“Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in event of success.”  

Allegedly, the Antarctic adventurer Earnest Shackleton placed this ad in a London newspaper. Stories have emerged that over 5,000 men applied for this daring polar expedition. On August 8, 1914 twenty-eight men boarded Shackleton’s ship named “Endurance.” This ill-fated journey would last twenty-one months and two days.

Fifteen months into the trip his ship became trapped, then crushed by the Antarctic ice. The 28-man crew spent five months in make-shift tents stranded on ice floes. Eventually they piled into three salvaged lifeboats and sailed to a tiny spit of land, the first solid ground they had set foot on in 497 days. They were 10,000 miles from home, and nobody was coming for them. ​

​Shackleton and five crew members set off in a 22-foot lifeboat to sail 800 miles across the most hazardous stretch of ocean in the world. Their goal: a tiny, isolated island with a whaling station named South Georgia. Enduring seventeen days of frigid winds and treacherous seas, they landed on the wrong side of this remote island. Incredibly, they scaled a mountain considered impassible to reach the inhabited part. It would then take more than four months for Shackleton to return to Elephant Island and rescue the 23 men left behind. Despite the odds against them, all 28 crew members survived.

This understated “hazardous journey” of “bitter cold” and “long hours of complete darkness” was survived by these brave men. Do you know what Shackleton said was the single characteristic he looked for in the crew he chose? It was not experience, or physical strength, it was optimism. Survival in a difficult environment calls for confidence and a positive outlook.

False starts and spasms won’t get you very far. But sustained enthusiasm in a single direction is the incubator for achievement. With Shackleton’s story in mind, note a few things about ROUGH-CUT MEN…

MANLY MEN TAKE RISKS. Can you conceive that thousands of men submitted applications for Shackleton’s venture? The dangers and difficulties were not hidden, or covered over. I can only imagine how men fettered by routine, and trapped in the mundane, were stirred and thrilled with the possibility of such a quest. Shackleton’s appeal to heroism and adventure captured the imagination of men.

Our feminized generation has stripped “manliness” from culture, and multitudes of men. Passivity and acquiescence has become normative in countless churches. When all excitement and challenge is removed from public services there is little wonder why so little takes place… FOR THE GLORY OF GOD! Watered-down preaching inspires nobody. Neutered Bible-teaching has no grip. Toothless and accommodating messages do not inspire men toward manliness or achievement. Many men have been conditioned to think and act like women. How rare to find men with gumption and boldness.

I believe scores of men would catch fire if pulpits would only preach, with anointing, the gospel demands as put forth by Jesus. He called men to unqualified surrender to His Lordship. Christ issued a mandate to preach the gospel to every creature. And the unearthly power unleashed in the upper room and Pentecost captured the early church. It turned the world upside down! Revival fire baptizes men with supernatural vision and mission. Men with burning hearts are emboldened to pursue big, God-given dreams!

MANLY MEN ENDURE HARDNESS. Shackleton and his band were rugged men. Their pioneering spirit equipped them for unbelievable adversity. Their solidarity in mission birthed a ruthless spirit that compelled them to persevere. The inward fire sustained them through months of coldness, darkness, and unspeakable hardship. Shackleton’s men, united in heart and purpose, fed off one another and propelled each other through their corporate agony.

Paul exhorted Timothy to “endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Tim. 2:3). “Endure hardness” simply means to bear afflictions, as a warrior in God’s army. If military men can form a bond stronger than death, how much more should God’s men be bound to one another in our world today?

I thank God for genuine fellow soldiers who stand with me, encourage me, and support me in my battles. I thank God for my pastor, and deacon, who reach out in life’s storms. I thank God for mentors, exhorters, and confidantes. Some burdens are more than one man can bear.  In God’s army, we bear one another’s burdens. This unique fellowship increases our capacity to endure the hard times.

MANLY MEN STAY IN FAITH. Shackleton was wise to recruit optimistic men. With all they encountered; this was no place for whiners, poor-mouthers, and long-faced pessimists. Their upbeat attitudes kept their heads above water throughout their miserable ordeal. I’m sure they had their moments, but they never lost hope. I feel certain they learned how to keep each other’s spirits buoyed up with the dream of a positive outcome.

You had better identify and surround yourself with faith-filled men. Work on recruiting loyal and staunch followers of the Lamb as your closest companions. Doubt is contagious, but so is confident hope. You need close friends who stick closer than a brother! You will need brothers to exercise faith on your behalf at times. When your faith is weak, you may need to borrow another’s faith… and vice-versa.

The battle behind every battle is ultimately the struggle for faith. Paul encouraged Timothy to “Fight the good fight of faith” (1 Tim. 6:12). And the “fight of faith” means to stay “in faith!” In other words, don’t yield to unbelief. It’s the “shield of faith” that paves the way forward. Skeptics are legion. Doubters are everywhere. But manly men keep the faith. Iron sharpens iron, and faith-filled brothers will excite faith in you.

MANLY MEN DO EXPLOITS.  Shackleton was a visionary who attracted lion-hearted men to unite together in this historic journey. The feat they endured, accomplished, and survived was unprecedented. Not a single man was lost!

Consider the unbelievable exploits mentioned in Hebrews chapter eleven. These “hall of faith” champions subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens” (Heb.11:33-34). WOW… talk about exploits of faith! Such examples serve to inspire us for mighty triumphs in our day.

Pioneers are at a premium currently. Even so, the need to raise up brave, confident, aggressive, mighty, and manly men is great. Masculinity is God’s mandate for all men. “Maleness” is cause for celebration, not apology. When congregations gear themselves to promote masculine virtues, we will see a resurgence of manly men. We will attract visionaries, missionaries, dreamers, and robust men who desire to accomplish eternal exploits.

“Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in event of success.”

Shackleton’s appeal to men was nothing less than astonishing. But it pales in comparison to God’s eternal call to men of all ages. He is calling us to join the ranks of Spirit-filled adventurers on the quest of a lifetime—To accomplish mighty exploits… To see men and women converted… To see the Kingdom of God advanced upon the earth… To lay up treasures in heaven… To fulfill our DIVINE DESTINY!

We are not here just to make a living… we are here to make a LIFE that counts in eternity.

Harold Vaughan

*The Men’s Prayer Advance is an event to Inspire, Instruct, and IGNITE men for God’s glory. This is not a glorified “Men’s Retreat.” We WILL NOT have goofy skits, raffles, Super Bowl adverts, movie clips, celebrity testimonies, Christian comedians, target practice, or sponsor a golf tournament.

We WILL HAVE industrial strength Preaching, heart-felt Praising, and Prayer. If you are longing for a MANLY MEN’S event—you will feel at home here at the Men’s Prayer Advance. CLICK HERE to Register Today… and bring a friend!

**Our ministry sponsors MAN UP Weekend events for local churches. CLICK HERE to learn more.


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Harold Vaughan

View posts by Harold Vaughan
Evangelist Harold Vaughan is the founder of Christ Life Ministries, Inc. To date, his ministry has led him to preach in forty-eight states and many foreign countries. Click on "ABOUT" in the menu bar to learn more about Harold.
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