Emma Danzey| Contributing Writer202117 Aug
I once had a profound moment with a boy in fourth grade. I gave some words of encouragement to young boys about how the Lord has a purpose for every man of God. I told them that they were special and had a unique calling to be men one day. Afterward, one young man came up and said thank you because he had two sisters and his mom who were always watching female-empowering shows and movies. He wanted to be encouraged too. Today we are going to study some of the main characteristics of a man of God.
What Is the Meaning of the Phrase ‘Man of God’?
1 Timothy 4:8 says, “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”
When I think about men around me who have dedicated their lives to Christ, I think of humility, courage, and leadership. They may not always be the quarterbacks or the CEO types, but they are faithful to the Lord no matter what their personalities and giftings include. When I was praying for my husband, I prayed specifically that he would be a man of God. What I meant by this, was a man pursuing the Lord, who surrendered His life to Christ. I think of men who acknowledge that they are sinners, but still, choose to live by the Spirit and not by their flesh (Galatians 5:16).
The phrase, “A man of God” is used in the Bible 35 times. Aaron Brown from Crosswalk says, “Being a man of God is not something to be condemned but rather encouraged. For any boy becoming a man, or men trying to commit themselves more thoroughly to God, there is an answer to the question.” A man seeking to know Jesus more and living like Him more is a man of God. He is not a perfect man, but he is a godly one. A man of God admits he is not able to represent the Lord without the help of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). He will be strong through Christ and seek Him each day (Psalm 105:3-4).
What Are Some Key Characteristics of Men of God?
There are some qualities of a Christian man that are the same in a Christian woman. Everyone who has Christ has the Holy Spirit and can live a godly life. So what are some specific characteristics in which men of God obtain?
This might sound like an interesting trait to begin with, but it reminds me of the word gentleman. In the book “Gentle and Lowly” by Dane C. Ortlund, he describes that Jesus Himself describes his heart once in the Bible as “gentle and lowly” (Matthew 11:29). When someone thinks of a manly man by the world’s standards, he might imagine a physically tough guy who shows no weaknesses, gets angry, and has no fear. This is not an accurate depiction of biblical manhood. Gentleness is a character trait that does not come naturally but reveals the interworking of the Lord to enable men to be slow to anger and quick to listen. It leads to great patience and steadiness.
One of the main qualities described when discussing a man of God is courage. Nelson Mandela once said, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” Men have fear, but God gives them the strength to walk in the midst of that fear and have victory through the Lord. Men many times are called upon to be brave. Bravery could look like anything from killing a spider to sharing about a struggle in a men’s group. It could be carrying a heavier load because of the gift of physical strength. Courage is even the great faith in the Lord it takes to lead a family and point them to Christ (Joshua 1:9).https://2132aa14c9f9630258fbcb5475bfd650.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
Cole Douglas Claybourn from Crosswalk says, “Men have been trained and socialized to avoid and ignore knowing their insecurities, which is one of the reasons they are less verbal than women about their insecurities, Vierra said. ‘This results in less being known and understood about them.’” A man of God is not beyond sharing his thoughts and feelings. He pushes past the “macho man” mentality and can step into vulnerability (2 Corinthians 8:21).
A man who follows the Lord takes responsibility. He pursues Christ and follows Him with boldness. He does not sit back as Adam did in the garden when Eve was sinning. He stands up for what is right and takes action. He is reliable and loyal. You can trust that he is who he claims to be to others (Colossians 3:23).
Who Are Examples of Men of God in the Bible?
Some specific men who were given this title of honor in Scripture include, Moses, David, Elijah, and Elisha.
Moses—Deuteronomy 33:1 “Now this is the blessing with which Moses the man of God blessed the sons of Israel before his death.”
David—Nehemiah 12:36 “and his kinsmen, Shemaiah, Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel, Judah and Hanani, with the musical instruments of David the man of God. And Ezra the scribe went before them.”
Elijah—1 Kings 17:18 So she said to Elijah, “What do I have to do with you, O man of God? You have come to me to bring my iniquity to remembrance and to put my son to death!”
Elisha—2 Kings 5:8 “It happened when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, that he sent word to the king, saying, ‘Why have you torn your clothes? Now let him come to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.’”
What Does a Man of God look like in the 21st Century?
Bible Study Tools shares it beautifully, “While the world tends to tell men to hide their emotions and act tough, God’s Word is filled with men who passionately and whole-heartedly sought God with their heart, mind, and soul! God has a special calling for men to be strong, courageous leaders, and His Scripture can provide the inspiration you need to take daily steps towards your calling.”
Men of God in the 21st century represent Christ. No matter what a man’s denomination is or culture, he represents biblical manhood when he models loving God and loving others. He is not boxed in by a world definition of a man having power and prestige. He is confident in his personal identity in Jesus. He knows who he is and walks daily with God. He is willing to admit his wrongs and has the strength to try again when he fails. He is unashamed to share his heart with others and to step up to the plate to be brave. This is not in his own power, but the strength of the Holy Spirit within him.
A man cannot force anyone to be a man of God, but he can model it and show others how to live for Christ. The men in my life do this so well in their own ways. We can pray and speak words of encouragement to the young boys and young men in our homes and communities. We can give the same motivation to the men as the women. We are all created in the image of the Lord. He made us male and female. Our Great Creator has perfect plans for how he made us and loves us. If you are a man or know a man, remember that men have a wonderful calling and a purpose on this earth. Let us celebrate the men of God in this world.