Are You a Real Man or an Abominable Snowman?

Where are men today? It seems like we're not around.

The Abominable Snowman made footprints everywhere but was nowhere to be found. Most men seem like Abominable Snowmen. Leaving an imprint, but nowhere to be found.

Today, Abominable Snowmen are raising a generation of boys to become disappearing men, too. In the African American community, 70% of boys don't even have fathers. In the Anglo community, 40% of boys don't have fathers. Our wives and girlfriends are being forced to be mothers, fathers, leaders, protectors, nurturers, providers—pretty much doing it all.

Jesus spent his whole life submitting to the will of his Father. If we're "Christian" men who follow Jesus, we need to submit as Jesus did. Our kids need to see us submitting to the Father.

Christ submitted even to the point of suffering on a cross. Like Jesus, suffering is part of our job description from the Boss. Suffering doesn't mean staying at work, chasing after shiny things. Christ's suffering produced a legacy you and I live in today. When we suffer as Christ suffered, it produces our legacy.

My granddad lived in Baltimore. The Evans family legacy he received was a legacy of high school dropouts, drugs, and poverty. But, my granddad had a run-in with Christ. His wife took him to task for his new faith, but he held close and never fumbled.

After his salvation, Granddad suffered from an angry wife for 365 days. The way she would tell the story is that on day 367, she came downstairs to see her husband with tears in her eyes, because the Spirit of the Lord had supernaturally reached her.

Today, my granddad's one year of suffering has become a 50-year legacy that I can call mine. My wife, my children, and I all hold that legacy to this day.

What about you? What is your legacy? If you weren't given a good legacy, or if you haven't started your own yet, then be the first one. Here's how.

God has called us all for the purposes of greatness. When I was six years old, my mom and dad taught me to memorize a passage from Psalm chapter 128. The chapter starts by describing how blessed is everyone who fears the Lord and walks in his ways. The problem we have in our culture is that we do not fear God.

To fear God means to take Him seriously, rather than taking Him casually. We live in a culture that simply treats God casually but still wants God's blessing. We want God to bless our families. We want God to bless our jobs. We want God to bless our churches. We want God to bless our country.

And yet, we turn our backs on Him while asking Him to bless us. The scripture says everyone who fears God is blessed. That means, your blessing is directly connected to taking God seriously.

Many people think a blessing is the favor of God. But that's only a half definition. A full definition of a blessing is the favor of God coming to me so that it may flow through me. What happens when it flows through me? It becomes my legacy.

God is looking for men who want to be conduits. He's looking for men who will fear Him. He's looking for men who will leave a legacy of faith.

This passage states that every man who fears the Lord and who walks in his ways is blessed. It's not about your talk. It's about your walk. We get a whole lot of people who talk a good game, but don't live a good game.

If you want to know if you "fear" God, you'll always know by how you walk. That takes faith. When we walk by faith, God gives us a blessing. That blessing becomes our legacy.

When I was 18 years old, I asked my dad how he made it from the inner city of Baltimore, raised by high school dropouts, to being the first African American graduate with a Ph.D. from Dallas Theological Seminary, pastoring a large church, and having a global media influence.

He told me to read Hebrews chapter eleven. I read the heroes of the Bible and how they did it all by faith. I looked at him and said, "I guess I know how you did it—by faith."

Then my dad taught me what "faith" is. He said, "Faith is acting like it is so, even when it's not so, so that it might be so, simply because God said so."

The rest of this Psalm is a result of walking by faith. It includes having our wives be a fruitful vine in our homes and our children like olive plants around our table. It results in our city being able to see our legacy in our children and our children's children.

Your legacy is not your house or your career or what material goods you left behind. No, the legacy that God wants to give you is a blessing that flows through you.

God doesn't want you just to pass on money to your children. He wants you to pass on faith.

We don't want to create a generation that grows up without knowing the Lord, because men are not walking in the fear of God. We want to create a better world, illuminated by better nations and neighborhoods, and inhabited by better churches and better families.

The Abominable Snowman is making his family suffer. Men are missing the blessing and their legacy because they don't follow Jesus in suffering, or in the fear of the Lord. Our whole culture is suffering because of men's unwillingness to suffer. Where are the men? It starts with you sticking it out, including suffering, for the sake of your family, city, community, and for all the rest of us.

This feature is an excerpt of Jonathan Evans' keynote address from Promise Keepers' 2021 Men's Conference at AT&T Stadium. To hear his full address, and from other uplifting leaders like Samuel Rodriguez, AR Bernard, Nick Vujicic, and more, access the conference here, anytime.

Founded in 1990 by Coach Bill McCartney, Promise Keepers is one of the most significant movements of God in the history of the church. In 1997 alone, Promise Keepers packed 22 NFL stadiums and gathered 1 million men for Stand in the Gap: A Sacred Assembly of Men at the National Mall in the District of Columbia. Today, PK is on the move again. Under the new leadership of Ken Harrison, we're praying for massive revival and transformation in our nation by 2025. More than ever, America needs a revival of godly men. Our nation faces problems that can only be overcome when men of integrity — promise-keeping men — fulfill their destinies as godly husbands, fathers and leaders.

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