One more question for now – when did you first discover the untamed?
I can’t say I discovered anything. It was more like becoming aware. Some years ago, I was taking inventory of my spiritual journey. It occurred to me that my faith had experienced five distinct stages. Very briefly, they were:
Pioneer Faith: When I first became a Christian in 1983, everything was new and exciting. The Word of God, my new Christian family, worship – it was all like exploring an unknown country. I was like a pioneer, eager to explore and learn.
Maturing Faith: I quickly grew in my new found faith to the point that I began to really get it. I learned my way around the Bible, understood how to live biblical principles, and became confident in who I was as well as Who’s I was – a child of God.
Sophisticated Faith: After several years, the language and customs of the Church were very familiar to me. I understood the expectations and learned how to appear spiritual. I never doubted God or His faithfulness, but I do confess to a period when I felt quite dry spiritually. I was going through the motions, but my faith lacked the zeal and strength of the Pioneer Stage. This led to a brief next stage…
Domesticated Faith: This stage can be summed up in a quote by Dorothy Sayers: “We have very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah,” turning Jesus “into a household pet for pale curates and pious old ladies.” I think a lot of Christians know this stage well. It’s a devotion to Christianity rather than Christ. It’s a religion of form without the substance of a real relationship with Jesus. And it’s stifling. Now the interesting thing about Domesticated Faith is that the cage has no door. We enter freely, and freely we may leave. But the longer we stay there, the harder it is to find the opening.
Untamed Faith: I’d love to say that I found the exit to the cage, but that would be giving myself too much credit. God, Who was still with me, woke me. He opened my eyes and led me out. And once I left the cage, I re-discovered what I had experienced years earlier in the Pioneer Stage. So, in effect, I have come full circe. I am getting to know my Lord all over again.
That’s how I first became aware of the Untamed. It’s a term that recognizes God as the Bible describes Him: Both Good and Dangerous. That awareness necessitated a change in my faith. Domesticated Faith is not courageous enough to follow the Untamed God.