Darkness can never fight against light, it can only exist where there is no light.
Human existence is a long history of an unceasing battle between two invisible forces: the power of darkness and the authority of light. Christ alone attributed ‘power’ to darkness. “But this is your hour, and the power of darkness” (Lk 22:53). And all those who deliberately hate the light of the Gospel, love and remain in the power of darkness (Jn. 3:20).
All of us are either in the ‘kingdom of darkness’ or in the ‘kingdom of light.’ Christ by his coming has effected a transference from the reign of darkness to that of the light. “He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son” (Col. 1:13).
Good soldier of Christ Jesus
The envisaged spiritual battle is not easy to be launched and won. It is a battle for the perseverance of one’s faith. The devils are determined to destroy our holy faith and they strike at the root of our belief and trust. And so, every Christian has to ‘take the share of suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus’ (2 Tim. 2:3). And his/her aim is to “satisfy the One who enlisted him/her” to defeat the enemy (2 Tim 2:4). St. Paul describes the nature of our war and the type of the weapons that we need to put on daily (Eph. 6:10-18).
We are not battling against any human being, but against a power that is beyond – the power of darkness of the heavenly places. In fact, the Israelites “went up out of the land of Egypt fully armed for battle” (Ex. 13:18) and they did not have any “experience of any war in Canaan” (Judges 3:1). And they would often pray: “Give us help against the foe, for the help of man is in vain” (Ps. 108:12). And the enemies’ strategy is to strip the believer of his weapons (2 Sam 2:21), so that he can easily defeat him/her. The disarmed Christians would become easy prey to the enemy’s eyes.
The only offensive weapon that we have at our disposal is the “sword of the Spirit” (Eph. 6:17). But unfortunately, most of the Catholics neglect this mighty weapon in their life. And so, “on the day of the battle, there was neither sword (of the Spirit = Word of God), nor spear found in the hand of any of the people” (1 Sam 13:22).
We are kept busy
All of us are busy with schools, colleges, hostels, dispensaries, social works etc., that we have no time to reflect about the acquisition and use of the acquisition and use of the “sword of the Spirit.” And so, we are easily defeated by the enemies of our life. Our attention is easily and readily diverted to superficial things of life, so that we are deprived of the most essential, spiritual and offensive weapon – the Word of God. Thus we easily get worn out with a spiritual syndrome called “burnt out” souls.
“He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High” (Dan 7:25). In fact, unconsciously we are all kept busy with many mundane things and the enemy is quite happy. “My child, do not busy yourself with many matters, if you multiply activities you will not go unpunished” (Sir. 11:10).
Believe in the Lord
When the Israelites had to face a three pronged battles (the Moabites, the Ammonites and the Meunites), King Jehoshaphat got frightened and “sought help from the Lord” (2 Chr. 20:3). He proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. In his great humility the King prayed: “We are powerless against this great multitude that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon thee” (2 Chr 20:12). God’s Spirit took control of young man named Jahaziel and he told the people: “Fear not, and be not dismayed at this great multitude; for the battle is not yours but God’s” (2 Chr. 20:15).
What would be the core factor to the success of the battle? Let us listen to what Jehoshaphat had to tell the inhabitants of Jerusalem and Judah: “Believe in the Lord your God and you will be established; believe his prophets, and you will succeed” (2 Chr. 20:20).
– – – written by J. Eapen SDB