The western church loves young male leadership, and rightly so, (the scripture talks a ton of Jesus working through young men). Yet there is a a cowboy mentality that if not careful can become the cultural norm of any Christ-following community. It is a norm that is fanned by youthful men (who have something to prove), and can become an ignitor that creates a very dangerous DNA within the community.
What do I mean by cowboy mentality?
I mean those who fearlessly charge into darkness with the message of the gospel. They pinpoint the greatest risk, the darkest environment, and the highest of hill, and they move bringing all they can along with them. And there is something to this. If we have been asked by God to go to these places, we go in obedience expecting Him to use us in the process. Yet for many (and I have been prone to this), all we know is that we follow Jesus, and then logically assume that this means we are to go to the darkest of places with the intent of bringing the kingdom of light.
But as author Bill Johnson points out, light doesn’t have to intentionally defeat darkness, it innately does. And if we choose to move towards darkness in response to logic instead of obedience we let darkeness, and the prince of it, be a pivotal part of shaping our agenda.
Let me say this again: Focusing on the dark, allows the dark to assist in the shaping of our agenda
In CS lewis’, The Lion, Witch, and the Wardobe there is a brilliant meeting that takes place between the four kids (Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy) and the hospitable and homely Mr. and Mrs. Beaver. As they sit around the table eating a marmalade role while Mr. Beaver drinks a pint of beer, they go on to tell the kids about Aslan, and how he is waiting and wanting to meet with them. They talk about his strength, his power, and his plan. After a few minutes go by, Lucy looks up only to realize that Edmund (who has now baught into an evil lie) has snuck out to meet with the evil white witch. The kids response is a loving and logical one:
We must go get Edmund!
We must go convince him he is on the wrong side!
We must get to the witches’ castle!
We must overthrow her!
It was an urgent and passionate response from 3 well intended, righteous, sons and daughters of Adam and Eve. “A cowboy-ish call to courageously charge the dark”.
But what sticks out is Mr. Beaver’s response to them…
“Why would you go to try and defeat the dark witch, when you have a chance to meet with Aslan? Why would you try to engage the betrayed Edmund when you have a chance to sit with Aslan?”
This kids pressed even harder into their immediate need to go fight for their brother.
“Stop worrying about Edmund and the white witch! I just told you Aslan is wanting to meet with you. Did you not hear me?”
You won’t overthrow a thing, you won’t bring your brother back, you won’t live til tomorrow…unless you first Go to Aslan; Than everything will be as it is suppose to be.
The power, and presence needed to win this battle does not rest with you. It rests with Him.
It was the theological declaration of a beaver that is needed more than ever in the action-oriented church of the west.
Seek first the Kingdom and all else will be added.
Your influnece fully depends on how much you have let the creator influence you.
All power and all passion begins and ends with God Himself….So go there, sit, and soak it up.
Be cautious of the Cowboy. The best doing always comes from those who go first to the living water, the roaring lion, and the powerful creator.
Our aim should never be the next adventure or apostolic endeavor. Our next aim must always be His good, perfect, and powerful presence.
The world depends on it.