I’ve been a Christian since I was 17. I first heard about Exodus 90 when I was 33 and then did it with a group of friends. At that time, it was just this thing on the periphery.
And then I noticed it gaining traction; It kept popping up in more places. I began to hear the amazing results people were experiencing from it. It suddenly became more appealing. I remember Jason Evert telling me that it was like “cleaning out your garage,” in the spiritual sense.
I thought that was pretty cool. I interviewed James on my show, and I remember him saying something very interesting: He wanted to move away from this culture of exceptions where people say things like, “Well, we fast on Fridays. You don’t have to do that or this.” I thought that was pretty manly.
When I first heard about Exodus 90, I wasn’t necessarily interested in doing it. Not because I didn’t like the idea, but it seemed to be merely one great idea among many. When I was living in Atlanta, I had a men’s group who would get together. We’d pray, play board games and enjoy each other’s company.
I’m not sure what sparked the initial idea, but one morning I told the fellas, “What if we did Exodus 90 together?” They asked, “What is that?” I said, “We can look it up.” They responded, “Oh yeah, I’ve heard of that. Let’s do it. When should we start?” I said, “Let’s start now!”
We started in the middle of the year. I think I knew that if we waited until the next time to start came around, we may not have had the enthusiasm to commit to it.
I struggle with committing to things with tremendous enthusiasm, only to peter out within a few weeks.
In a way, the obstacles didn’t emerge until a couple of weeks in. I was still very excited to do the program. I liked the idea of praying, not having alcohol and avoiding snacks between meals. When the obstacles came, it was just frustrating.
I found myself frustrated that I couldn’t enjoy a whiskey with my wife at night. I know I could’ve – there’s some freedom in Exodus 90. I’m a grown man: I can do what I want, but I want to be true to it.
I agreed to do Exodus 90 because men in this country live very cushy lives. What does that produce? If you live a cushy life and you never deny yourself things that you want, or if you only deny them when the mood strikes you, you’re not practicing true submission.
It’s kind of like obedience. Obedience is a difficult virtue. If you’re only obedient when you want to be obedient, that’s not actually obedience. The same goes for fasting and other tough practices. I knew I had to learn to submit better even when not in the mood.
I was surprised to find how weak I was and how ready I was to find any loophole or exception. I suppose everybody finds that within themselves. You’d like to think you were made of heftier stuff.
The most enjoyable part of the Exodus experience was meeting with men intentionally every week. I remember hosting a party at my house one day. My Exodus fellas came over, and it was like we were part of this cool club that other men — as cool as they were — weren’t part of. We had this kind of inner language. We were undergoing something together. I liked that.
I think the reason men are on the fence about taking Exodus 90 is because they’re afraid they’re going to fail. And I think as men, we shy away from whatever exposes us, whether that be taking a look under the hood of the car to see if you can figure out what’s wrong with it, paying your taxes, looking at your bank account or having that conversation with your teenage daughter. We shy away from things that we fear will expose us.
Ultimately, we want to rely on the strength that God gives us, not our own power. If our poverty is exposed in taking on these disciplines, praise the Lord for that. Recognize that He is good and gentle with us, and we can be gentle with ourselves. If you never try, you can’t fail. If you don’t try to do anything, then you can never fail, and that sounds great, but wouldn’t it be cooler to try and be better than you were, even if you failed?
Give it a shot! Head over to https://exodus90.com/matt-home/ to get started.