the gift we have in loving, faithful wives; many of you have to drag along your yet growing spouses. In other cases, some have zealously religious spouses who are rushing ahead, while through the same process the man is stagnated. The issue is that the Devil’s prime target is the male man, because he understands that even though Deborah may awake but if Barak does not arise, the reality battle can not be engaged (Judges 5:12). The question is who and where was Lapidoth? The enemy knows and fears with a paranoid terror, the power that is unleashed against his fallen kingdom, when the latent potential of the male man is unleashed.
The battle just as in Eden, many a times starts in the home front. To-day, the Lord is saying I have seen your pain and agony when ‘your help meet’ instead of praying until the Manchild is revealed in you, assembles a gossip group to betray your nakedness. And when you go to your counsellor, he is quick to point out to you that your wife is not the problem, rather you are the dysfunctional
‘head’. Today the Lord is saying to you, never mind, I am here NOW to help you, fear not thou worm Jacob…
Oh, I have heard cries of agony….., one said, “…(my wife) has turned all my children against me, and that I find excruciatingly painful, I will never forgive my wife for that..….” ; the other cried out in pain, “Sir, sir, sir, you are asking me to fly with one wing! ‘ Today the Lord is saying to you, I know, I know……… And you are asking, “Lord, if you know, why have You done nothing to help me? “ He says, that is why I AM here, to take you across the ford Jabbok. I heard one say, “why does my wife go round broadcasting our problems, I don’t go about gossiping about her.” Yes, it is true gossip about wives, is extremely rare amongst men. It is simply not a ‘man thing’, to share intimate things about their wives with others. If indeed he will mention anything like that, it is often when it is too late. On that note, I remember one respected servant of God, many years ago, with tears, (I cannot recollect exact words but..) said something along the lines of, ‘I have come to the end of my wits with my wife, this ministry will not be allowed to go anywhere, Brother Goke, I have been set up to fail, I am an injured soldier, I need a retreat, can you take over the running of this work?” I
said, “No, sir!”. His wife had literally ‘tittle tattle’-d that ministry out of existence!
There was another case of a brother who ran a Christian orphanage for decades (long before and during the current insurgency in Nigeria) and raised generations of children many off whom are graduates and post graduates today. Along the way he adopted one of these children as his own son and on graduation gave a leading post in one branch of the work. This young man got involved in fund misappropriation and the brother disciplined him. He felt hurt and retaliated by raising allegations that the brother historically abused some girls in the orphanage. This got picked up and sponsored by anti-pedophilia campaign and became a court case. How does someone turn from a servant of God overnight to a villain hunted by the law? Under extreme stress, the brother developed uncontrolled hypertension and within a couple of months suffered a stroke and died suddenly, leaving his wife and children. That is the enemy we face; roaming about seeking whom to devour. His job is to steal, kill and destroy. That orphanage within weeks of the troubles lost support of its international affiliates and found itself tottering on near collapse.
Oh, how the devil hates the male man! For the male man, similarly with his children too, it is a struggle. Many men mortgage and devote all their working lives to raise and support their families. The children often are the only investment in some men’s lives, yet they grow up to only “ sing Sweet mother…..”. And you are wondering, what about “Sweet Daddy..” it is uncertain such a song exists. Some started with godly children but somehow watched them drift into immorality, drugs, gangs, pre-marital pregnancy and lewdness of all sorts. And you helplessly are crying, ‘Lord, where did I get it wrong?’ Men with agony watch their life investment crumble before their very eyes. Oh, in my vantage position of being let into men’s experiences, I have witnessed pain, agony, helplessness, despondency and hopelessness …. But today, the compassionate Jesus says, “I see it too, even more clearly than any man may…. and I know…., I know…about it all”
The post modern society has turned the Divine organogram upside down. There is a subtle Lucifersponsored anti-male campaign presented as solutions to contemporary issues. Legislation is foisted on us to neutralise the man’s Divinely delegated authority over his own life, his wife or children or his own home. The family court sets its priorities with the children topping the priority list, then the wife and then the man is the one designated to be kicked out of his home. You go to some funerals where the woman is eulogised as if her husband never existed. In one particular case, while the eulogies were very justified because this woman lived a sublime and exemplary life, but it was left for only one person amongst the children (who is a disciple), in the midst of dozens giving tributes, to remind the audience that most of what was attributed to their mother found a platform in their father. I am not even sure anyone in the audience picked that point up, because none of those who spoke after that disciple mentioned the deceased’s husband, who by a rare chance was still alive at that point in time. You see, it is in little things like this, that world system, run by the prince of this world has undermined the man. Some are driven to despair when little, little things all add up to choke them and they say, ‘is it all worth playing the male role?’ But our loving God says, “I know, I feel your pains….. You just need to walk across this ford of emptying. Allow me to empty you of all unhelpful thoughts, wrong feelings and reactionary actions; let the tide of the brook carry it all away……….and I will fill you with My Spirit which will then serve Me from within you, and through you.”
When some people leave the woes at home, worse seems to await them at work, in the market place. You feel singled out for torture, the job you took up, thinking that it will be a platform for evangelism has now become the source of physical, emotional and spiritual drainage. One brother said to me not long ago, ‘ I think I’m close to ending it all, since no one seems to need me…’ I found myself begging him. He was burnt out! No wonder, on average in Christendom, women are now said to outlive their husbands by anything from another 15% – 20%, on top of their husbands’ age at death. But the LORD has come down today, to say, “I know and feel your pains….. you will yet rejoice in the Lord your God and your days will I fulfil.” You will not be taken out by hypertension and adult onset diabetes.
Some of us are ministers and the house of God that is meant to be the foundation of the truth and garden of rest has become an arena for conflicts and exhaustion and burn outs….. There are frequent conflicts and cliques of diverse types. In the past few years we have known a number of ministers who “retire” out of the work of God because of unbearable pressure and burn out……. While the correlation with causes and effects may not be obvious or easy to establish, it is all about disputation of the devil, same as he contested with Joshua the son Josedech, the high priest. Oh, the travails of the male man…! (Zechariah 3:1-8)
But tonight, pray all to pass through the ford of the brook Jabbok (a branch of Jordan), and experience the emptying at Jabbok; baptism of repentance and death to self at Jordan; and the breaking that leads to the brokenness which precedes the experience of Peniel Sunrise.
“And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two womenservants, and his eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok. And he took them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over that he had. And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh.”
Genesis 32:22-31 KJV
Now all of the above as lengthy as it is, might find no application or relevance whatsoever to your own experience; but you will agree that the male (as well as the female) man and indeed the whole Church appears to be under a siege of the enemy in this generation. That is enough reason to join with the rest of us in prayers.
For those who find any of the above relevant or extant situation or even past experience, none of these should becloud our hearts before whom we have come to. Nothing must stand between us and the Saviour. We have come to the ford of emptying. So, cast all these emotions, hurts, ill feelings, high blood pressure into the this brook Jabbok. Your wife is your friend and helper, not your enemy. Don’t confuse her with the enemy. Neither the wives at home nor the children nor the ‘flesh and blood’ at work and in the market place are the enemies. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12 KJV). The adversary only liaises with the enemy within (self) and if the old man is no longer there then he seeks any of the dead-works left behind by the old man. That is the weak link the adversary uses to cause all the above listed mayhem.The difference this time is that it is the Lord that has us sought out and He is stretching His arm of help. He Himself is ahead of us into the ford of emptying and the place of breaking. None will return home the same in the name of Jesus. You will see Heaven open the Sun will rise over each head…
“For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive
abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)”
Romans 5:17 KJV
“Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.”
Hebrews 10:35-39 KJV
In conclusion, again permit me to welcome you. When you return home your wife, children and neighbours will be asking, ‘What happened to you? What did they do to you at Prescot?” when they begin to see a new man rising above every challenge, every opposition every mischief every conspiracy of the evil one. Welcome to the mount of victory over sin, self, Satan and his world system, as well as death to death itself. We will leave this place released from all root of bitterness; with all the chains of disappointment and cords of resentment, with which the enemy had bound men, all broken.
Dying daily and tears of repentance are not unbelief or weakness, but the necessary foundations of a life of faith. Jesus never knew sin but walked before His Father in continuous brokenness and tearful prayers all His days on the earth, interceding for us sinners (Heb 5:7-9). That was how He attained perfection during His earthly sojourn. His descent from Heaven of the heavens to sojourn on the earth itself became the premise of His brokenness for over thirty three years. And continuous brokenness was the instrument that the Father employed to help Jesus through his own sojourn. Now we too in our midst can have men who with clean and pure hearts have access to the holiest of holies and indeed take their stand in the place of Divine Presence before our Father. Men of faith who live by faith.
Yours in Calvary’s great and complete Triumph through Christ Jesus,