I picked up a book to complete — I started it maybe one or two years ago — and I realize it is for me, for now. Those of us who love learning, love ideas, love truth… we can get caught up in our heads and wonderful content miss our hearts. As a result, our minds do not get renewed.
In the previous read I got through two chapters…with major note taking and highlights. This time, as I read, what hits me like lightning bolts are the statements I looked over the last time. The book is by Erwin Raphael McManus and is called The Way of the Warrior: An Ancient Path to Inner Peace. It’s a thought-provoking, mind detoxing book that challenges us to see the power in peace. Here is the thought that prompted this entry.
Recently I heard my son, Aaron, explain that God goes to war only for the purpose of peace. Remember, John [the Baptist] came only to prepare us for Jesus. To follow Jesus is to choose the path of peace. Everywhere he reigns, there is peace.McManus, p. 13
I wrote a note in the margin of the book. If peace is the goal, then what is our obsession with war? Why do we treat war as permanent and peace as temporary? After more reflection, I add another question. Why do we not see or perceive peace as victory or demonstration of power? I mean, it is the peacemakers who are called God’s sons (Matt. 5:9).
In a day where we like to argue and be right, or revel in causing offense, these questions force a pause. A SELAH. As a follower of Jesus at any stage of growth, what is my approach to peace? How should peace inform my Christian perspective, my Christian worldview? #peacematters
We recount and recite many references to God and violence, without the understanding of peace as the goal. This is my attempt to challenge us to further seek Him and align our speech with His intention. Peace is not some docile, folded hands, fake smile, all-is-well-all-the-time, weak way. No! Peace is bravery, courageous, and godly. The way to peace is battle after battle, conquering carnal passion, and emerging on the side of God’s truth. Peace is not without scars; it is not easy. Peace is not passive. Peace is active. Peace is not the absence of a situation or trial. Peace is not silent.
Maybe humans keep up the external fight to ignore the internal fights. The devil we can see is easier to beat than the devils we cannot see that live in the heart, right? McManus posits that the way of the warrior is made through gaining victory over internal battles. Giving up control issues about the external things, and taking responsibility for the internal fires that rage. Peace, he says, influences our confidence and hope. That makes sense.
My hope is that this entry provokes us on a Berean-like review of peace. Peace is making peace. It is having a conference with ourselves and coming to terms with people, places, things, experiences, and memories. Peace is service and servanthood, according to McManus. Peace is a midwife… and helps us bring forth the godly and the authentic with pure, clean perspective.
Perseverance in the Christian faith has never been about just surviving. Perseverance has been about coming to peace, on the inside first, and then making peace on the outside. I hope we allow Holy Spirit to expand our lenses (views) about peace. I hope we allow these current times and challenges to help us boldly confront, cleanse, choose, and then come to peace.
I’ll keep reading, and keep y’all posted.
Dr. Shaunta Scroggins is the lead contributor to The Bereans’ Commentary.
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