Unleash Your Inner Warrior
Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.
My dear warrior,
Recently I’ve been reflecting on the beauty of Christianity, and what it truly means to be the body of Christ, and the kind of unity we are meant to enjoy. I’ve been delving deep in my research lately, and have been finding stunning truths (and it has, of course, become the next book I am working on). The reality I’m discovering of what it means to live for God is so much more magnificent than I could ever have dreamed. My mission right now is to scrape away the ‘barnacles’ that have attached themselves to the faith over hundreds of years (the corporate faith, as well as my own individual faith during the span of a lifetime). The thought that has been ringing through my mind this week has been this: we ought to be unshakeable in our faith, but ought not be immovable in our hearts towards God. Another simple thought has been this: It’s ok not to have all the answers. (You won’t, and no one expects you to have them all. Nor does anyone expect you to be right all the time. You won’t be.)
Think of the Christian faith as a beautiful, brilliant ship. Our faith has been steady for over two thousand years. Along the way, barnacles have naturally attached themselves to the ship. These can be tradition, error, heresy, misunderstandings, cultural differences, teachings that are corrupted by the lusts of the flesh, what-have-you. The ship is perfectly fine and wonderfully intact, but from time to time, it is necessary to tend to the ship and scrape off the barnacles that have attached themselves to our fine vessel. We must remove things that were not originally intended to be part of the faith. (This has been done throughout history; we see this demonstrated at the Council of Nicaea, from which we get the Nicene Creed.) I have encountered a surprising number of people recently who are as eager as I am to go back to what Christian faith used to be (or ought to be). Many want to return to a Latin Mass, or go back a few hundred years and put off the denominational divisions or put off the heresies that have crept into the church. But I would suggest to you that going back 50 years or a few hundred years is not far enough. Heresies were rampant even in the 4th and 5th century. (Even Paul's letters to the church at Corinth and Ephesus called them out on heresies that were creeping in!) No, beloved, we must to go back to the beginning. As in: the first 100-300 years of the church.
My journey as of late has been to seek truth out as objectively as possible. I have not set out to prove anything right or wrong, but am simply seeking to know the truth as best as I can. I have been reading the writings of the apostolic fathers, the history surrounding the letters of the apostles and saints (it is so important to understand these writings in context), and have been delving deep to discover the origins of so many beautiful traditions we take for granted, set aside or simply don't know. I am not seeking to prove myself right or anyone else wrong; I just want to know the Lover of my soul, and love and serve Him as best as I can.
Something that God put heavily on my heart is that we ought to be unshakeable but not immovable. We ought to be so rooted and grounded in our Christian faith that we are unshakable, but we should never be immovable in our heart towards God. Our heart should remain soft and pliable and be able to be moved by our Creator so we can get to know Him ever more intimately. There is not a be-all end-all point at which we know everything. And just because we may know a lot of doctrine or scripture or any one thing does not mean that we have even begun to get to know His personality! We've only just begun to scratch the surface.
Our God is unchanging, and His nature is infinite. We could never exhaust our relationship with Him, and we could never get to fully know what He is like, even if we lived a thousand lifetimes. Just as we have various aspects to our personality, the sides to His personality are limitless. Think of it this way, you may only know one or two sides of my personality, a little piece of who I am or what I am like. But my personality has so many different aspects that not many are privy to. Very few have been privy to most of them, and I don’t know that anyone has seen all sides of what I am like. So if that is true of us as humans, how much more true is that of God in His infinite nature? Something I have discovered about God is that He allows us to go through various trials and tribulations so that He can introduce aspects of His personality we have not yet known. (My prayer in difficulties is “Lord, who do You want to be for me now that You could not have been for me at any other time?” because I know it is an opportunity to get to know Him more intimately than I have before).
There will never come a point in our lives that we know everything there is to know about God, will have everything right, have ‘mastered’ scripture or doctrine, or have run out of things to learn. The moment we think we know it all, or think we hold all truth (as if we had plunged its depths), or we refuse to open ourselves up to the glorious things the Holy Spirit wants to teach us, we shut down our capacity to grow. We shut down our ability to commune with God, and we stifle our relationship with Him. How tragic it would be to shut down the most infinitely intimate relationship in our lives, and to allow it to stagnate by our own arrogance and ego!
We, in our finite capacity, should never try to limit God (in His infinite nature) to what we can grasp in our limited understanding. Beloved, be open to the things of God’s heart. Be open, and allow yourself to be moved by the things He wants to teach you, the truth He wants to reveal to you, the reality of who He is and what He wants to share. There is so much more to knowing, loving and serving Him than you could possibly understand. Do not limit Him by the small glimpse of truth you may have. Individually, we only have a piece of the puzzle, or a few pieces. We do not have the whole puzzle, and we certainly cannot see it all on our own.
I've been trying to get a bit more of an eagle's eye view, and have seen that some people are after God's mind, and clash with those who are after God's heart, and even more-so with those who are after His hand; but each of those is valid. There are essentially three streams; these are represented by the Ark of the Covenant, and are demonstrated by God's triune nature. They should not be separated, and yet, most often, they are. (I will write more on the these things soon). Suffice it so say, we are all made in God's image, and it seems to me that we are each drawn to certain aspects of God's nature; we are meant to be a unified body, brought together because of it—not be divided over it.
I have come to realize that it is important that we not simply cling to our beliefs just because it is what we have always known, what we have been taught or because it was passed down from our parents. There is so much more to it than that. We are not followers of Christ merely because we inherit the faith from our parents. In each generation, it is our responsibility to discover our faith for ourselves, that it becomes real to us. By scraping off the barnacles and discovering our faith for ourselves, by allowing God to move our hearts, we open ourselves up to the work God wants to do in us; we allow Him to solidify us in our faith, and make us unshakeable; we allow ourselves to be completely and utterly transformed into His likeness and are not resistant to truth (which we may have been resistant to before because it did not fit our ideals, or what we imagine Christianity ought to look like, or because it doesn't sound like what we have grown up knowing).
When I began this journey, the thought of digging deep into doctrine, catechism, tradition, the history surrounding the early church writings, etc., was incredibly overwhelming for me. Over the past three years, God has really been pushing me to grow. I have always been a woman after God’s heart, but being after His mind seemed intimidating. I have been learning now to love Him not only with all my heart, but all my mind. Because I have chosen to do the 'scary' thing, and step back and look at truth as objectively as possible, I am getting to know the Lover of my soul so much more intimately than I ever could have imagined, and it is glorious! I am getting to know the way He thinks, the way He feels about me, and understanding a little more of what it looks like to lead a life that is lived for Him. I am in awe. I love talking with Him, I love His laws, I love His precepts, I love understanding why God has commanded us to do things, and how succinctly everything fits together. I love relationship with Him, I love pouring out my heart and soul before Him, I love confessing my sins to Him, and I love feeling Him lift the weight of burden from my shoulders.
O dear warrior, I hope you will step back and, with God, seek truth out as objectively as possible. I hope you will overcome whatever fear of man, fear of change and fear of the unknown you have and seek truth as objectively as possible—without trying to prove anything right or wrong. To live life without doing this is to relegate yourself to the position of a foot soldier. Do not shy away from this battleground, beloved. This fight (one within yourself) is one worth having. It is worth the victory.
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.