God designed men to conquer. We need challenges in our lives. If we don’t have challenges we get soft and bored and that is never a good combination. Revelation 3:21 states, “The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.”
I believe one of the biggest battles I see men face is one of complacency. Not living life to the full, both in our spiritual walk and our physical being. We have gotten soft physically, mentally and spiritually.
Believe me, I have been there too. I have been soft mentally and spiritually for a big part of my life. I haven’t always been on fire for life or for God. I have been complacent and have been anything but a strong spiritual leader.
But all of that is changing. I believe God is calling me to do great things as I become more willing to step into my greatness. I have decided once and for all that I don’t have to play small any more. This scripture smacks me right in the face every time I read it. And, “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” Hebrews 10:38
God Created Us to Live Big Lives
God created us to live big lives. Not for our glory, but for the glory of God and for the good of others. It’s not enough just to go to church, and most men aren’t even doing that. It’s about living transformed lives that make us feel fully alive. It’s about living a life that sets our soul on fire.
As men we are wired for challenge. We are wired to rise up and conquer. That’s why I loved football so much. I went to battle every Saturday with other men to defeat the opposition. In my work as a fitness minister I have seen far too many men lose their inner warrior. They have lost that inner athlete. They have become complacent.
Here is what I do know. That inner warrior is still in there. Your inner athlete is waiting to come alive again and be re-awakened. Don’t beat yourself up. It’s never too late. Get off the couch and get back in the arena.
Do Something that Excites You and Scares You
Part of my work is to challenge men to come up with a BHAG. This is what Jim Collins coined as a Big Hairy Audacious Goal. It’s something that scares you and excites you at the same time. I ask the men I work with to make it a physical goal. But it represents so much more than just a physical goal. It’s about re-capturing our self-worth again. It’s about finding who we are. It’s about understanding that we are sons of the great and living God and that He wants to do amazing things in us and through us. He is asking us to rise up and conquer. To get back in the game physically, mentally and spiritually.
This is how a BHAG works. I am going to share with you my BHAG for 2020. My BHAG definitely excites and scares me and I really don’t know if I can do this as I have struggled with a fear of heights my whole life.
My BHAG for 2020 is to do the Mt. Evans Hill Climb on my bicycle. This epic climb takes place on the highest paved road in the United States. It’s a 7,000’ climb from an elevation of 7,500’ all the way up to 14,100 feet. That both excites me and scares the living daylights out of me. I can feel my palms getting sweaty and my heart pumping as I am typing these words.
As if that isn’t enough the second part of my BHAG is to do the Pikes Peak Hill Climb. At an elevation of 14,115’, Pikes Peak, America’s Mountain, is one of Colorado’s 54 fourteeners, mountains that rise more than 14,000 feet (4,267.2 m) above sea level, and the highest of the southern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America.
I actually drove to the top of Pikes Peak about a month ago and the last 2,000 feet of driving to the summit got my heart pounding. It made me sincerely doubt if I could do it. Not so much physically, but more mentally as my fear of heights completely took over. And that is exactly why I am deciding to rise up and conquer this BHAG.
My BHAG is a complete integration of mind, body and spirit. This is not just a physical goal, but a mental and spiritual one. I will have to be mentally tough along with relying on God’s strength to pull me to the top.
It’s about the Character We Develop Along the Way
It’s not even about the completion of the BHAG as I realize I could “fail”. It’s about the character we develop along the way. It’s about who we are becoming. It’s about reclaiming our inner warrior and pushing our physical, mental and spiritual limitations.
I ask my clients when they come up with a BHAG to also choose a scripture that will inspire and encourage them because this is so much more than just a physical feat.
Here is the scripture and motivational quote that I have chosen for my journey to the top of Mt. Evans and Pikes Peak.
“He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Here is my motivational quote I will stand on. “It’s not the mountains we conquer, but ourselves.”-Sir Edmund Hillary
My whole purpose behind this is to inspire men to be the spiritual leaders we are called to be. This is so much more than a physical event. It’s about getting back to being a Kingdom Man. A man who is strong physically, mentally and spiritually so we can be the inspired spiritual leaders for our families, churches, communities and our nation.
What is your BHAG going to be? How are you going to rise up and conquer? Please reach out to me if you need some coaching and guidance on this. I have seen men’s lives be transformed in every area of their life when they embrace the idea of setting a BHAG in their life.
Troy Ismir, MS
Author, Podcaster, Speaker and Spiritual Warrior Coach