What Light in this Present Darkness?

flash-1043778_640Are you finally angry enough to invest energy in fighting the true enemy?

I sat beside a lovely professional woman this week. I like this girl. She’s snarky, intelligent, and strong. We don’t know one another well but we get along. So, I was shocked to hear her make this pronouncement as she scrolled through her Facebook feed:

“Ha! Josh Duggar. What a mess! I’m SO happy he’s been exposed as a fraud. I only wish it had been even more lurid like pictures of him with men or something.”

“Wow,” I responded. “Why would you hope that the details were even more lurid?”

“So people would see that Christians aren’t so loving after all and are mostly fake. They have no idea what true love is.”

“I see. So, you think true love is wishing that his wife Anna and their children would be exposed to photos of him having sex with other people? You wish that Anna had to face even more lurid headlines? You wish the scandal were more heartbreaking for his poor wife, his children, and the people who love him to have to face? That’s the love lesson?”

“Well, no. Of course I don’t want Anna to suffer, I just, I don’t know. I wasn’t thinking about her. I’m just angry at Christians.”

And that’s where we are. She’s not a mean woman. She’s just a person living in our society picking up on the vibe that pulsates through the air like an invisible shockwave. A toxic fume undetectable to those lacking contact with the Holy Spirit.

She’s a good citizen and she’d never identify as someone on the side of evil. She supports Planned Parenthood. She is angry with Christians and rejoices when one falls. She hates ISIS but she blames their existence on all religions. She believes love means accepting everybody as they are except people with ugly non-inclusive views, deluded Jesus-followers, or Republicans.

And Jesus loves her.

She is not our enemy.

Jesus loves her and with His eyes, I love her, too.

Social media is loaded with indignation, commentary, and vitriol these days. Sides are being drawn. Fighting words stated. The pot is being smoked and stirred. Satan is flooding the airwaves with destructive lies and loving the confusion that erupts. In times like these, in this present darkness, it’s easy to lose track of the true enemy.

I’m angry. But, I’m angry enough to stay focused on the direction in which God’s Word points, not on the sleight-of-hand misdirection the prince of darkness is pulling. The woman in my story is like someone facing mustard gas without a mask. She’s helpless and if no one intercedes for her, no one covers her in prayer, her spirit is likely to remain in the dark.

How about you? Are angry enough to direct your energy towards the true enemy? It’s not Josh Duggar. It isn’t Planned Parenthood. It’s not Hilary or Donald or Obama or even ISIS. It’s not the woman who’s angry at Christians.

It’s the powers lurking behind the curtain pulling the smoke and mirrors levers, pumping the air with gaseous deception, and playing music with an alluring backbeat the draws people into a dance toward their own destruction.

Like every master magician, Satan tries to tell us where to look but God’s Word directs our eyes, our minds, our hearts, our strength, our prayers, our activity according to God’s plan:

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 

Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.

 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;  and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.

To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.” Ephesians 6:10-20 (ESV)

Have you been intending to spend more time in God’s Word? Have you been meaning to invest more time in prayer? Are you feeling like you ought to get more serious about your faith?

clock-782536_640Now. It’s now.

Put down this blog post, open your Bible, and hit the floor in prayer. I don’t know what you should be praying but God does. I don’t know where you should be reading but God does. I don’t know what changes you need to make but God does. In the midst of this firefight, in this present darkness, it won’t help you that I have my armor on, will it? I pray for all who read this blog, I intercede for you, but in the middle of a battle, every person is needed. I rely on you to intercede for me, loved ones.

Maybe it’s time to say less on Facebook and more in the war room of our own prayer closets. Wait, did I say maybe? Scratch that. Now. Now is the time. We live in the times that matter.

You who love the Lord and are shocked at the world’s disobedience, are you ready to obey Him in this and sacrifice time to pray light into this present darkness? My prayer is that you are.

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    The Conversation

  1. Carla says:

    Amen, Lori!

  2. Megan Vance says:

    Dear Lori,
    You spoke the words I was feeling, seeing so many sniping about the Josh Duggar scandal. If only we really could see the invisible warfare behind it all. As always, well said!!

    In Christ,

  3. My favorite sentence … so articulate.
    “The woman in my story is like someone facing mustard gas without a mask.”
    A challenge to which I’m responding. God bless.

  4. Mary Nees says:

    good one Lori! agree with Lovelace, love the imagery about facing mustard gas without a mask. You go girl.

  5. Lori, This has been my heart also. When believers come to me with problems I remind them “We are in a Spiritual Warfare. Pray.” Thank you so much for speaking the truth.