Tony Evans - Wanted: Kingdom Men
In major cities across America, men will be lined up to watch football games, thousands of people will fill stadiums all around this nation to enjoy and be engaged in one of the great pastimes of American life, and that is the NFL. In each game on each field in each stadium, there will be three teams that take the field. There are always three teams to take the field, whether it's a high school game or a college game or a pro game. There's the home team. This is where, the fans are cheering for them because everybody agrees with them because they're at home.
Then there is the visiting team. The visiting team is typically the enemy who has invaded the territory of the home team, which means the war is going to break out on Sunday. Between the home team and between the visiting team, there will be conflict, there will be aggression, there will be chaos, and there will be people taking sides. But my concern is for the third team. The third team is the team of officials. This team of men stand in the midst of the conflict and chaos on the field in order to bring order to confusion. Their job is to manage the conflict. These officials do not belong to either of the other two teams. They don't belong to the home team, nor do they belong to the visiting team. They belong to the league.
They belong to the league, and their commitment is to 200 Park Avenue in New York City, because way up north is what we might call the kingdom of the NFL, and this kingdom of the NFL has assigned the officials to represent them in the field of play. Their job isn't to take sides, their job is to represent Park Avenue up north in New York on the field of men and the confusion that surrounds them in order to apply the rules from up there on the field down here. They have gotten their instruction from the league office headed by the commissioner. The question is not do they make the players happy? The question is do they make the commissioner happy? Because the players can applaud them, but if the commissioner is not satisfied, they're in trouble.
God has a third team, a group of men who he has set in history whose job it is to represent him down here. He has his own kingdom. It's called the kingdom of God. But in the midst of the confusion and chaos in the world around us, he has set this group here whose job it is to represent him and to not take sides. When the officials are managing an NFL game, they've got a book. That book sets the rules of governance for how the game is to be managed. Personal opinions don't matter, how you feel don't matter, and the arguments of the competing contestants are not the first concern whether the crowd boos or cheers. As it's been said when an official starts listening to the crowd, it won't be long before he'll be one of them, because his commitment is to the league office based on the book that they have been given to govern by.
God has a kingdom, and he has a book and his team is supposed to manage life by the book he has given as the commissioner of the league of the Kingdom of God. and this group of men we call kingdom men, men who represent in time God's perspective from eternity. But when officials aren't doing their job, or when officials aren't doing their job well, and worse yet when officials don't show up to do their job, then that means that the rules are going to be made by the folks on the field who are already in conflict with one another. In other words, when the officials are not right, chaos will ensue on the field of play.
We are living in a world of chaos today, and it is my contention that what we are missing are the officials. The absence of kingdom men in history in our everyday lives is bringing destruction and pain and anguish all throughout our land. When you look at the stats, We missing God's kingdom men. The absence of kingdom men in history in a everyday life, is bringing destruction, pain and anguish all throughout our land. When you look at the stats, it became quite evident. For example, 70% of all prisoners grew up fatherless. On top of that, 80% of all rapists grow up without a father, 71% of all high school dropouts did not have a father in the home or had an abusive father in the home, 63% of all teen suicides are teenagers who did not have a father, 40% of all children in America are born to single parents, and 72% of African-American children are born to single parents.
When there is no man in the vicinity, you can expect there to be chaos and confusion in the environment. In fact, most social pathologies are attributed to the fact that dad was nowhere to be found, and the right kind of man was hard to locate. The societal costs for this chaos is daunting. $52 billion every year, one out of every $15, is spent on prisons, and again, most of the prisoners come from fatherless homes. And then there: $8 billion in public assistance to dropouts and $10 billion in the public assistance to the young ladies that have babies with dad not being part of the picture. It's pretty daunting because it costs us as taxpayers over $300 billion a year in covering the lost taxes that don't come because folk drop out of school, become unproductive, and that's taxes that can't be received by our government to run our country, and all because kingdom men decided to not get on the field, kingdom men were not to be found.
In fact, even men themselves are in crisis today trying to establish our identity and often picking our identity by piggybacking on somebody else. I mean, there is a cultural crowd today for kingdom men, men who are on earth but rule from the perspective of heaven, who get their instructions from above but flesh it out here below in the nasty here and now where real life has to be lived. There's a cry for kingdom men. It's the cry of a child who grows up every day without a father, it's the cry of a single woman whose biological clock is ticking and there is no man to marry who will be responsible in their relationship, it's a cry of churches where women volunteer for everything and often the men are MIA, missing in action, and it's the cry of a culture where terrorists have taken over the streets.
You know, there used to be a time when men walked down the street and there were a group of boys, they would move over off the curb and let the man by. Now, men have to move over because of the threat of social terrorism. So there is a cry today for not just males, but kingdom men. In fact, it's even deeper than that. The cry for a kingdom man is also God's cry. It's the culture's cry, it's the cry of men, but it's the cry of Almighty God. Because in Ezekiel chapter 22, verse 30, God said, "I searched for a man who would stand in the gap, but I couldn't find him. Because if I would have been able to find him, I would not have had to destroy the land". He said, "The destruction was, I went man hunting and couldn't find men".
Now, it's not that he couldn't find males, he couldn't find men. So there must be a difference between just being a male and being a man. In Malachi chapter 4, verse 6, God says, "Unless the hearts of the fathers are reconnected with the children and the hearts of the children are reconnected with the father, there will be a curse on the land". So God is having trouble finding a kingdom man. In fact, in Isaiah chapter 3, verse 12, God says, "The children have become oppressors, and the women have taken over ruling," showing the destruction of the culture. So when men are not kingdom men, and the children are in chaos and the wives have to lead, then you know you are living in a disintegrating culture. There is this cry for a kingdom man.
So now that raises the question, doesn't it? What is a kingdom man? What do I mean by kingdom men? When you read the Book of Genesis, you see the creation of the first man. His name is Adam. Adam is the man prototype. He was man as he was meant to be. We know he was man as he was meant to be, because there's never been a man before him, and he was created in a perfect environment. So he was created by a perfect person in a perfect environment. He is man as he was created to be. In other words, all of you should nickname yourself Adam, because this is what God meant for us to be. When you see Adam created by God, you see something in chapter 2 where he's created that you don't see in chapter 1 when God does the creation.
In chapter 1, you see and God said, and God said, and God said, let there be, let there be. The Hebrew word is Elohim that has to do with the power God, the God who has the power to create ex nihilo. He can create something out of nothing. That's what used in chapter 1. But when God starts setting things up for men, you will see over and over again, for example, in verse 7, "And then the Lord God formed man". Verse 8, "The Lord God", Verse 9, "Out of the ground, the Lord God caused", Verse 15, "The Lord God took the man". Verse 16, "The Lord God commanded the man". Verse 18, "The Lord God said". He moves from God power to Lord God, capital L, capital O capital R, capital D. Now, that's the word Yahweh. But now when he wants to interact with the man, he's Yahweh Elohim. He's the Lord God, 'cause he's not just the power God, he is the God that wants to relate to you and oversee your affairs.
So when we talk about a kingdom man, we're talking about a man who not simply believes in God, but we're talking about a man who believes in God, and the God he believes in is also his Lord. He is the God overseeing the affairs of his life. To define it another way: is a kingdom man is a male who has learned to live his life under the lordship of Jesus Christ. Start with kingdom. The word kingdom means rule or governance. God's kingdom is his comprehensive rule over all of life. Well, that's the concept of kingdom. Now, when you have kingdom, he has a plan or a program. We call it the kingdom agenda. That is the visible manifestation of the comprehensive rule of God over all of life.
So, God's kingdom, the rule of God, has this management over all of life. When a man is a kingdom man, he is operating underneath that rule. You are not a kingdom man unless God is telling you what to do. You're not a referee unless the commissioner is telling you what to do. If you're a referee, and you say, "It's my thing, and I'm going to do what I want to do," then you become a rebellious ref and you're no longer any good to the league office. God has a lot of males who are no longer any good to the kingdom because they want to wear the stripes like they belong but run the affairs independently of God. One of the key text that identifies a kingdom man is in Exodus chapter 34. God speaks about the kingdom men. He says in verse 23, "Three times a year, all your males are to appear before the Lord GOD, the God of Israel. For I will drive out your enemies before you and enlarge your borders, and no man shall covet your land when you go up three times a year to appear before the Lord your God".
Now, pay close attention to verse 23. "Three times a year, all of your males are to appear before the Lord GOD, the God of Israel". He says, "I want all the men in Israel to meet with me three times a year". Please notice God's name is used three times in that verse: Lord, God, God. Yahweh, Elohim, Adonai. He's trumping you. He's saying, "I am Elohim, the power God. I am Yahweh, the self-revealing God who oversees your affairs". And then he adds Adonai, "I am the God who bosses you around". Adonai means I am the one who gives you the details. He uses three times in this verse and he tells all the men without exception.
Now, think about it. When all the men leave the land, there is no military, there is no police force. Most farming and agrarian culture has shut down. Commerce is at a standstill. Mothers are left with children on their own. Why would God call all the men out three times a year? Well, in giving his name three times, he's saying, "I'm calling you out because I'm going to give the nation of men my instruction, but while I'm telling you what to do, I got your back back home," verse 24. "In fact, things are going to be better when you get home because you took time to meet with me". What men do now is they avoid God, neglect God. They may have a little religion. We'll see about that a little later, but God is not the Lord God, and he's certainly not Adonai telling them what to do, and as a result, we have a culture in crisis.
The problems today are not primarily political or economic or social, although they show up in those realms. The problem we face today is spiritual, and it is the absence of kingdom men. He says, "I want all of your males". He doesn't even say all of your men. Men go through three phases, we call them hoods. First of all, there's malehood. All you need is the right plumbing. The right plumbing will get you malehood, all right? That comes with birth. Then there's boyhood. Boyhood is where you are dependent, immature, and not yet responsible. Your parents are guiding you and governing you and telling you what to do. That's boyhood. But then you reach that what we call manhood where it should mean you're maturing, and you are more responsible now and you can actually take care of someone else, your own family. He says, "Bring your males out, all of your males, and I am going to instruct you on what you are to do so that when I send you back, I send you back as a my men, as representatives of the God who speaks to you".
So the challenge we face today is the absence of men. There is a clarion cry for men. The problem is one of the great issues is the independence of men. Men don't like people telling them what to do. We certainly don't want our kids tell us what to do. And even if our wives tell us what to do, we don't go for it. We don't want another man in our business telling us what to do, and that works up to not even wanting God to tell us what to do unless we happen to like what he happens to say. I just got a word from a man who stopped coming to our church, and the reason he stopped coming to our church, he said, is because "I don't want to be told what to do even if it's God doing the telling".
Now, what would you say to a referee who said, "I don't want commissioner telling me what to do"? Well, you don't want that job, okay? In other words, chaos comes when God is not allowed to be God in the life of a man. When God created Adam, Eve has not yet been made. There is no woman yet on the scene. He is only dealing with the man before he creates the woman. Why? Because if he can't get the man's attention right, he's going to mess up the woman when she comes along. You're going to see as this unfolds, it is the relationship of the man underneath the comprehensive rule of God that will determine how his wife turns up. In fact, a woman is primarily a mirror to let a man know what his submission to God looks like.
So, if you have an trouble getting your lady to submit to you, it may simply be reflecting she's giving you what you're giving God, and just like you don't like that, he doesn't like what you're giving him. So before he ever creates a woman, he gives a man, God commanded him, God put him in the garden. God set him up. God told him. It was all the Lord God doing this, because this was God's Kingdom. This was God's setup, God's plan, and the goal of a kingdom man is to implement the rule of God, not create his own rules along the way. We would save ourselves a lot of pain and anguish.
In fact, so many men have received a lot of pain and anguish and are passing it on to their families because they don't know a kingdom man and they aren't being a kingdom man. But when God can get men to leave their normal activity, men would say, "Well, if I leave, who's going to take care of my family"? God is saying, "I got that if I can get this. If I can get your undivided attention, you will see me do things back home that you, that you never imagine". A kingdom man understands that he is obligated to a higher order. I was headed in the wrong direction until a kingdom man showed up in my house, and when this kingdom man showed up in my house by placing his own life under the rule of God and then bringing the family underneath that rule, my house was totally changed, and as you'll hear as this unfold so was the life of my children and my grandchildren all because a kingdom man came home.
God is not just looking for males. He's not just looking for guys who go to church, although that has its place. God is looking for kingdom men, men who will live under his rule, because there's only room for one King in this world. "The earth is the Lord's, the fullness thereof, the world and all they that dwell in it". And when we become independent from God, we become our own kings, and when we become our own kings, we become competitors with the living God, and that's a competition you can't win. So what God calls us to be is men of the kingdom, submitting our will to his will, deciding that his rule trumps our rule, his way trumps our way. His commitment to me and my commitment to him means: he has the last words.
We're in a manhood crisis today. There are a lot of males, but God is looking for a man. We are needing today kingdom men. What's a kingdom man? Kingdom man is a male who consistently lives under the rule of God over his life. It is a man who says that I am here to do the will of God. I live for another king, and I operate under the guidance of another kingdom. A kingdom man accepts responsibility under God. He can answer the question that was asked of Adam: "Adam, where are you"? or as I like to say, "Adam, where you at"? God says he's looking for a man. He had plenty of males, but he couldn't find a man. So this goes beyond just how you're identified biologically. It goes down to how you're functioning spiritually. And because of the absence of biblical manhood, of kingdom men, families are falling apart, churches don't have enough support systems, and the culture is in crisis.
In fact, in Ezekiel 22, verse 30 when God says he's looking for a man, the verses around it explain how the society was falling apart, and God needed a man to stand in the gap so that the culture wouldn't fully collapse. Why? Because a kingdom man is the foundation upon which everything else is contingent, and when a male refuses to become a man as God defines a man coming under his kingdom rule, then the foundation cracks, and when the foundation is cracked enough, the whole house collapses. Looking for kingdom man, and God find you.