Unleash Your Inner Warrior
“The human spirit will not even begin to try to surrender self-will as long as all seems to be well with it. Now error and sin both have this property, that the deeper they are the less their victim suspects their existence; they are masked evil. Pain is unmasked, unmistakably evil; every man knows that something is wrong when he is being hurt.”
My dear warrior,
Sometimes life hits us with such unexpected circumstances that we find our minds completely hijacked by all that is happening to us. You get the wind knocked out of you, your feet taken out from under you, and you find your life spiraling out of control, and you have no idea what just happened. The fear, regret, shame, guilt, burden and anxiety can so overwhelm the toughest of mind and spirit that you feel worthless and barely know how to function anymore. You’re hit with massive self-doubt, self-loathing, and feel like you are constantly being verbally assaulted by others or mentally assaulted by your own thoughts. You’re left on your knees, begging God to put an end to the suffering.
“Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say “My tooth is aching” than to say “My heart is broken.”—C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain
The tougher you are, the tougher your circumstances will be. The stronger you are, the harder you’ll get hit. Why? Because God is kind enough to use our circumstances not only to hone your character and refine you like gold but to teach you to rely on Him. He wants a relationship with us, but if we’re honest with ourselves, we tend to forget about God when things are going well, and only run back to Him when things are difficult. But God wants you to become fully dependent on Him. Utterly, desperately, wholly reliant on Him. He wants you to stop trying to do things out your own strength and ability (and messing things up), stop acting like vengeance is yours (it’s not), and realize that your life is not your own. The best thing we can do is offer our lives and circumstances to Him, to lay it all down at His feet, and give our lives in service to Him. As warriors, that is our whole reason for being. We live a life in service to our great King and Commander. We should be dedicated to a life of worship for Him because it’s the very least we can do. To paraphrase a thought of C.S. Lewis’ from The Problem of Pain, He is pleased with little but demands all.
Every situation is different, and you will absolutely need to inquire of the Lord what it is He wants you to do, how He wants you to respond in your circumstances, and find out who He wants to be for you in each season. But this year I have learned that oftentimes all that God wants us to do (rather than come to our own defense, try to prove our innocence or prove that we are right) is to trust Him wholeheartedly with the situation and our reputation. He is not some distant God who does not care about you. He sees your circumstances and cares about your heart and your reputation. You need only let Him fight for you.
I know my wording makes it sound so simplistic, but I do not say this lightly. This summer I was slandered beyond belief, and I could not bring myself to face society or reality. I hid away from the world because I was so broken by what happened. I was forced to trust God with my reputation and my life; God even warned me that if I tried to rush to my own defense that I would only do more damage and make the situation worse. So I was forced to trust that vengeance was His and that He would fight for me. And He did.
“Pain insists on being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” – C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain
Think of Him as a castle, a strong tower, a secure stronghold. There is no way for the enemy to breach that great barrier, but if you venture back out into the battle when God has asked you to stay inside the castle walls you will get slaughtered by the enemy. Your mind will get hijacked all over again, and you will (no doubt) make things worse for yourself. Do things out of your own strength and energy and ideas, and you will find that they blow up in your face. They might seem like good ideas to you at the time, but God is saying “Trust Me, I know how that would end. Don’t do anything that I don’t tell you to do. Just trust Me to resolve this for you.”
Then it simply becomes a matter of just letting go so that God can resolve those things in your mind. Your mind is the last place for things to be resolved. Long after the battle is over, our minds remain captive to the circumstance we endured. The human tendency is to continue to drag things out, to relive those moments of fear, regret, shame and condemnation over and over in our minds, until that becomes the only thing that we can think about. We keep those things alive in our minds because we do not know how to find peace. (We are unable to find true peace apart from Him.)
We also create things in our minds that were never reality in the first place. Our minds are so powerful that we can concoct worst-case-scenarios, create hatred towards us that was never there, imagine ill-intentions that were never there, and create a nightmare to live in that does not exist outside of our imaginations. But if our minds are so powerful I have to ask: why are you wasting time on generating negativity or a nightmarish reality? Why do you choose to remain captive to your thoughts? Yes, I said choose.
God says to take captive every thought. You must choose to do so. If those thoughts are running wild and your mind has been hijacked by your circumstances (past or present) then you are Not taking every thought captive. You must choose to change your mind so you can be an atmosphere changer. If you live in a constant rumble of accusations (and if you accuse others) then you do the work of the Accuser, not the Father.
Trust God with your circumstances, trust that vengeance is His and He will make all things right and make all things new. And then, move on. If you keep wishing God would put an end to the raging battle in your mind, take it from one who learned it the hard way: you can end it now. Oftentimes the only battle left is within yourself. You must choose right here, right now: I am no longer a slave to my circumstances, I will not be held captive by fear, I will not be haunted by my past, I will not let this battle rule me. I choose not to let these circumstances rule and ruin the present or destroy my future. God, I trust You, and I choose to let go. I am ending the battle in my mind here and now. I give it to You. I’m letting You take it, and I recognize that it is completely and fully out of my hands, and now fully under Your control. You are good. You are kind. You are trustworthy. I intentionally choose to let go, and I refuse to pick these things back up again.
Do that as often as you need to. Sometimes we think we have set let go without realizing our fists are still tightly clenched and we have not let go at all. Keep surrendering until your mind becomes fully conviced. In that moment, when you truly surrender and let go, you will know instantly by the newfound stillness in your mind.
The kind of peace you will find by intentionally giving your circumstances to God, and taking every thought captive will blow your mind when do finally surrender fully. So as we enter into a new year, choose to be done with whatever has hijacked your mind in 2016. Give it to God (and actually let go), and enter into the New Year without that unnecessary burden.
©Michèle Aimée, 2016
About the Author
Michèle is a warrior with a passion for God, a deep love of writing, and a fire for combat training. As a warrior, she understands that when she is given orders, she must follow through.