Unleash Your Inner Warrior
“What you need in life will be brought to you, but what you desire, you’ll have to go get. Much of what you cry for will not be brought to you.”
My dear warrior,
Sometimes we get ourselves into such a mess that there seems to be no way out, no way to right the wrongs, no answer to our cries for help. No matter what we do, we cannot make it better. And sometimes we’re not sure if we messed it up, if it was already broken, or whose fault it was anymore—or if it’s anyone’s fault. In the midst of the chaos, sometimes we create our own theology of suffering to try to make sense of all that is going on. We develop our own strange ideas that result in a distorted view of God, spirituality and of our own lives in order to try to cope with difficult circumstances, rather than consulting the God who knows all.
This week I have already written about how there is always hope, and there is always a solution. Today I am here to tell you that there is an answer. You might wonder how an answer and a solution are different. In order to get an answer, you must ask a question. This is different from a solution – which requires that you have a problem first. During my warrior training last week, one of my sensei’s said something that really struck a chord in me: he asked who the best teacher in the class was. The answer was: yourself! You are the best teacher. An instructor or a mentor or guide can show you things, but you must learn them yourself. The kind of self-talk you allow in your mind determines the outcome. If you don’t think you are good enough, you won’t be good enough. If you don’t think you can do it, you probably won’t. If you think you’ll fail, you probably will (because you have prepped yourself to fail). If you don’t have hope for something, you will give up before you can find out if there was hope or not. If you don’t believe there is a solution, you won’t look for one and you’ll give up too soon. And finally, if you don’t think there is an answer, you might not even bother to ask and find out.
With that said, sometimes we create our own theology of suffering to make our circumstances more tolerable, or to try to make sense of them. We do this instead of seeking God for the answer. Maybe the idea of searching Him out is too painful (I can’t face Him in my failure); maybe you don’t think God cares; maybe you don’t think God talks to you or answers us anymore; maybe the noise in your head is too loud to hear His still small voice. It could be any number of things. Either way, you aren’t seeking an answer anymore. You have resigned yourself to this nonsense theology of suffering that you have created.
The three major belief systems I have noticed are:
1) “Because I am not a good enough Christian/ Catholic, I am being punished by God”
2) Rather than recognizing that God uses for good what the enemy intended for evil, we become angry at God, and blame Him, saying “God did this to me!”
3) Whether we do this inadvertently, out of stubbornness/ because we are being obstinate, or because we are simply blind, we reject the answer to our prayers. We do not recognize that God has answered our prayers, and we dismiss the answer and wonder why God is ‘refusing’ to answer our prayers, or why He is punishing us by taking away the answer to our prayers. (He didn’t take it away. You threw it away).
For the first one, I want you to recognize that that is nonsense. God is not going to punish you for not being good enough. Yes, I do think you ought to be disciplined in your faith, but God is not going to punish you for not praying enough or for missing a fasting day. You may open yourself up to vulnerabilities, expose parts of your life to the enemy, and make yourself into an easy target, but that is not God punishing you. That is you lowering your shields. Don’t blame God.
Two, God is not out to get you. When I said these beliefs about suffering are nonsense, I do indeed think the idea of having a theology of suffering is nonsense. God cannot give us anything that He does not have. He does not give us pain, cancer/ sickness or suffering because He does not have those things to give us. He may allow things in His wisdom that He could have prevented by His power or mercy, but He always uses things for the good of those who love Him and are obedient to Him. He uses for good what the enemy intended for evil. He uses those things to refine our character. But He does not send those things into our lives. Christ died on the cross on our behalf to take our punishment for us. For us to continue to be punished would make our God a cross-eyed schizophrenic! When Christ was crucified, He took on the weight of all of our sin, and He took all of the wrath and punishment that we deserve. For God to continue to hold that against you would nullify the sacrifice on the cross. And that is not the truth.
Three, often times, we pray for what we already have, and we don’t recognize it. Then we let the enemy plant seeds of doubt and despair, fear and anxiety in our minds ...and we panic. We then reject the very thing that God had given us. When our world comes crashing down around us as a result, we blame Him/ think He’s mad at us/ think He is punishing us. I have watched this last one devastate someone I love dearly. The very thing he was praying for was right in front of his face. He had the answer. But because he did not recognize it (because it didn’t show up the way he expected it), and because he allowed the enemy to cause him fear and anxiety, he not only rejected it, he threw it out violently because he was blind to what God was wanting to give him. When he threw it out, he was launched into depression and a whirlwind of emotions, and found himself confused. He blamed God, he blamed himself, thinking he had not been a good enough Catholic, and he took on the weight of a burden that was not his to carry. Ultimately, he believed that God was punishing him by taking away what he wanted most. He created a theology of suffering that God never intended him to take on. God wanted to give him a gift. When he rejected the gift, God wanted this man to seek Him out for the answer.
Which leads me to a question for you: is God so cruel that He would dangle your hearts desire in front of your face and taunt you with it, only to deprive you of it? Come back for tomorrow's blog, There is Always An Answer, Part 2.
Live in the battleground,
©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.