None of us like feeling powerless. We want to be strong and stand against anything that comes our way, but so often we end up feeling helpless. I’m talking about both a physical attack, but a mental attack or another way to put it, a spiritual attack. We have an enemy who lurks in the shadows trying to tear us down and make us question whether God is truly there. Now before I continue, this isn’t a post about how “the devil made me do it,” stop that, you did it and you have to own the mistake (rant over). Today I want to write about how to combat spiritual attack, because each of us fight on a daily basis. There are words spoken over us (see last week’s post), there are temptations that arise, and there are hardships that don’t make sense to us. Each of these things are a form of spiritual attack, designed to make us lose sight of the one who loves us, the one who gave his life for us. You see, we aren’t hopeless in the midst of these things, we actually have the tool we need to fight back. It’s so easy for church culture to just say, “hang in there,” or my personal favorite, “I’ll pray for you,” (then never pray when you could do it in that moment with them). This tool is powerful and we all have experienced it, but we often don’t consciously see it as a weapon, then it hit me while reading a book.
In the past few months I started reading the Harry Potter series for the first time. I know, I know, I’m a bit late to the game on that one, probably because I loved A Series of Unfortunate Events that I missed the window as a kid. My girlfriend Danielle let me borrow her copies and I have been tearing through them. I’m currently reading the last book, but in book six, there is a concept that made me think about our greatest tool. In the book, the main bad dude Voldemort (That’s right I’ll say his name, I don’t even care), seems to have every advantage against our hero. He’s stronger, meaner, and willing to kill with no thought. Harry becomes disheartened and feels like defeating his enemy is impossible, but his guide (shouts out to the hero’s journey, literary nerd what whaaat) tells him that he has all he needs and more than his enemy. He tells Harry that he has love, and his enemy cannot possibly love. Isn’t that beautiful. I think it’s even more beautiful because we have love, and our enemy can’t fight it. 1 Corinthians 13:13 tells us, “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” Love is power, and love is our greatest tool against the enemy.
Love is resilient in a world of hate.
The inverse of love is hate, and our God is love, so our enemy rules in hate. I tried my best to break down this concept. We have an enemy, a very real enemy that does not have our best interest in mind. The devil is not that cheesy red Halloween costume with the horns, he is Satan (His name has no power either), and his mission is clear. John 10:10 says, “The thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Satan wants to obliterate us from ever stepping into our purpose. Our God is good, and he gave us a way to find life and live it to the fullest. You see, the reason we have love, is because God loved first. He loved us and sent his son to die so that we could have a relationship with him. Our enemy thrives off hate. It’s the reason why in our fallen world we see hate all too often. We have leaders that put others down, we continually see women pushed down, and we judge others simply because they are not like us. Fight it. You have the tool.
Perfect love casts out fear.
1 John 4:8a says, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” I have a lot of fear. Life can be scary; the unknowns happen and we cannot plan for everything. The truth that I need to cling to is that love counteracts fear. I can trust that God has my life in his hands. Now will hardship still come? Yes. It will be hard. I still remember moments when I found out I hadn’t gotten into any universities I wanted to. When I heard that one of my friends I looked up to had committed suicide. When I discovered a family member had struggled with addiction. My story is not unique either, all of us experience heartache, which can give us fear. The thing we have to cling to is that it will pass, and good can come from it because of love. I graduated from university. My friend’s family grew together and people came to them in comfort. My family member is now free of the chains that were once on them. I say this to encourage. Many of us go through all kinds of trial. Maybe you have struggled with an abusive relationship, maybe you mask your pain with drugs and alcohol that never seem fill that void, or maybe you feel alone and that no one cares. I want to encourage you. You are so worth loving. God made you, and he wants the best for you. Fight this hell with love, because love drives out fear.
It may seem to you that I’m a hippie of some sorts, but this is very real and very serious. Love is so important. Our enemy is trying to steal, kill, and destroy; but we have the greatest tool. We have the tool that Jesus used as he died on that cross and rose again three days later. That same power lives in us, and I believe that true power is unconditional love. We need love, and we need each other. We need it now more than ever in a world that seems to have no love in it. Some may argue that worship or prayer is more important, but I believe that without love these two are powerless. Satan was heaven’s worship leader who, without love, tried to be better than God. A prayer without love is meaningless words. Don’t hold back love. While reading Harry Potter, God spoke to me because this is something that needs to be heard. We need to love, because it is our greatest tool against spiritual attack. You have an enemy, but you’re a wizard now, go and love.
Fight with love,
As I like to do whenever I mention depression or suicide, I want you to know that you are not alone in this fight and that there is always help. Please call 1-800-273-8255, if you are having thoughts of suicide.
I love you and you are so worth loving. You can fight this, and you don’t have to do it alone.