Faith Identity

Sacred Shift

Somewhere along the way, a guy needs to make the shift from boy to man. I’m not referring to the physiological changes that seem to come at their own pace. I’m referring to a sacred shift that every guy needs to make in his masculine journey.  For some of us, it takes a crisis to wake us up. Others, it’s a gradual change that by day and decade we become increasingly the man God has designed us to be.

In his book Becoming A King, Morgan Snyder talks about the sacred shift every young man needs to make if he’s going to find success in his masculine journey.  Often that shift involves facing limitations, challenges, and yes, failures. What guy likes to fail?  I sure don’t! And yet, often, it’s through those brick walls God has the greatest opportunity to show up!  To change us. To help us experience our true sonship in Him.

In Romans 8:12-17, we read that in Christ, we are adopted as sons. We are joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. We can enter into an intimate relationship with our heavenly Father who delights in us!  Did you read that correctly?  Delights in you!  Yes, you! With all your quirks, struggles, and hang-ups. With your constant bent towards certain temptations. With all your hopes and dreams of becoming more than you are today.

Living Life with Greater Risk

Sometimes, our testosterone-filled bodies want to push life to the limits. We drag race anything that moves. We push ourselves to the top of the hill whether to beat our competition or to beat our own personal record. My son was an active cross-country runner from grade 7 through university. He didn’t always come in first but would frequently beat his own PR (personal record).  Absolutely NOTHING wrong with excelling in life.  I’m not talking about that. What I am referring to is this idea of living life in a way that God shows up.

You have three choices when facing a challenge: 

  1. Shrink back. Back off. Take a seat. Bench yourself. Cut yourself from the team. Don’t call that girl you secretly admire. Doubt yourself. Come up with every excuse in the world why you can’t do what is before you.  How many times that was me.  It was the reason I gave into temptation so often.
  1. Over-do it. Try harder. Push yourself beyond your limits. Over-extend yourself. Speak louder! Lift far more weights than you safely should. Stay up way too late. Get fewer hours of sleep. Force yourself on a girl (that’s a great way to be awkward), Make it very apparent to all who see you that you are obviously out of your element in a very unappealing way. It’s a great way to lose friends.
  1. Live in a way that God has to show up. You know your capacity. You know when life pushes you up against the wall. Things that are out of your element. When you bomb the exam you studied hard for. When your car gets hit in the store parking lot. When you get laid off. When you want a girlfriend and there’s none to be found. When work demands more effort than you can muster.  When you feel pressed against the temptation abyss again and feel the mega force to give in.

When you see an opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and come alongside someone who is hurting. When you feel the call to pray in a group and are hesitant. When your newlywed wife needs you to hear her heart and you feel so inadequate. When you realize you need a major surgery; one that will alter your lifestyle. 

God, I can’t do this!

And, that my friend is exactly where the sacred shift needs to take place. That gap we each face is to be filled with God. The Holy Spirit empowered you at that moment, in that challenge to become the man He’s calling you to become.

Father me, God!

Our HR director called me into his office and asked me to close the door. The first thing I thought was, “God, what trouble am I in? What did I do?  Father me in this. Help me hear clearly.”  The conversation ensued and in the end, there was no criticism, rather seeking out my wisdom on some office situations. I left his office thanking God how He Fathered me in that moment.

Recently, I received a call from a client upset about a cost estimate I submitted on his project. “Are you gold-plating everything?!” Confrontation is not something I jump at with eagerness. I am a peace-maker. “God, father me in this phone call. I need your Spirit to give me wisdom on what to say.”

Our firm had been chasing a large project. We were short-listed; neck and neck horse-race with a much larger out of state firm. Then, I got a phone call. I could tell by the hesitation in his voice that we were not selected for the project. “Father me in this, Lord. I don’t understand why we would spend so much of our time and effort to pursue this project, knowing we are a great fit, only to be rejected.”  I hung up the phone, put my face in my hands, and gave my heart to the Lord. Personally, I wasn’t as shaken as I have been in the past. My trust that God is at work even in rejection calls helped me give God permission to father me in that.

God, Show up in my Emotions!

There are emotional ways we need God to show up.  “God, I am believing lies about myself again. That I don’t have what it takes. That I am in the way. An inconvenience. That my life really doesn’t make much difference. That there is no girl out there who would want to marry me. I am all alone.”  Ever say any of those? Those are great opportunities for God to show up!

Boy or Man?

So, where are you in this sacred shift? Still a boy in a man’s body? Or, walking the journey with a greater sense of God’s presence; that He is using all things to shape you, change you?  Most importantly, are you going through this sacred shift solo or do you have a mentor?

22 Million

There are 22 million warrior-aged men in America. (ages 18-30).  Only 2-4% have a mentor. If you want to see God make a sacred shift in you, find a mentor, and watch your journey accelerate. Also, buy the book Mentoring Warriors.

You will not regret it!

Warrior On!

David Riffel is the Founder and Executive Director of Having gone through his warrior years (18-30) essentially without a mentor, God has placed in him a heart for warriors, to come alongside them in various ways as they figure out life. David’s newly released book, Mentoring Warriors: Coming Alongside Young Men 18-30, outlines principles for mentoring and gives advice for warriors in six key areas of life: self-management, life skills, education/career, relationships, faith, and identity.

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