Being a Man of God
“But you, O MAN OF GOD, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.”
1 Timothy 6:11 NKJV
Nowhere else in the New Testament is the term “Man of God” given to a man, but to Timothy. Crazy, right? So you mean to tell me, from Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, Paul, none of them were identified by this title? Haha, yes that is exactly what I am saying. I want you to go and search for yourself. Take an excursion through the New Testament and see if you can find the phrase Man of God being referenced to another man besides Timothy. What is it that makes him so special to the point where he was distinguished by the title Man of God? That’s just it--Timothy is not greater than Paul, John, or Luke. Just because they weren’t referenced directly as a Man of God, does not mean that they weren't men who knew God. The bible highlights that through their lifestyle they each lived as a “Man of God,” and that was sufficient. It is not the title that qualifies the man, but it is the man that bring depth to the title.
Pause. Before we dive too deep, let us focus on answering an essential question;
If we shared anything in common, the first thought that comes to my mind when I hear somebody being called a man of God is the paramount influence of a Christian man within the Christian community. Let me simplify–when I hear the phrase “Man of God,” I think of a Pastor. I found myself guilty of equating the label “Man of God” to that of Dragonball Z -- in order to be a “Man of God,” one must be at least on the level of super Saiyan three or greater. The sad reality is that many believers have the same mindset that I once had. We ascribe the label “Man of God” to the man more than we do to the Almighty God he is submitting to. The hard truth is our mindset has been positioned to believe that a “Man of God” is this influential guy that can out preach the best preacher. Contrary to popular belief the word of God does not define or identify a Man of God based on those attributes. There is a big difference between being gifted and being anointed. Oops, I need to pump my breaks. Let’s dissect this thing one step at a time.
John the Baptist definition of what a Man of God is so profound.
“He must increase, but I must decrease.”
John 3:30 NKJV
A lot of times we tend to over-complicate the word of God and therefore its application is rendered unless. It is very simple. A “Man of God” is a person who does the will of GOD. Very simple, but it is the shocking truth. If the identity of that title is not fixed on the man, then the attention must be shifted towards the great God. The verse is simply saying, a “Man of God” does not worry about displaying himself, but allowing the power of the Holy Ghost to manifest through him. It is not about how well I can display my intellectual opinion on a verse or how well I can speak, but it is simply about how much Christ can be displayed through me. Consider the function of a vessel.
If I was to buy a vessel and place it on a shelf and never use that vessel, that vessel is useless and irreverent because it is of no use. But now, let’s imagine that the President was coming over to visit my house and I want to make my house look good. So, I take the vessel that I placed on the shelf and put beautiful flowers in it. The vessel is now made of use and is worthy of honor because of my choice to place something of value inside of it. In that same manner, we ought to be. A man of God is only a man of God because God decides to entrust His work, which is of great honor, to ordinary people like us.
“But in a great house, there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
1 Timothy 2:20-22 NKJV
Often times we place an emphasis on certain attributes or abilities that we think will make us shine more as a Man of God. We try to pray a little harder, quote a little extra, or even preaching, and in that we try and display Christ. But the reality is that Christ does not need help to showcase Himself. He is already great enough to do that on His own. We are called to die to ourselves; passions, desires, emotions, insecurities in order to make room for Christ to display Himself through us. That’s what it means to be a Man of God.
“Then He said to them all, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me”’
Luke 9:23 NKJV
David is an example of a Man of God. He was labeled as a man after God’s own heart. See, that title alone perfectly depicts the essence of being a Man of God; not after your heart or people’s heart, but a man after God’s heart. Do the will of the Father, then you will become somebody that looks like the Father. It’s not about age. It’s not about the leadership position(s). It’s simply whether God can trust you with His plans, and He desires to see them come to pass on earth. If it was about age and leadership title, then Timothy would have been disqualified a long time ago. Being a young person and also being a mentee to Paul, Timothy would have fallen short of the modern day requirements of beginning a Man of God. That’s just it. We have the wrong perception of what it looks like to be a Man of God.
So, I say unto you, the same thing Paul said to Timothy. “O MAN of GOD,” Renew your mind and drop the Christian community myth on what it means to be a Man of God. Simply embrace the biblical truth of the matter; anyone who does the will of the Father is considered to be a man that is trusted by the Lord. And He who is trusted by the Lord models out the label MAN of GOD.