"At a point where many men would sink into a deep pit of depression or even consider suicide, David got dialed in," says Dr. Tim Clinton as he explores the biblical story of David in his new book, co-authored with Max Davis, Take It Back: Reclaiming Biblical Masculinity – The Heart and Strength of Being a Man.
When someone is dialed in, it means that person has a clear line. The static has been eliminated. It's not always easy to get there, but it's worth it. The blinders are removed, and the way becomes clear.
Clinton sets the stage: "Imagine the scene. Their city had been decimated. [David's] wife and children have been kidnapped, and his followers want to kill him (1 Sam. 30)."
Although David was feeling the same trauma as his men, the shepherd-warrior future king fell back on his roots. Although he was devastated, defeated and disliked at that moment, David knew where his source of empowerment lay.
"David turned back to the fundamentals, back to his true source of strength, and got in position to receive a clear signal," Clinton says. "He wept again, but instead of cries of grief, he cried out to his God: 'David was greatly distressed ... But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God'" (1 Sam. 30:6, NIV).
David could strengthen himself in the Lord that way because he knew the Lord.
"David's foundation, strength and security were rooted in the Lord, not in his circumstances, in his failures or victories or even in his relationships with others, including his parents," Clinton says. "He could encourage himself in the Lord because the Lord was his source."
Always ready with a sports analogy, Clinton drives his point home to his target audience: "In sports, when you are out of sync, you get back to the fundamentals. Getting back to the fundamentals of your game is like getting rid of the static or getting back into position to receive a clear signal," he says.
This is exactly what happened to David. He got back to the fundamentals with his God and got back in sync. He got dialed in. As a result, his whole countenance was transformed. Then David found out what God's perfect will was for the dilemma of Ziklag.
In the same way, today's men can find out what God's perfect will is for their modern-day dilemmas.
"Men today need to know where to get strength and empowerment for forgiveness and cleansing," Clinton says. "It's not online or at a ball game or even hanging with the guys. Sometimes you have to leave the crowd, get alone with God and cry out to Him until you find Him—and don't let go until your empowerment and transformation come."
So, despite today's complicated world, the answer is low-tech and simple: "Men, get back to the fundamentals," Clinton says. "Get dialed in and experience transformation."
In Take It Back: Reclaiming Biblical Masculinity – The Heart and Strength of Being a Man, Clinton, president of the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), challenges readers to reject the culture's redefinition and seek biblical examples of true manhood. Fast-paced, filled with relevant, biblical stories of godly men like David and Nehemiah, and contemporary stories of godly men like George Foreman and Tim Tebow, Take It Back empowers men to be who God created them to be and to impact the culture that is in desperate need of their influence. Study and discussion questions at the end of each chapter make Take It Back a perfect resource for men's Bible studies and small groups.
Dr. Tim Clinton, EdD, LPC, LMFT, is president of AACC, the largest and most diverse Christian counseling association in the world. Clinton also serves as co-host of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk, heard on nearly 1400 radio outlets daily. Licensed as a professional counselor and as a marriage and family therapist, Clinton is recognized as a world leader in mental health and relationship issues and spends much of his time working with Christian leaders and professional athletes. He has authored or edited nearly 30 books. Clinton and his wife, Julie, have two children and a granddaughter.
Max Davis is the author of over 30 books that have been featured in USA Today, Publisher's Weekly, Bible Gateway and on the Today show and The 700 Club. He holds degrees in journalism and biblical studies. In addition to his own works, he's done a variety of collaboration projects with highly notable leaders.
Take It Back was released on April 6 by Charisma House, which publishes books that challenge, encourage, teach and equip Christians.
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