I’m Chris Neal. I’ve been a follower of Christ for 42 years but was only born again in December 1991. I remember it well, I made a decision and it was like jumping out of an aeroplane and trusting that the arms of my loving Saviour would catch me, or at least help me avoid a fatal landing!
Jesus is good isn’t He? VERY GOOD! He must be, to put up with me!
About 12 years ago, God showed me that the day I gave my life to Jesus, I stepped onto a battlefield. A spiritual battlefield, but I didn’t know anything about the spiritual war between good and evil. Oh I’d watched lots of cowboy films when I was a kid, and at one point I was pretty much addicted to ‘Doctor Who’ and to films like Star Wars and Return of the Jedi, but I thought all that stuff about ‘spiritual warfare’ was just fiction. I thought I could go out and do ‘mighty stuff’ for God without any preparation or prayer cover, but my good intentions ended in disaster and an unexpected divorce. My world and my life came crashing down around me.
But God is good. He showed me the error of my spiritual and human ways. I discovered the truth of spiritual warfare and the negative effects of sin on my life and the lives of others. God then showed me He was beginning a work in me that would take another 12 years to bring to fruition. With some people, God can work immediately; with others – doubters or stubborn guys like I was – He graciously goes at a much slower speed. But I was in good company; Moses had to wait 40 years before God could use him to lead His people out of slavery in Egypt, towards the Promised Land.
It’s great isn’t it how God just seems to know there is a speed each of us can go at and a speed at which He has to operate in order for us to keep up. I’m slow in that department, and He knew it.
I knew He was telling me there was something He wanted me to do, but I didn’t believe I was capable, let alone that God would choose me to do a job for Him.
Anyway, in case you, like me, have a short concentration span and are in danger of falling asleep at this point, I’ll cut to the chase!
God has spent those years showing me that many of His men are struggling with all manner of baggage and sin, and are laden down by life, or have become apathetic, or no longer believe that God has a purpose for their lives and that he can possibly use them.
He reminded me that the great commission in Matthew 28 v 16-20 was not so much about evangelism but about discipleship (teaching), although we first must evangeliseto bring men in, and then follow this up by discipling men into right living.
We all need brothers in Christ to help us stop compromising the truth, and tell us plainly how it is. Men need to understand that much of what the world thinks is cool is not cool at all; it is in fact evil and ungodly.
God showed me that many men have nowhere to go to discuss stuff that’s troubling them, and also no-one with whom they can share about things that they are caught up in, or secretly addicted to.
Because of this, He inspired me, a bloke that failed his English ‘O’ level exam, to write a book to help men understand that God loves them, that He has a plan for their life (an amazing plan far more amazing than anyone could imagine), and if they are up for it, He will release them into that ministry. BUT…
Yes, there is a but! First of all, He needs to wash them down, clean them up, and purify them in ‘the refiner’s fire’. That may take time, and will most certainly be painful. But the rewards are awesome!
If you are up for it, you might find my book helpful. It’s called ‘The Christian Book for Men – Biblical Solutions to the Battles Facing Men’. CVM’s Michael Cooper kindly wrote the book’s foreword.
The paperback version is available directly from me (www.thechristianbookformen.com) or from Amazon, both as a kindle and paperback.
God bless you as you step out for Him!
Chris Nealon the beautiful Isle of Wight.