Because I grew up singing hymns in a Baptist church, these lyrics are a part of my spiritual fiber. For those of you (us) who now have a mostly blended worship style (meaning both hymns and praise/worship songs), I hope you’ll find this included on a Sunday very soon. For those of you who have never heard it or sung it, the first verse goes like this:
“Rise up, O men of God!
Have done with lesser things;
Give heart and mind and soul and strength
To serve the King of Kings.”
(Written by William P. Merrill in 1911)
If you question whether the words are Biblically-based, look no further than Ephesians 6:10-20, II Timothy 2:1 and 3 or one I’m particularly drawn to this morning, II Samuel 10:12 (Joab speaking to his soldiers) “Be strong and let us show ourselves courageous for the sake of our people and for the cities of our God; and may the Lord do what is good in His sight.”
Just what WOULD/COULD happen if God’s men rose up?
“Rise up, O Men of God . . . . for the sake of our nation. What good is all this whining about Washington doing us? Where instead is the fervent prayer for our President, Congress, Supreme Court? How many letters, e-mails, or contacts have you made to your representatives in the House or Senate? When was the last time you had the courage to express your Christian convictions to your city council, your local school board, your children’s PTO? For that matter, have you considered running for office yourself? Do the people in your work environment even KNOW that you ARE a Man of God? Does your work ethic reflect it? Do your actions and your vocabulary stand out as being distinctly Christian?
“Rise up, O Men of God . . . for the sake of marriages and families. Yes, men, a huge portion of your time is spent “bringing home the bacon” to financially provide for your family. I applaud you for that. What about the hours when you ARE home? Are you leading by example in the areas of personal prayer and devotional time? Does your wife recognize that you are partnering with her to make decisions about the family’s finances, parenting, etc. based on the Bible? Do you exhibit self-discipline when it comes to sports, time on the internet or hours in front of the television? Whether it’s working out physically or landscaping your yard, are your priorities balanced? Do you deliberately create and plan for LOTS of time to celebrate life, laughter and love, making memories with your wife and children? At the end of your life, what legacy will you have left to them?
“Rise up, O Men of God . . . in our CHURCHES!! Do you have your pastor’s back?? Really??? Does he know that?? We expect him to preach the Word of God on Sundays. We expect him to stand beside us for births, deaths, illnesses, family crises, and celebrations, AND we want him to watch over all of the “business” of the church. Has he been forced to withstand the “fiery darts” of criticism, discouragement, ill tempers, even false accusations with no one creating a wall of protection around him? Has he been encouraged to take time off to recharge his batteries and preserve his physical health? Are you ENCOURAGING him at a stronger/faster rate than the ugly voices are attacking him?
Have you used the excuse that you’re an introvert . . . or you’d rather just “work behind the scenes” . . . or you don’t want to offend anyone . . . or you just want to “go to church on Sundays and not get involved” . . . or somebody else can do it?? Have you ignored the Holy Spirit prompting you to stand up and speak up for what is “true . . honorable . . right . . pure . . lovely . . of good repute . . excellent . . . worthy of praise?” (Philippians 4:8). James 4:17 says “Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin.” What are the right things that God has told you to do through His Word and through the urgings of the Holy Spirit?
STAND UP, O MEN OF GOD!!! LET YOUR VOICES BE HEARD! RISE UP!