One of my favorite movie clips is from Michael where John Travolta plays the Archangel. The scene is late in the movie – Michael sees a bull standing in the pasture and says, “Battle!” as he hops the fence to face off against the bull. After the head-on collision, both the bull and Michael are on the ground. When asked if he is okay, Michael responds, “No injuries, 6360 battles,” as his friend helps him up.
The message I like to convey with this clip is that dads are going to get knocked down on the journey called fathering but faithful fathers always get back up to take a stand for the next battle. The media and society love to knock dads down, often depicting us as bumbling idiots at best and checked out deadbeats at worst. One of the highlights of this ministry is seeing a group of dads in a church encourage and equip each other on the fathering journey and implement the PASS the BATON strategy that in turn can lift all dads up in the church and beyond.
“You (King Ahab) have abandoned the Lord’s commands and have followed the Baals. Now summon the people from all over Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel. And bring the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.” – 1Kings 18:18-19. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. … Therefore, put on the full armor of God so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. – Ephesians 6:11, 13. Elijah took a stand in battle, in the power of his God when he charged Ahab of abandoning the Lord’s commands. He then challenged the prophets of Baal to prove their god exists by offering him a sacrifice. After their efforts proved futile, Elijah called on his God and He showed up in a powerful way. Read the balance of 1Kings 18 for the rest of the story. In the New Testament, Paul charges each of us to “stand your ground” against evil. The devil’s scheme is to distract, discourage and destroy. We are to stand in battle to rebuke distractions with the word of God, embrace encouragement that is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and gain understanding of the power of the resurrected Christ in you.
Distractions try to trip dads up, often through busy-ness at work or with hobbies. Discouragement works to cause a dad to stumble through subtle setbacks, a valley in marriage or a sudden job loss. Destruction is the fall the devil lives for, the loss of hope. Though dads may trip, stumble or even fall in battle, the call is to get up and stand your ground. Paul says to “rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, Whom He has given us.” (Romans 5:3-5).
Prayer guide: Lord, thank You for the hope that does not disappoint. Too often I like to face battles on my own and even take pride in some accomplishments. Isolated in efforts to provide for my family, I have tripped and stumbled. Forgive me Lord. Strengthen me in Your Word, surround me with battle buddies I can be vulnerable with and empower me with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Help me stand to battle in Your power Father, for my marriage and family as the faithful father You call me to be. Amen.
A faithful father stands in the power of the Father for battles he faces.