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            I don’t know about you, but life has been all rain clouds and no sunshine these days over in our neck of the woods. Perhaps that’s because it’s January. But I have a feeling it’s more than that. I suspect that the clouds have been due to darkness fighting light in a ferocious manner. Darkness does that, by the way. It likes things to stay dark because light threatens its very existence. Don’t believe me? Even our eyes want to stay closed when our alarms go off in the morning. We enjoy our slumber and the dark tremendously! Our body aches at the thought of someone throwing the light on and interrupting our precious night.

            But the same can be said for things that aren’t of this world. The things that are beyond this singular realm are also filled with light and dark. There is a spiritual battle that takes place all around us – while we do our daily routines and our errands, while our kids attend school, while we go to our jobs and our churches and PTO meetings. Every second of every day, the war continues. Darkness tries to claim souls while Light fights back for freedom for those very souls.

            What is your darkness? And before you start to think that I’ve lost my mind, or that I’m a religious zealot, remember that you are made up of a body, a mind, a spirit, and a soul. Just because you’re only consciously aware of one or two of those things, it doesn’t mean the others cease to exist – no more than the stars cease to exist while the sun is shining.

            My darkness takes many forms. Sometimes it appears as anxiety or depression. Other times it takes the shape of a bad habit, a sin, or a stronghold. But however it chooses to appear, it’s goal is always the same – to claim me as its own and to hold me captive, away from the light. And that’s darkness’s aim when it comes to you, too.

            You’re worthless. You’re a failure. Can’t you ever do anything right? What if everyone found out that you did that? If people REALLY knew you, they’d see you’re a fraud and a hypocrite. You can’t change. Your life will never amount to anything more than this right now. Your finances, your health, your job security, your house payment, your broken car, your broken family, your broken marriage… all of it means nothing. YOU mean nothing.

            Ever felt any of these things? Since most people usually aren’t always optimistic and the rainbows only shine after a bit of rain, I’m guessing at least part of this rings true to you, too. So what’s the answer? What do we do when the clouds are all around us and the darkness closes in? Do we give up? Do we hunker down and wait for the darkness to pass us by? Because I assure you, if that’s what you do, you will fail. Trust me. I’ve already tried. You see, the dark is not satisfied unless it’s victims stay in one place, eyes held tightly shut, refusing to let the light breach their clouds.

           And I, for one, refuse to be a victim.

           To battle the dark, we must call it like we see it. Sure, you may feel silly standing in your kitchen talking to the imaginary forces at work for your soul… but if you want to win, you’ll get over the foolish feelings rather quickly. You must let the enemy know that you’re calling him out – that you see his game and you’re aware of his plans for you. And if you want to test this theory, call out the dark and then wait.

           It won’t be long before darkness tips his hand and shows his cards… because as soon as you call him out, he will retaliate. Watch as an unexpected bill comes your way, as you get sick, or as you find yourself too busy with mundane tasks that suddenly appeared, leaving you no more time to question the darkness. But friends, don’t shy away. It’s just part of the game. You call him out, he responds. However, your work is just beginning.

           The devil will call “Check!” and you’ll be forced to move in order to protect your queen in this weird game of spiritual chess. No one who plays the game in real life would walk away from the table if their opponent called “Check”… no one would throw their hands up and call it hopeless. No, they would move.

           Move. That’s what you do next. You called out the darkness, and now you move. You refuse to be defeated – to stand still. You refuse to sit and wait for it all to pass you by. Instead, you call in the light. You find what you’re doing right in your life and you keep pressing on. Obviously the darkness is fighting you for some reason, trying to hold you back from the good you’re doing. But the light is there to shine through the clouds and put the darkness in its place – to give you just enough strength, day by day, to accomplish the good works you’ve begun.

           Call out the darkness. Refuse to stand still, MOVE. And look to the Light.

           If all this makes you think I’m a whack-a-doodle, then I’m actually okay with that. In fact, I ask that if you have no idea what I’m blubbering about, that you ask. Email me. Call me. Let’s get coffee! You can tell me about your darkness and I’ll tell you about my Light. Together, we can call darkness’ bluff and tell him just where he can go.

 

Romans 8:35-39

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

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