Today I had the distinct pleasure of hearing one of my heros in ministry, Dr. Albert Mohler, preach in the weekly chapel here at seminary. Dr. Mohler, from what I know about him, exemplifies so many characteristics and traits that I myself want to abound in my own life. He is so much of exactly what I want to be like as a man of God. Perhaps more than anyone I know of in ministry, he exhibits both a high commitment to God and His word as well as to Christian scholarship. Essentially, to put it in Biblical terms, I believe he does an excellent job at loving the Lord with all his heart and mind, the latter of which I believe too many Christians today, myself included, do not.
Now I do not write to give glory to the man, but to God who made the man. However I want to take you through a brief journey of insight here. Although it involves considering great men of God, in the end, what they all have in common lead me (as will be seen through this brief post) to a greater love and appreciation for God Himself.
Dr. Mohler is by no means the only one I could mention. There is no shortage of men in ministry whose lives are full of at least a good number of character features that I myself want to emulate. I must mention fellow seminary president, my seminary president, Dr. Danny Akin as well. Moving into the world of those working full-time in local churches, the list of pastors I could write down here would take me some time indeed even to provide a brief synopsis about each one. For now just mentioning there is a list is enough.
What I have observed when I think about these great men is my own desire to be around them and learn from them. I do not mean merely at a distance, but to truly be mentored by them and have their character rub off on me. A leadership expert once said that "the person you will become tomorrow are the people you are spending time with today." Keeping that in mind, it is my want to be around the most exceptional of men. Fortunately, God has allowed me to briefly be under some men, who although not as well known, certainly deserve to be on the list of great preachers I could mention. Thinking about my present longing and past experiences led me to consider my upbringing.
Ideally, in God's perfect plan, a boy's father ought to be someone he can look up too and learn from in positive ways. This is something that was lacking in my life. Now in all fairness, I have a good relationship with my father, and my issue is not nearly like so many in our culture today who have been without a godly father. Nevertheless, I realized in seeking out these men of God, what I've really longed for is godly father figures to whom I could look up to and from whom I could receive approval, men I could say I was proud to know and be associated with. Also of course I have wanted to have men like that to simply go to for advice, guidance, and prayer support. Then it hit me...
While my realization and understanding is quite imperfect on the fact that God is my Father, I'm beginning to see that what I would seek in these men is to be found in supreme abundance in Him. I'm in no way denying the importance of being mentored and "fathered" by godly men (or "mothered" by women, if the case may be)...yet how much more could I learn if I simply took the time to draw near to Him? Jesus grew most in His Father's presence, so did the apostles, as did everyone else who ended up in Hebrews 11. So may we all draw near to Him that we may learn from and be like Him. Amen.
Some thoughts on fatherhood (and some more of my life posted on the web)
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