Guest Post by Ken Hagerman. Check out his blog, Rambling With the Barba.
A Warrior Life happens in the wild. I’m not going to recap the popular TV show. I’m not going to share my thoughts on how to squeeze the most life-sustaining water from animal poo. I will not be eating anything live or semi-deadly while writing this (depending on who cooks lunch). No, I am thinking about our mandate from God at Creation, to subdue the Earth.
Ever since God encouraged us to “have dominion” over creation we have been setting rules. Rules for control. To maintain our domination. We look to box in everything with a set of guidelines so we can be superior, have the edge.
We train animals to perform tasks. Some are deemed hearty and used for work. Others we like for pets or for entertainment. I’ll be the first to say that I would love to see an ox in a tutu dancing for the promise of a snack, but it’s not practical. Could you imagine putting a sweater on one of those things and stuffing it into a purse? I think not.
We cultivate plants for beauty and food. We plant sod to have grass where we want it without the weeds and then we plant an herb garden; weeds, in the middle of the yard. I love blackberries as much as anybody but I don’t want a lawn completely filled with the thorny beasts. A barefoot jog to the mailbox ends up looking like I let Edward Scissorhands tie my shoes.
God made all of this creation and then looked at it and said it was good. It was good way back then. He didn’t ask us to collaborate with Him and finish what He started. I think He meant for us to manage it appropriately. Somewhere along the way we modified this mandate. We want to include our kids, our spouse, our neighbors and especially that guy trying to steal the only front-row parking space from us. We want to dominate everyone and everything. We essentially want to sanitize the wild out of it.
That’s what I want. I want control. I like control. I like knowing what will happen next and not being surprised by it. I like telling people what to do and they do it. The problem is I have included God in my dictatorship. I explain Him to others with complicated apologetics. I share Him with an extensive inventory of doctrine. I direct Him with a false sense of “His will.” He is impaired to operate outside the confines of my comfortable Christianity by my attempts to neuter His wild side.
I am reminded of the Narnia tale The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. Two characters are speaking of Aslan, the Great Lion which represents God. One says “You must remember He is not a tame Lion” and the other answered “Yes, but He is good.” No man can tame God. When I attempt to do so, I create a chasm between us. He is dangerous. I am learning that God is terrible and beautiful and can be both at the same time. I am learning that He doesn’t do it the same way every time.
I am reading about Jericho, and the Red Sea, and a floating ax head. That’s wild.
I am reading about walking on water and raising the dead and money in the mouth of a fish. That’s wild.
I am reading about a shipwrecked apostle and a healing shadow and the entire book of Revelation. That’s wild.
I think that if I really want to live a Warrior Life then I need to cut the chains. Recognize that God operates outside of my preconceived ideas. Trust that the Creator of the Universe knows what He’s doing. I must stop trying to manipulate God with my standards, rules and self-delusions. If I want to really follow Christ I must stop trying to tame the Lion and step into the wild.
Nice post! I have been reading “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” With my class at school… I have had that quote in my head for days, “Safe?” said Mr. Beaver.”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.” God isn’t safe, but God is Good!
They kinda round abouted that in the movie adaptation. They used Lucy and Mr. Tumnus in the end. Still a killer quote that makes me reevaluate.
Preach it, Brother! And I do mean brother, lol. And even if it just spoke to me:-)
Thanks Sis. I write it because I hear it howling in my ears first.
Ken, great post! Your point is so true – many times we want to tame God down to make Him more palitable for those we want to follow Him. We try to concentrate on certain aspects of His character like grace, mercy, and love without addressing the obedience, sacrifice, and service. Doesn’t that set people up for failure?
It can cause failure. Worse is that is can cause someone to think of God It terms that are drastically less than He is. We already can’t comprehend Him if we put forward a sincere effort. A new convert doesn’t need to be taught God is anything other than what He is.
I have recenctly been attending a warrior leadership course for the army and what they taught was what I have already known or been taught from day one. It goes something like this— I Am an Christian Soldier. I am a warrior and a member of a team. I serve the people of the United States and live God’s value’s. I will always place the mission first. I will never accept defeat. I will never quit. I will always fight to remain strong and true to my values and beliefs. I am disaplined, phiscally and mentall tough, trained and proficent in my warrior tasks and drills. I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself. I am an expert and I am a professional. I stand ready to deploy, engage and destroy the enemies of God and the United States in spiritual warfare. I am a guardian of freedom and the american way of life. I am an American Christian Soldier. Let us take up arms all ye that are able and not scared and lets press on toward vicory by the Holy Spirt and for all that was done on the cross. In the Most High’s Son’s name AMEN:)))))
That is cool. There is a lot good stuff in there.Thanks for reading.
I hate to admit it, but I’m guilty of trying to tame God, too. 😦 Good stuff to think about….
I think we all find ourselves guilty of “humanizing” God or trying to put him in a box thinking we have him figured out. But then I am quickly reminded that I am merely just a fragile human capable of nothing but destruction. I remember where I ended up when I took control of my own life. We try to lock God into a groove like a needle on a record. Man am I glad he plays to a different tune than what I would. As always great post Ken! God bless.
Thank you sir. Taking control of God is exactly the problem. Good point.