After being placed on a forced sabbatical, God began to reveal to me the many areas of my heart that needed healing (see my past blogs). It was rooted in shame and the undiagnosed darkness of my heart. I was discovering that the only real healing from shame comes through vulnerability. Vulnerability with some trusted friends. Liz had always been there for me, but there was something happening through these men that was shocking. They had no reason to believe in me, trust me, or care about me. But they listened and cared.

We quickly became a brotherhood of “bloodstained allies.”

It was through the vulnerability of these bloodstained allies that I discovered the channel of a new spring of living water. It was freedom. Freedom to be my true self. The true self for which I had been created. The true self that had been lost. Bloodstained allies were being used by God to initiate me into real manhood.

Becoming a Dangerous Man 

When we come into our true self, we discover the image of God within! When we discover the image of God that has laid dormant for so long, we can begin to come alive. When we come alive as men, we become truly dangerous.

The first command given to all men (and women) is found in Genesis 1:27-28, “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him…and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’” We were created to be “fruitful, multiply, and have dominion.”

God is saying that His image, within each Jesus follower, is to be a man who is taking dominion over his heart, his mind, and his life. This is huge! I began to discover that the image of God is very dangerous. It is God’s wild adventurous image lurking within our heart that sets us free.

As I became vulnerable with the hidden shame in my life, I started to truly come alive. I came alive because of the Holy Spirit freedom I now experienced. Freedom to be the Steve Holt for Whom I was created to be. “To be” is the operable starting point. As I became my true self, fear began to dissipate: fear of man, fear of other’s opinions, fear of not being “successful” in the world’s eyes.

That was six years ago. It has been a growing process, for sure, but as fear has been broken off of my life, courage has come. Courage to love God; courage to love people; courage “to be” the man I was originally created to be.

I believe this is exactly what Paul meant when he said, “I have not given you a spirit of fear (timidity and intimidation of others), but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7). Spirit anointed courage is dangerous. This is the kind of God-man we are destined to become when shame is destroyed in our life. We can walk in the Spirit with courage!

Becoming ever dangerous,

Pastor Steve

Steve Holt M.A., D.D.

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