The Journey Ahead
This book will help us become men of honor and integrity by aligning our hearts with God's heart. Our behavior, good or bad, is reflective of what's in our hearts. Let's let the scalpel of God's word perform surgery on our hearts so that our lives bring glory instead of shame to the Father. The objective of this book is to help you become a man after God’s heart. We encourage you to engage in a life-transforming journey that will teach you how to live differently—to live victoriously, to live lives of integrity and honor under God’s authority. The book is divided into three parts. Part one contains three chapters. Part two includes six chapters. The final part closes with two chapters. Although helpful suggestions and applications are provided throughout the book the last two chapters focus entirely on application. They answer the question, “What do we do now that we know.
Part 1: Preparing for Battle
Part 1 begins the journey by addressing what a man after God’s heart looks like. In chapter 1 twelve essential characteristics are described and explained. Chapter 2 identifies situational lifestyles we adopt to navigate the pathways of our lives are described. These lifestyles promise victory but only result in dysfunctional approaches to life’s problems. In opposition to these defective patterns, chapter 3 lays out God’s preferred lifestyle, the one that indeed delivers what it promises, a victorious life, if we have the courage to train to reach it. This chapter sets the stage for all that follows in the next two parts. It sets the objective. The remaining chapters are designed to help the reader reach this objective. All the remaining chapters point to this objective.
Part 2: Surveying the Battlefield
Part 2, the largest section of the book, addresses the real battlefield for change and transformation that will help us reach our objective of God’s preferred lifestyle. Counter to what we have come to believe, sanctified behavior modification is not the route to lasting transformational change leading to spiritual maturity and abundant living promised in the Bible. Chapter 4 opens with a critique of five deadly lies that if believed will lead to insignificance and mediocrity. The chapter continues with an overview of the real battlefield where the struggle for victory is fought.
Each chapter from this point on will include a Battle Plan at the end of the chapter. This will give the reader an opportunity to engage the material covered from a personal point of view. These sections will help the reader grasp the impact of the material in their personal life. Certainly, the book can be read and hopefully enjoyed without interacting with the battle plans at the end of the chapters. I believe, however, you will get much more out of the book by completing the battle plans along the way.
Chapter 5 will briefly look at the map of the battlefield that must be defended and guarded if we are to live godly and honorable lives while we wait for the blessed appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. This part also describes the topography of the battlefield in detail. Four terrains will be addressed. Chapter 6 addresses central beliefs, chapter 7 core values, chapter 8 worldview, and chapter 9 motives. Each terrain builds on the one previous. Together they comprise the complete landscape where the battle is fought, where the battle is won or lost.
This part will illustrate the relationship between each of the battle terrains and their importance in determining victory or defeat. Each terrain affects the others but one terrain, central beliefs, can positively or adversely affect or infect the others. Just like operating software, this very important high ground on the battlefield determines how all application software functions.
Part 3: Winning the Battle
Our final part answers the question, “So what?” This part brings all that preceded it together into a functioning whole. Chapter 10 puts all that has preceded this chapter in perspective. This chapter will help you see the whole after having reviewed the parts. Hopefully, it will bring it all together in one system so you can see how the individual parts interact with one another. An example will be provided to that end.
Chapter 11 provides guidance on how to correct corrupted behavior. This chapter will specific concrete steps you can take to remove and replace sinful behavior and the corruption in the heart that led to that behavior. Specific corrective measures will be described. Chapter 12 offers guidance for proactively living godly lives. Once again, specific concrete steps will be presented, the completion of which help you life a productive and godly life. Guidance in chapter 11 is corrective of destructive sinful behavior that brings shame and dishonor on us and God. Guidance in chapter 12 is preventative in nature and will present help to live intentionally as men after God’s heart before problems arise that requires corrective measures.
Put differently, the book is designed to help us become effective crime scene investigators. How does one become a CSI? What gives a CSI the edge to see things on a crime site that are there but overlooked by a casual observer? What gives a CSI the capability to put evidence together to determine what actually happened at the crime site? We may have some inherent qualities that lend themselves to becoming effective CSI’s. But such intuitive knowledge is no replacement for solid training in disciplines needed to properly identify and interpret crime scenes. Each CSI must be trained in a variety of skills to be effective in the field. And then, to remain sharp, they must visit crime sites regularly.
This book will help you become good crime scene investigators of your own life primarily and others secondarily. Hopefully, you will be given the best tools to determine what happened on your crime site and what accurate conclusions can be drawn to prevent it from happening again.
The end of the book is just the beginning. Once you understand the dynamics of spiritual formation and spiritual transformation and begin to apply what you have learned under the authority of God, in response to the finished work of cross by Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, you will begin to live a legacy worth leaving in the lives of others. You will finish the race well.
Let’s begin the journey.