Summertime means fun time.
For kids, school's out, and free time is in. For families, special memories, trips and other adventures will be made.
For men, the juggling act continues keeping the balls at work in the air, while mixing in some time away from the office for some time with the family.
For Satan, summer breaks provide ample opportunity to ramp up temptation, distraction, flirtation, and ultimately destruction.
For many churches, regular meetings press the pause button and men's groups take a summer break… Wait…
While the enemy deploys a destructive arsenal with all the pleasures the world and our minds can conceive, support from group meetings goes on holiday during the summer months. Obviously, this is a huge mistake.
"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching." — Hebrews 10:24-25
Our society often turns summer breaks into a vacation from God. There's no vacation from temptation. It's piled on during the summer where beach-body diets lead to short skirts, swimsuits, exotic locations and drinking. These all add up to plenty of opportunities to let the eye go wandering. Our guards are down, defenses are low. And, the enemy is waiting for the perfect time to fire a missile at your life, because he never gives up.
"When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time." —Luke 4:13
Temptation alone is not to be feared, but it's what you do with it that matters.
"…but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death." — James 1:14-15
Even Jesus took vacations, withdrawing from the others. But his purpose was to reconnect with God, resist temptation and restore himself for the adventure of his ministry. But he never gave up meeting with his disciples.
Perhaps the most important time to continue meeting is during the summer!
When men give up meeting, they take a hiatus from spiritual growth, separate from their accountability partners, interrupt their daily quiet habits, and remove themselves from the support system put in place by God.
The Bible compares the church — groups of those who follow Jesus — to the "body." If one of you takes a break from meeting, the rest of the body suffers as well. Each plays a role in the health of the whole body.
"The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!" … But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it." — I Corinthians 12:21-26
So take a page from Jesus and use your vacation to strengthen the "body," your body and everybody in your life. Here's how:
— Reconnect with God and with men.
— Resist temptation and nurture your spiritual growth.
— Restore yourself for the next adventure.
Enjoy your summer, but don't let it be a vacation from God.
Kenny Luck is the founder of Every Man Ministries and former men's pastor at Saddleback Church for 25 years. His 20th book – SLEEPING GIANT: No Movement of God without Men of God - is a blueprint for men's ministries, and was released through B&H Publishing. Watch and read more of Kenny's teaching here at EveryManMinistries.com. EXPLORE: "Media Vault" for related resources. Follow Every Man Ministries now on Facebook, Twitter (@everymm,) and YouTube.