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October 02, 2004

Taming the Wild Heart

Brussels, Belgium

Is God’s intention for men to be “Wild at Heart”? I am asked all the time what I think of this concept because of my passion for godly manhood. I do believe it to be a well-intended effort at restoring the masculine approach to living, leadership, and love. But God has not called us to be “wild” at heart – nor did he design us to be “wild” in any aspect of our lives made in His image. He created us in His image to rule and to reign upon the earth – to have dominion over the earth. Yes! Dominion – but let us not use our concepts of dominion to run beyond the scope of God’s intention – His Glory!

I want to give the benefit of the doubt that “wild” was just a miscalculated and perhaps poor choice of words for the title. Yet its true meaning implies definition we must consider in light of God’s Word to His children. I thank God that His mercy tamed my wild heart. We cannot, nor should we, exchange the crucial need to re-establish biblical manhood for a godly sense of wildness and find scriptural foundations to do so. For there is not one reference to “wild” as any part of that fruit which the Spirit of God bears in the life of the believer.

[For] the fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Goodness, kindness, Gentleness, Faith – against these things there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. ~Galatians 5:22-26

We must stand fast in our liberty where with Christ has made us free to be not entangled again to the yolk of bondage. For we have been called to liberty – only we must not use this liberty as an occasion for the flesh by love serve one another. ~Galatians 5:1,13

Relying greatly on film scripts and composite characters as motivation for how we are to live and respond to conflict, vindication, offense, injustice and evil is far from a total dependence on Holy Scripture. God’s Word is the only foundation for how to live. Braveheart, Gladiator, Saving Private Ryan – all are good motivational films and yet all are stories indicating the depravity of man. The Gladiators were slaves who were killed for sport and who became wild in their killing for the pleasure of the crowd – this is sin at its very core. Hanks brilliantly portrays a character working through the struggles and emotions of tough leadership and making hard calls in difficult situations – but unfortunately doing so only on the foundation of sheer man-centered determination and fortitude. The films are great, but not the foundation upon which I want to mirror my life. Each lead character that we admire displayed not faith in a Sovereign God, but trust in themselves and their own strength. Where is our passion for Holy Strength? We cannot glory in myth or even glory in our own history of triumphing over evil – but glory only in Christ – nothing else. Until that becomes our focus and strength – let us not even talk of transforming our personalities. In Christ we will be transformed and brought back to God’s intention for us.

Put off these things – anger, rage, malice, filthy language from your lips…because of these things the wrath of God is coming. But put on the new self which is being renewed in the knowledge in the image of the creator. ~Colossians 3:5-10

God does call men to action to stand for what is right, but our ability to fight and be courageous conquerors cannot be fueled effectively through remembrances of portrayals of what bravery might look like, but we must live supported by God’s Word. Christ submitted himself to the cross in obedience to the Father. The “wild” thing for Christ to have done would have been to call down the wrath on His mockers and take over with vengeance instead of respond in grace: “Father, forgive them.” In His unmatched holiness, He conquered sin – our sin – through radical obedience to the Father.

Yes – fight evil, route the enemy, climb Everest, rule the land, but do it with a wild heart and see where your strength lies and how it will sustain you. Do it by the power of the Holy Spirit, and your faith will move mountains.

We can fight because we are fueled by self-control. We can conquer because we have faith. We can stand and defend a falling city because we have goodness and love. We can attack because we have peace. We can proclaim justice and truth with all boldness because we have patience and temperance. Until our lives reveal the fruit of the spirit, we fight by our own strength and for our own glory. It is by this fruit we learn to live, lead, and love.

Abandon yourselves to God – and learn to live not recklessly – but learn to live righteously. Be assured that a life committed to the Glory of God will face down the dragon at its laird, fight, struggle, rescue, sweat, and find adventure beyond compare.

Until we understand that our own nature must die and that we are raised in the newness of Christ, we will toil in vain looking for significance in this world as males. But MEN are raised up from the ashes by the Spirit and set upon the Rock as God intended us to be when we come to repentance and see that in Christ we are crucified and it is not our life any longer that we live – but it is Christ living within us! Galatians 2:20.

Let our passion be for Christ and nothing less. Live – yes live with all the might of our Sovereign God! But live as men fueled by abiding in the Spirit given to us as our seal for the day of salvation as we pilgrimage to our eternal home to receive our royal inheritance in the Kingdom of our everlasting God!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My <>< brother! Not a man so haven't read the book, but to all you say I say Amen, Let it be so. I especially like that you mentioned that we shouldn't look to movies as an example of how we live. So much secularism is creeping into our church. Christ forwarned us (I've been reading the prohecies. Keep it up Dan. See you soon!

7:46 PM  
Blogger nickb said...

please,dont tame my wild heart...

what does it mean when we say "wild" at heart? what images and thoughts fill our head? do we automatically connect wild to a life of sin? we need to define what the word "wild" means. merriem websters dictionary defines it as: (1) not ordinarilly tame or domesticated (2) not subject to restraint or regulation (3) emotionally overcome (4) passionately eager or enthusiastic (5) going beyond normal or conventional bounds. overall, i quess you could say that a person who lives "wildly" is one who is full of passion that seems to break domestication because they are not bound to any restrictions or regulations. is this not the life that jesus offers? i think i would like to live like this!

we were once wild in our sins. it controlled our daily lives. it held us captive, unable to break free of its chains. but we gave that former life over to christ so that we might become a new creation in him. we thank god that he tamed our old ways, our wild heart of sin. he has tamed our desires for sin and lack of self-control. as a disciple of christ we have given our lives over to him because we realize that our sin is wild and crazy. but that is the old wild at heart. we have been given a new and heart and a new mind which are being made new in christ. we want to explore the new creation that we became in christ and what that would look like if we were to live it out in the daily lives of gods kingdom.

to live like christ is to take on the whole life of christ. to drench ourself with his every word, movement and action. is this not what we pray for in the morning before we go to work and when we go to sleep at night? "dear god, help me to be more like you. amen." we want to bear his spiritual image within our physical image so that they become one in the same. we want to become the fruit of the spirit which is: love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness and self-control. we do not merely want to display it. anyone can pick up a piece of fruit and display it for all to see, but we want to be the fruit. we want to be fruit the grows and is nourished by the giver. how did jesus become this way of life, how did he use it? i would go out on a limb to say that the root of such things are grounded in the untamed powers of the holy spirit that are so miraculously inter-woven into the heart of god. you might even call it the trinity. a spirit of god that cannot be caged and subjected to being just a nice,shiny,happy christian. it takes more than being a "nice guy" to offend and critize your neighbors and government in order to jumpstart a radical revolution of freedom and love that knows no bounds. it takes the whole being of god. it takes a someone molded to be unconventional and out of the ordinary. in other words "wild". so what does this look like in us and the people around us?

scripture paints us countless pictures of how we should live our life here on earth. it provides true stories of god working through sinful men and women where they live. in their oppresion, freedom, wealth, poverty, beleif and unbeleif. they are no better than us and we no better then they. yet god chooses to work through these people full of sin. those stories were handed down over thousands of generations so that people could see what god looked like through normal people. the danger is that we think that they are not us. in todays culture we also use stories, we call them movies. hollywood has created for us countless of pictures that stir the hearts and imaginations of men (and women)all over the world. movies such as gladiator, saving private ryan, braveheart, the list goes on. why do we as christians watch these films? if they were ungodly we wouldnt be watching them, would we? if they didnt help reveal to us some deeper understanding of life we wouldnt go out to buy the dvd and watch it with our buddies. its more than entertainment. it speaks to us. could it be that these "secular" films that seem to be seeping into churches reveal to us the nature of gods movement through sin depraved people? truths that pour out of these characters and into our hearts? for if it displays truth in any shape or form it has to be from the hand of god. right? for what is god? he is everything that represents truth because all things come from him, "good" and "bad". so truth is in life and death, love and hate, war and peace, self-determination and weakness. we can affirm truth even in a "secular" movie. or would you rather say that the whole earth is not really gods, just bits and pieces. that the world is not "god-bathed" and yields to speak the truth of god. i would rather not say so. so, we can find god in the movies...or better me where god is not in the movies (and anywhere else for that matter). i beleive that if we have based our foundation on the word of christ and that we beleive that scripture really says what it means, by saying "all things are yours," and to "test everything, hold onto the good," then we can see examples of what it might look like if we were to gain enough backbone and go into the world and fight for the kingdom of god with a discerning truth.

but the gladiators and soldiers werent beleivers! so what! im here to tell you that neither were you at one time, but god worked through you, god sustained your life while you were dead in your sins, didnt he? as a beliver that god is the creator and sustainer of all things, i saw the heart of god exhibiting from these image bearers of god. do i want to be like the gladiators fighting for thier lives or like the soldiers invading into enemy territories. you bet i do. but even more, i want to be like christ as i digest what he looks like in the book of truth. i want to display the danger of the movement of god as it toppled civilizations and kingdoms. movies like these only provide us images and motivation. but they are not the basis of our faith, nor should we look at them as examples of perfect living, but they serve as examples, glimpses of people struggling to defeat the conflict in thier world and overcoming them. identify the glory of god working through the sin of compostie character and you just might be able find god everywhere in your world.does not god work in mysterious ways? you better beleive it!

i often think of the image of james dean when i refer to the word "wild". it conjures up images of rebellion, recklessness, abandonment and spontinaeity. a willingness to move within the heart-beat of that moment. that is what i want my life with christ to be like. i want to love god with so much passion and intensity that people will see the fruits of the spirt exploding from my limbs and from my mouth. that you could not define me to a certain "box" of thinking or way of life, but to have no "box" at all in the movment of our lord. for the minute we think we can define the movement of god in our "religion" we have become ignorant to the fact that our brains cannot wrap around the thought of god. how can we confine god to a box? he's so much bigger than the cosmos. shouldnt we strive to be bigger also? shouldnt we strive to be a person that knows no bounds within the fruits of the spirit? shouldnt we strive to capture the presence of the holy sprit in our lives? the spirit of god wants us to grab on to him and hang on for the great life of adventures, battles, and romance. please, dont tell me to tame the wild heart of my soul that yearns for undomesticated freedom in christ.
to the discerning reader of all spiritual things,
go with god

9:42 PM  
Blogger Dan Meyers said...

Nick. Bro - I appreciate your comment; although, I don't exactly see clearly what you are saying in many places. Shorter is better on comments - maybe you should start a blog. Thanks Man! Dan

8:50 AM  
Anonymous BattleMaster said...

I think people mis-use the word 'wildness' and mistake exhuberance or intensity, or passion for a subject, or high levels of emotion as 'wildness'. True wildness is a scary thing. I mean, I think Cain was really wild. I wonder if Able would agree. I bet he would. Wildness is not what GOD calls us to be. I encourage folks to glance at the definition of WILD and check out most of the synonyms. Those words are not what our Christian walk is supposed to be. Men as God made them have a tendency towards action and aggression that can be used for GOD in Godly ways, but not in WILD ones.

Thanks, Dan
"Cool from Pisa."

10:09 AM  

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