GET YOUR FIERCE ON
I’d just walked into the building, when behind the glass doors of one of the offices one of our worship leaders motioned me to come inside to see him. I opened the door and he said excitedly, “Mark, have you ever read this book, Wild At Heart?” I said “No, I haven’t. I’ve never heard of it.” He said, “Mark this is you, this whole book is you. I believe part of the reason for your impact is because you’re fierce and untamed! You’re bold, and unafraid to be who you are.”
Cody was the first person to ever tell me this out-loud, using those terms. Cody had watched his parents divorce at a very young age. He rarely saw his father. One day at school, when he was in the 3rd grade the teacher pulled him aside and told him to go to the principal’s office, where they informed him his dad had just drowned in a river. That experience, I believe, made him far more in tune to me, as he watched my life more closely than many others. But, he was right. I am completely at home in my God given masculinity. I am unafraid to be myself, or dress in my very masculine way. I preach with a genuine, heartfelt ferocity. To me, every time I preached I was waging war for men’s lives! I live my life for Christ in a fierce and aggressive manner. I believe this is how God intended for us men to be. Not bashful, passive, timid, spineless or feminine. But war-like, fierce, aggressive, bold as lions!
People often commented on the faded, black leather motorcycle jacket that I usually wore to preach in. I wore it for decades. Still do. Men especially took notice and commented. I wore it for several reasons. One, because I truly enjoyed wearing it, it fit me and who I was and what I felt like inside. But I also wore it specifically because so many men are afraid to be unashamedly masculine. So many were raised by single mothers. So many had feminism shoved down their throat, told their masculinity is toxic, destructive and wrong. I wanted to defy that stupidity, to embody the fierce, bold, passionate, masculine Christianity I believe in, that would empower and embolden these young men to be unashamed of their masculinity, to defy the feminism of our age, and be the men God created them to be.
Of course that ferocity must be brought under the control of the Holy Spirit, but it should be fierce nonetheless.
Many years ago, I was asked to be on a panel for a pastor’s conference. There was going to be a Q & A session for these men to ask questions. After sitting for a while on the stage, someone directed a question to me about fathering in this day and age. I rose and said, to the auditorium full of men, with raging fire in my bones, “If you want to be an effective father in the day and age we live in you must get your fierce on! The world and the devil are coming after your kids! They will rape their soul, slit their throat and leave them to bleed out by the side of the road. You must defend and protect them with a war-like ferocity!”
Many came up to me afterwards commenting how that bold, powerful statement stood out to them and ministered deeply to them. They expressed how much they needed to hear those words.
Men, we must be fierce. We must be bold, courageous, war-like, masculine men. This world and feminism be damned! Be the man God created you to be! May the ferocity of the Apostle Paul fill your spirit. May the war-like ferocity of David charging Goliath, removing Goliath’s sword to cut off his head, fill your spirit! May the ferocity of Jesus, as he whipped the money changers out of the temple, fill your heart and soul.
Let me give you an illustrative story regarding my black leather motorcycle jacket, which symbolizes part of its meaning in my wearing it. In my 67 years of living, I have never, ever seen, while driving down the highway, a motorcycle, with a woman in the front, while her man sits behind her holding on to her waist as she drives! We all know how silly, how unnatural that would really look, don’t we! Why? Because Harley-men know, the man’s place is at the handlebars! With his woman sitting behind, holding on to her strong, tough man around the waist. You know, the guy wearing the cool, tough, faded black leather motorcycle jacket!
We live in a world of hen-pecked, tame, emasculated men. I refuse to be one of them.
This photo below is etched into my brain. It is my favorite photo of my dad. It embodies my father, and who he symbolized to me growing up as a boy. He was fierce, strong, and war-like.
2 Samuel 17:8
Then Hushai said, “You yourself know your father and his men, they are warriors and they are fierce, like a bear deprived of her cubs in the field. And your father is an expert in warfare, and he will not spend the night with the people.
The righteous are as bold as lions!
Helping you become a Strong Disciple,
Because of Jesus,
Pastor Mark Darling