The Promise Keepers Manhood ’08 conference is coming soon to Cleveland, Ohio (two weeks away), and Charleston, West Virginia (three weeks away).
These conferences are aimed at equipping men to get a handle on their life and mission as God has defined it. In the midst of our shifting culture men often struggle to understand how to stand firm as a follower of Christ. Manhood ’08 is about learning to love God more than anything else and receiving His help in becoming like Jesus. Register today!
I recently returned from the PK conference in Peoria. I met many men who are struggling with the issue of Internet pornography and many others who are concerned about their brothers in Christ because of this very issue. During one of the main sessions the emcee did a text message survey asking the question: What is the one thing you are battling that you can’t break free from? On the list were options like alcohol, drugs, workaholism, lying, stealing, unfaithfulness to one’s wife . . . and pornography. As the emcee continued talking hundreds of men text messaged their answer, and we all watched as the answers were compiled on the big screen. Nearly 70% of the men had answered “pornography.”
Steve Sonderman’s talk, “The Battle for Freedom,” was very compelling. Sonderman spoke to us about how our sexuality is “at the epicenter of the battle for men’s hearts,” and he offered practical steps about how to break free from sexual sin.
I was inspired by a story he told:
Two men went to a museum in Russia and came upon a painting called “Checkmate.” The painting depicts two people in a game of chess: one looks like a normal man, the other had a devilish look on his face, confident in his approaching victory of the game. The two observers stared at the painting for a while, captivated by the artwork.
One of the observers was a chess lover, so the painting naturally drew his attention, but there was something about the painting that troubled him. He stared at the painting for quite some time, saying nothing. Finally, after much time, the chess lover said, “I need to locate the artist and tell him that either he has to change the picture or he has to change the title. It’s titled ‘Checkmate,’ but the king still has another move. If he makes that move he will win. The king has one more move.”
Here the painting depicts one man looking defeated. His options are running out. He doesn’t have many pieces left on the board. Across from him is a devilish man who seems to have him cornered. But his king still has one more move, and if he makes the right move he will win the game.
For many, I’m sure it seems like the devil wins on Good Friday. The religious leaders have rejected Jesus. Jesus’ friends have rejected Him. Jesus does nothing to fight back when he is insulted, spat upon, and beaten. His enemies challenge Him to come down off of the cross if He really is the Son of God. But He does not. He hangs there for hours in utter shame and humiliation. And finally, He dies. All seems lost.
But the King still has one more move.
Many people feel that the devil has backed them into a corner. They’ve played a poor game, and it seems there is nowhere left to turn. They are ready to give up the game.
Don’t believe the lie: that your options are exhausted. For just when you think all hope is lost, the King still has one more move.
We believe in a King who has defeated our last enemy, death. Because our King is alive, He always has one more move even when we feel all hope is lost.
“They could not nail him down. And that is how it always is. We can never nail him down, not even if the nails we use are real ones and the thing we nail him to be a cross. He comes suddenly, out of nowhere, like the first clear light of the sun after a thunderstorm or maybe like the thunder itself; and maybe we recognize him, and maybe we do not, and our lives are never the same again.” (Frederick Buechner)