“Here is joy that cannot be shaken. Our light can swallow up your darkness: but your darkness cannot now infect our light.”
C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce
The Bible tells us that our adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (I Peter 5:8). It doesn’t say he IS a lion. He came in the form of a serpent in the garden and used deceitful, lying words to gain authority from Adam and Eve. He didn’t come in the form of a powerful beast because his ONLY power over us is through our minds. He knew he could never overpower God directly, so he had to get his power from man, who willingly handed it over. On his own, he is completely useless. Sometimes we see him as almost equal with God in influence and power, which he isn’t. He doesn’t get authority from God to come at us, we have to give our consent and cooperate with him.
His darkness cannot infect our light if we don’t let it. He may be LIKE a roaring lion, screaming “dismal forebodings” into our ears, but he only has power when we take those lies and believe them over God’s revealed word.
He MAY devour us if we give ourselves over to him, but the Bible doesn’t say he WILL. We have a role to play and a choice of who we yield ourselves to (Romans 6:16).
The world is very, very dark. The things going on today probably couldn’t have even been imagined a generation ago. The one true thing we can take comfort in as believers is that Christ has overcome this world and the enemy is already defeated. With so many operating under the influence of satan right now, that is a hard thing to see. We act as if he is all-powerful when he just isn’t. Jesus gave his disciples (and us) the power over these things (Luke 9:1). In all the darkness and evil surrounding us, we can be confident that we have the God-given authority to stand against it and be a light. We can swallow up that darkness. God is waiting for individual hearts to turn to Him and do what He gave us power to do.
“He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” (Luke 9:2)
It’s not some kind of metaphor. We really are to preach the Truth of His word and heal the sick. The physically and spiritually sick. In the New Testament, spiritual warfare is always demonstrated as being in our minds. Not outside us in the heavenly realm, but inside our thoughts. The way to overcome these very real battles is by renewing our minds to God’s truth. (Romans 12:2, Ephesians 6:12). The guys in the New Testament didn’t make it complicated either. No hard doctrine and lists of rules to follow, no required waiting period for answers or miracles, no complicated spiritual warfare rituals like we make up today. They focused on sharing the Gospel and took their authority.
Peter commanded the lame man at the gate to get up and walk (Acts 3:6). He didn’t beg God to do it, he used the authority God had already provided to him as a believer. God’s power, we plug into it.
Luke prays that “with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Jesus” (Acts 4:29).
The darkness simply cannot overcome the light. It’s defeated. How amazing if we would all individually cooperate with what God has trusted us to do – preach the Word and watch it change lives!
There’s a catchy song we sing in the car about “learning to be the light”… We are imperfect beings with a perfect God who can learn to be that light. Just a little bit of truth can swallow up a whole lot of darkness. And the darkness cannot infect our light if we don’t allow it in. That is a joy that can’t be shaken and it should embolden us to get out there and do what God has given us authority to do!