The Way of the Warrior: An Ancient Path to Inner Peace

The Way of the Warrior: An Ancient Path to Inner Peace

by Erwin Raphael McManus


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Best-selling author, pastor, futurist, and cultural thought leader believes that to experience and establish peace, we must first confront the battles that rage within.

McManus shows that encountering peace does not occur by accident, but rather by artful intention. Warrior is a call to decisiveness, self-examination, and the pursuit of spiritual wholeness. Through the ancient biblical practices of humility, focus, ownership, clarity, strength, and vulnerability, he guides readers to a deeper understanding of their inner workings and provides the guidance they need to establish peace and tranquility in their homes, neighborhoods, communities, and even the world! In the style of a battle-wizened teacher, McManus delivers wisdom, instills passion, and provides the sacred movements needed to become the warrior you were meant to be.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781601429568
Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/26/2019
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 23,795
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

ERWIN RAPHAEL McMANUS is an iconoclast, artist, and cultural thought leader known for his integration of creativity and spirituality. He is the founder of MOSAIC, a church movement started in the heart of Hollywood with campuses across Los Angeles, Orange County, and Mexico City, and a global community that spans the across the world. Erwin is the acclaimed author of The Last Arrow, The Artisan Soul, Soul Cravings, and The Barbarian Way. His books have sold more than a million copies worldwide. He lives in Los Angeles, California, with his wife, Kim McManus.

Read an Excerpt

Code 1.

The Warrior Fights Only for Peace.

The warrior is not ready for battle until they have come to know peace. For all the wars that have ever been waged from the beginning of time were first born in a person’s heart. We have a history of war because our souls are at war. We have conflicts because our hearts are conflicted. Every war, every conflict, every act of violence exists because our souls rage. Our only hope for peace is to win the battle within. Every war against another is a war that never should have been fought. It should have been won long before. It should have been won from within. This is our first battle. The war to end all wars is the battle for the human heart. This is the war we must win. To know peace is the way of the warrior.

It is impossible to ignore that God is often associated with wars. Certainly the people of Israel have a history of war as well as one of faith. We might conclude that the God of Scripture is a god of war, yet it is the opposite that is true. God is a god of peace. We are the ones who brought war to the human story. And since then, God has been fighting for us to find our way back to peace.

Solomon tells us that there is a time for war and a time for peace. Our history betrays us though. Our past is marked by war, while peace has forever eluded us. Sadly, the story of humanity can be marked by the weapons we have forged. From stones to arrows to swords to bullets to missiles, our inventions betray our intentions. An outside observer might say that we are creatures of violence for whom peace is simply the language of poets and philosophers. Yet the way of the warrior is not about refining our skills for war; it is about choosing the path of peace.

I have chosen this language, but you may find it at first contrary to the intention of this book. Peace can come only when it is fought for. This is true for any and every kind of peace, whether it’s peace on earth, interpersonal peace, or inner peace. It never comes to the passive. In fact, if you choose the way of peace, you will find yourself in a constant struggle and endless battle. The peace we seek must come from within, and this, you will discover, is the greatest of all battles. It was Job who uttered, “What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me. I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.”

I am convinced his words echo in every heart: “I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.” It is a story that all of us can write. It is the struggle that all of us know, some more profoundly than others.

If precedent is an accurate predictor of the future, we should not expect we will ever know a world defined by peace. It is perplexing when I meet people who believe there is no God and yet still believe in peace. After all, peace is an ideal of which we speak, but it’s something this world has never fully known. The human story is marked by envy, jealousy, greed, violence, and bloodshed. There will never be peace on earth until there is peace in us. This is why the way of the warrior must begin here. To find your strength you must find your peace, for the path to inner strength is inner peace.

This is where our journey begins. The way of the warrior begins with finding the missing peace. There are certain names that stand out throughout history as beacons of peace. Strangely, when you choose the path of peace in the midst of violence and rage, you are often simply remembered by a single name—for, example, Gandhi, Mandela, Teresa, Tutu, Buddha, and, of course, Jesus. Although each of them advocated for peace in the midst of violence, it is Jesus alone who claimed to actually be the peace our souls long for.

Jesus lived in a time of turmoil and conflict. He was born in a world where his people were oppressed by a foreign empire. While we think of Jesus as a man born free, he was actually born a slave. In fact, Jesus was a survivor of an infanticide ordered by a king who feared for his reign. All of Israel lived enslaved by the Roman Empire. Israel belonged to Rome. The Hebrews were the Romans’ possession. As a man, Jesus was considered a subject to a Caesar who proclaimed himself a god with the right to rule over the lives of all mankind. If Jesus knew freedom, it was not because of his circumstance. If Jesus knew peace, it was in contrast to the chaos that surrounded him. It is in this context that he spoke to his disciples and said to them, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Jesus’s words must have seemed both profound and perplexing to those who heard him. After all, they expected him to bring peace. Many who believed he was the Messiah thought that he would come to deliver them from the Roman Empire. The title Messiah had come to mean something very specific to the Jewish people. They expected that this Messiah would parallel the life of King David. It would be this Messiah that would lead his people to overthrow the greatest empire in the world. This Messiah would become their king, and the fulfillment of the promise would be found in their freedom. The coming of the Messiah would be the end of oppression.

The words of Isaiah had been passed on for generations: “Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.”

There was a very simple litmus test for the Messiah: if he does not establish peace, he cannot be the Messiah. It was his responsibility to bring them peace; he was the embodiment of true peace, yet the type of peace they had hoped for never came. His words must have seemed bittersweet. He spoke of peace with such certainty in the midst of such chaos that it probably caused many onlookers to assume Jesus was a bit naive. There must have been many who wanted to look at Jesus and say, “As hopeful and poetic as your words may be, you need to get a grip on reality. This is not peace. If you came to set us free, to establish a kingdom of peace, then you are a dismal failure and a grave disappointment to all of us who have been waiting so long for the Messiah to bring about change.”

No one had quite the courage to speak so bluntly to Jesus, but there couldn’t have been anything more frustrating for Jesus’s listeners than a declaration of peace when their world was in turmoil. Even today, Jesus’s words cut to the very depth of our souls and he seems to know our thoughts even as he speaks peace into our lives: “I do not give to you as the world gives.” It’s almost as if in one quick phrase he indicts the history of human violence. The peace he brings will never come to us the way we had hoped or expected. This is not the way of the warrior, only the way of violence.

You might find it peculiar that I would describe Jesus as a warrior. After all, he is most commonly known as a man of peace. Yet you cannot properly understand Jesus if you do not grasp that his entire life’s purpose was to win the greatest battle of the greatest war that has ever been fought.

God stepped into human history to fight for us. He did not hope for peace; he fought for peace. Sometimes the true mission of Jesus is misunderstood because he never carried a physical weapon in his hands. Yet if you want to see the true marks of a warrior, you need to look at the scars on his hands. In his death and resurrection, Jesus took upon himself all the violence of the world so he could bring all the world his peace. That is why he is most profoundly and uniquely the warrior of peace. That is why we’re pursuing his path.

The War Within

Jesus tells us, “Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” With simplicity and wisdom, he cuts between the two things that steal our peace, for the greatest enemies of the peace within are worry and fear.

All around me I find troubled hearts—men and women drowning in worry. We have become so adept at worrying that we have created an endless number of names to describe the nuances. Whether we use the language of stress or anxiety or find ourselves in the depths of depression or despair, worry is the source of so much of our hearts’ troubles. Worry projects a negative view of the world around us. Worry projects a negative future. Worry is an act of faith. It is a deep‑seated belief in worst‑case scenarios. Worry is not rooted in reality but does affect our reality.

I’ve also found irony in these words of Paul: “Be anxious for nothing.” I know that what he means is that we should not allow anything to make us anxious, but the truth is that it is usually nothing that is making us anxious. Our anxiety, our distress, our worry—when stripped to its very essence—is rooted in nothing, or at least in nothing we can control. Paul’s solution, of course, is to be anxious in nothing, but in all things, through prayer, we should bring our thanksgiving to God. It seems he’s telling us that anxiety comes when we try to control things that are out of our control. We become anxious because we haven’t learned to trust.

It is interesting that in another place where Jesus speaks of peace, he brings up trouble once more. Here he says to his disciples, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble.”

This is an important contrast. First he says to us, “Do not let your hearts be troubled,” but then he says to us, “In this world you will have trouble.” We have no control over the reality that in this world we will have trouble, but we have control over whether we decide to allow our hearts to be troubled. He makes the promise that though there will be trouble in this world, we can take heart, for he has overcome the world. Our worry will steal our peace, and when peace is missing, we find ourselves drowning in anxiety and crumbling under the weight of life’s pressures.

He also said, “Do not be afraid.” If worry wars against our peace, fear is perhaps an even greater foe. When we live our lives afraid, it creates turmoil and chaos within us. Fear is the enemy of peace. While worry will rob our joy, fear will steal our freedom, for what we fear establishes the boundaries of our freedom. What we fear has mastery over our souls. When we are anxious, we lose our strength. When we are afraid, we lose our courage. When we have found peace, we have both the strength and courage to live the lives we were created to live.

Even in my own life I see the relationship between worry, anxiety, and the inability to control the world around me. Throughout my life I have had a fear of dogs. Even to this day I still jump when a dog moves in my direction, even though I love dogs. The root of this fear is not undiagnosable for me.

When I was around five years old, I saw my brother get bitten by a dog. It could have been either one of us, but as life would have it, he was the one the dog targeted. Oddly enough, my brother, who was actually bitten by the dog, never developed any fear of dogs whatsoever. My fear and anxiety were rooted in what could have happened and not in the reality of what did happen. It was as if for the rest of my life I kept waiting for what I feared to happen, even though to this day I have never been bitten by a dog.

For years I was afraid of roller coasters. Again, it was not rooted in something irrational. When I was around ten years old, the seat belt broke while I was riding a roller coaster, and I held on for my dear life. I remember screaming my guts out, trying to get the operator’s attention, but he was too busy smoking to notice. I was never thrown out of the roller coaster, as I managed to hold on until it finally came to a stop, but out of that negative experience an enduring fear took over. I spent years watching other people ride roller coasters. But that’s exactly what fear and anxiety do to you: they put you on the sideline watching life happen. I couldn’t control the variables if I got into the roller coaster, so I stayed on solid ground to give me a sense of control.

It was years later when I finally determined to overcome that fear. Without fully understanding the complex nature of fear and anxiety, I knew what I had to do was get on a roller coaster. I had to destroy an ingrained belief that if I got on the coaster I would die. Since that time, I have enjoyed a lifetime of extreme inclines and insane drops. I love roller coasters. I love the feeling that happens when my stomach drops. I love the illusion of free-falling and plummeting to my death.

Ironically, those two phobias in my life helped me establish a pattern of overcoming fears in multiple arenas. Every fear feels justified. One reason is that every fear has a seed of truth in it. But the thing is that you do not ultimately have control over your life. Peace does not come because you finally have control over your life; peace comes when you no longer need control.

If fear has a direct object, anxiety is fear without an object. We experience anxiety when we feel overwhelmed by life. In order to reduce our anxiety, we often create smaller and smaller boundaries to give us some sense of control over our lives.


Excerpted from "The Way of the Warrior"
by .
Copyright © 2019 Erwin Raphael McManus.
Excerpted by permission of The Crown Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Introduction The Code of the Warrior ix

Code 1 The Warrior Fights Only for Peace 1

Code 2 The Warrior Seeks to Become Invisible 29

Code 3 The Warrior Finds Honor in Service 53

Code 4 The Warrior Gains Mastery over Their Mind 77

Code 5 The Warrior Owns Defeat 103

Code 6 The Warrior Harnesses Their Strength 121

Code 7 The Warrior Becomes One with All Things 157

Code 8 The Warrior Stands in Their Pain 197

Acknowledgments 227

Notes 229

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The Way of the Warrior: An Ancient Path to Inner Peace 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Amaack More than 1 year ago
Do you think of yourself as a warrior? I’ll admit, I never really think of myself as a warrior. But in his newest book, The Way of the Warrior, Erwin McManus challenges everyone to consider how similar the life of a warrior is with the life of a believer. A warrior seems so imposing. Fierce. Full of strength. But what McManus proposes is that really, a warrior is on a quest to find peace. By considering eight codes of conduct befitting a warrior, McManus shows the reader how to take a transformative inner journey. A journey that will help you see that your perspective is shaped in your heart. And what you believe in your heart will impact every single way that you engage with the world around you. This book will take you on a journey. To see how Jesus was able to challenge the norms of Bible times while staying true to the mission God gave him to live. When we choose to battle for those around us and for truth, the battle is noble and the way the fight is fought changes. It’s hard to put into words what this book has taught me. In some places, my thinking was challenged. In other places, it was confirmed. And in others, I’m still engaging with the text and examining what it means for my life. The Way of the Warrior is a book that will challenge you. Encourage you. And make you think about the way you are currently living your life. Don’t like the title of warrior make you get caught up in thinking this is some strange meshing of an eastern religion with Christianity. The warrior is a metaphor to broaden our understanding of the way we live our lives. This book is a beautiful challenge to look within ourselves and see the places we need to let God in to change our lives. I received this book from the publisher. This review is my own, honest opinion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so good! I have no choice of words that could describe how good because that’s how good. This is something that is needed for someone who is going through something and needs that peace, someone who needs to know how to find that peace so that way they’re able to fight that battle for the war. This books helps with fighting battles and to prepare for the war. It’s also really inspiring the way the author talks about finding inner peace in this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bryan_Craddock More than 1 year ago
My impressions of McManus’s book are mixed. His storytelling approach gave me some fresh insight into Ecclesiastes 9:13-18 and Elijah’s flight into the wilderness. He also crafts some strikingly memorable statements, like when he says, “There is no surer way to lose yourself than to spend your life thinking about yourself” (85). Another quote that stood out to me was when he said, “Elijah had taken the story of God with Elijah and turned it into the story of Elijah with God” (210). But sometimes he refers to passages of Scripture so loosely that the point gets lost. We find this in chapter 7 where he claims Elijah was hearing sounds from the future. Then as he tells the story of Peter walking on water with Jesus, he calls the walk back the most profound part. But the biblical accounts do not mention anything about this. The idea of framing the book as a samurai warrior’s code is creative, but also a bit juvenile. He begins most of the chapters with the ancient warrior’s philosophy. Many of these sections ramble on too long and become overly mystical. For instance, he says, “If your mind is set, you have limited what you will discover. If your mind is free, the possibilities are limitless” (78). He also writes, “All of creation is within you, is part of you. What you experience in the universe outside of you also exists in the universe within you. The universe literally flows through you” (170). I found some of his personal stories to be strange and out of place, but my biggest concern is what he leaves out. He says much about pursuing inner peace, but never directly mentions our fundamental need for justification before God (Romans 5:1). He hints at it in the introduction by saying, “It was an act of violence that became for us our way to peace. The cross points the way, but we must choose the path” (xvii). But he fails to spell out the core biblical message of salvation. I received an advance copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review.
NKBookReviewer More than 1 year ago
The title drew my attention to this book. The Way of the Warrior: An Ancient Path to Inner Peace sounded like a book I needed to read. I like the way the book started out stating there is something wrong with the world. Yes, I totally agree. We need to get together soon and change things. This is the first book I have read by Author McManus. His style of writing is smooth and eloquent. It flows without a hitch and is easy to understand. The pace was slow but necessary for this type of book. Readers need time to ponder and reflect. Author McManus writes about being a warrior and his ways. Warriors can be competitive but still be humble. A warrior can be great and yet a servant. He knows what feeds his soul. The statements are prose which I wanted to write on sticky notes and put on my mirrors for inspiration. They are very encouraging. However, there were many things that just didn’t sit right with me. “The Warrior is one with all things.” is one example of those statements. In my opinion, that sounds rather New Age. There were others that did not align with my beliefs, also. It takes some inspiration from samurai warriors and other places. Scripture and faith are sprinkled throughout the book, but there is no mention of how to have a relationship with Jesus, our Savior. Nor was there mention of getting our peace (that passes understanding) from Him. I am not sure what I expected but this book was a disappointment to me. I wanted more Christian inspiration and wisdom. More practical advice on how to accomplish the result instead of what a Warrior was. The author is a talented writer. This book is just not for me. Men will like it more than women and relate to the warrior references. I would recommend reading it with a watchful eye on the scripture. I rated it 3 out of 5.
JamesHauptman More than 1 year ago
I've read a few of Erwin McManus' books before and have felt like I get the book from just the introduction, yet they take me longer to read than most books. Take this quote from page 1, "our only hope for peace is to win the battle within." That sums up the entire message of the book. But I've come to discover it's a slow read because there is so much richness in the writing. Like Shakespeare, you can read it quickly to get a cursory view of the book, OR read it slowly and absorb the writing at the level of thought and reflection it deserves. The chapter on ambition in service was a game changer to my thinking. Each chapter alone is worth the price of the book and the time invested in it. This is my honest opinion of this book after reviewing an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher.