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Men must ‘step up’

Cheryl Harewood

Men must ‘step up’

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Many men in society are afraid to step forward to confront issues and claim their mountains because they are discouraged.
They are carrying pain and scars, says Reverend Stephen Cumberbatch, from things said to them when they were growing up and the devil is using discouragement to hinder their growth.  
Preaching last Wednesday night at Centenary Moravian Church in Shop Hill, St Thomas, Cumberbatch called on the men who were present to go forward in faith, claim the mountain “God has given” them and conquer, despite the odds which might be against them.
He specifically challenged them to “go forward and do the things which God has called you to do”.
During a service presided over by the church’s Men’s ministry, Cumberbatch, in his sermon Caleb – A Lesson In Fulfilment, took his text from Joshua 14:6-15.
He said Caleb was a man who had an unwavering faith and trust in God, and who, against all odds, went on to achieve great things, become the possessor of a different spirit and, like Joshua, was numbered among the Israelites who were led out of slavery in Egypt by Moses through the power of God.
“Caleb was a foreigner by birth. He started with the odds against him, was outside the circle of God’s chosen people and was disadvantaged by nativity,” the preacher declared.
He said Caleb dared to ask for the mountain – the very place where his enemies lived – because he had followed the Lord wholly, was surrendered to God and possessed the Spirit of God.
“He was not a half-hearted man. He did everything wholeheartedly. Anytime we step forward to walk with God we must do so with all our hearts.
“The challenge for men therefore, is that we will go forward with our whole hearts.
“As I speak to men we hear a cry in our society for men to step up to the plate. It seems as though a tug-o’-war is taking place in our nation – men against women. Sometimes it seems like women are taking over the church, but this can only happen when men don’t step up to the plate and be what God has called them to be.”
Stating there “is a crisis in the family”, Cumberbatch noted that women were also becoming the leaders in the home.
“I hear a cry in our society for men to step up to the plate. As it is right now, whenever there is a crisis in the family women are the ones who go forward, and when there is a problem at school, women are the ones who face the music.”
Cumberbatch, a Baptist Church minister, said it was not too late for men to turn the nation of Barbados around. He stressed that at 85 years old, Caleb was still dwelling on the fact that God had promised him some land.
“God had promised him some land, but Caleb said he wanted his mountain. He did not ask for fertile land or the plains. He wanted to go where his enemies dwelt. Even though it meant that he had to compete with giants, he wanted that mountain.”
He pointed out that Caleb received his promise from God when he was at an age to appreciate it, adding that when God gives a promise, because He is faithful, one will receive it even if it is minutes before death.
Cumberbatch called on senior men in society to sit with the younger ones and teach them to walk in the right paths.
“I challenge you men who may be going down in age [to understand] God is still able to use you. Just make yourself available and He will give you the strength to do what He has called you to do.
“There is nothing to turn back to. Remain unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.”
Special ministry in song was rendered by young and senior men of the church, who sang Be Thou My Vision and Where Could I Go.