Being a Pastor is not my only life. I have other responsibilities that require my attention just like everyone else. Being the father of five and grandfather of two keeps me very busy. And just like you, it is very important for me to be involved in other activities with my family and enjoy quality time with them. Like you, I can get very busy with the cares of this world. The challenge is in keeping my “busyness” from preventing me from doing the things that my King has given me to do … just like you.
I can easily get distracted with work, family, television, the news and other extracurricular activities and lose focus on what King Jesus commanded me to guard … the inner man. As a man I have an outer man, the flesh and all the flesh desires, but I also have an inner man where the Holy Spirit is enthroned. I have to guard both my outer and inner man with great diligence. And so do you.
Subtly, just like you, I can get too busy with the daily responsibilities, too entertained with my surroundings, and too worried about problems or just trapped in the routine of daily life. Left unchecked, I can slowly begin to drift away spiritually, little by little, just a little here and a little there.
The word “keep” or “guard” means to hedge in with thorns. We have to hedge our inner man in with thorns by establishing boundaries for our outer man; put perimeters and boundaries around him, and make sure that he does not escape. Boundaries are the essential discipline of a godly man.
- Are you guarding the man?
- What can you identify that may subtly be taking your attention away?
- What actions will help you to establish boundaries around the man?
The world is a battlefield, and if we lose the man, we lose ourselves. We lose faith, vision, purpose and hope. The day will come that we will be face to face with the King, and He will ask us: Did you guard the man? The challenge comes down to something as simple as this:
The flesh and the spirit … which are you feeding? The one you feed is the one who will determine the kind of man you will become.