Wrestling With the Darkness

A view of a clear opening in the midst of heavy clouds above and below

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.”

(Genesis 1:3-4)

Now “…this is the condemnation [judgment of God toward men], that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light, because their works were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his works should be reproved [criticized unfavorably]. But he that doeth the truth cometh to the light, that his deeds [works] may be made manifest [openly displayed], that they are wrought in God” (John 3:19-21).

What is light? “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). Jesus said “…I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). But He also said, “If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” (John 9:5). What is darkness? It is following our own point of view instead of God’s.

A black and white silhouette of a person in the darkness with a light behind them and rain falling

Supernatural powers exist that we cannot see. If we are not protected by God, they can manipulate us whenever they want to. The New Testament emphasizes and reminds us that “…we wrestle not against flesh and blood [earthly people], but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). None of these are in our conscious realm. Therefore, if we only look for results in the earthly realm when we pray, we have not yet learned how to pray effectively. The results we really need are hidden deep in the unseen world beyond our view.

All who believe in God have received a new nature of light. But they still must wrestle with the old nature of darkness trying to work hard inside of them.

The light God brought forth in the darkness of the earliest ages only resulted in dividing night and day. Night still comes in our time, but God has promised us that “…there shall be no night…” (Revelation 22:5) in the Holy City to come where all true believers are going. “Darkness” is used as a symbol of misery, ignorance, and sin, and also describes the sinister spirits who rule over this dark world. The world of man is a place of darkness and death because of sin. Believers need to be reminded and warned that “…ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8). All who believe in God have received a new nature of light. But they still must wrestle with the old nature of darkness trying to work hard inside of them. When we finally make it to that Holy City of everlasting light, then all spiritual darkness will disappear because “there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth” (Revelation 21:27). That is when we will truly be like Christ.

A black and white photo of a African American man bowing his head with folded hands in prayer

The Apostle James reminds us that “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16). A true believer in God who prays sincerely and zealously can create far more disorder and confusion among unseen forces of darkness than we can ever imagine. We really do not know all that our prayers have done or can do. Yet it is not necessary for us to try to examine and understand prayer completely. What we need to know is that Jesus stressed the fact that we should pray. He also said that “…greater works than these shall [believers] do; because I go unto My Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name [authority], that will I do” (John 14:12). We don’t even begin to have a clue what the total meaning of Christ’s death on the cross for us is. But we can realize that it means He will protect us from dangers we know nothing about in the unseen world around us. Once we become aware of this, we can certainly rejoice that we are “kept by the power of God” (1 Peter 1:5)!

Our most important responsibility is not to wrestle with other people or with the darkness ourselves, but to simply put on the armor He told us to, and give ourselves totally to following Him

Our battle is spiritual. Therefore, it can’t be fought with physical weapons. We must arm ourselves with spiritual weapons. So, we need to put on the whole armor of God. Then we will be able to stand in that evil day, and, after we’ve done all that we can, we just stand. Satan is constantly attacking us. But if we will put our faith in God and His power, ability, and His working in us, then we will be able to stand against the attacks of the invisible enemy of darkness and be victorious.

A black and white photo of a narrow pathway between tall, dark trees with bright sun above

Do we “follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth” (Revelation 14:4)? He is the One who will take us safely through darkness, through the valley of the shadow of death, through all the foreign, unnatural and unaccountable things of darkness. Our most important responsibility is not to wrestle with other people or with the darkness ourselves, but to simply put on the armor He told us to, and give ourselves totally to following Him. Then let Him take care of it, and it will be clear that “…the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day” (Proverbs 4:18).

Are you unable to come against these unseen principalities and powers? Do you personally know the One who is the “light of the world?”

Has the darkness overtaken your life? Are you unable to come against these unseen principalities and powers? Do you personally know the One who is the “light of the world?” If you do not, take a look at our section on knowing the way to God for get more understanding and insight on this important concept.

[Image credits: Featured image (when applicable) skitterphoto/pexels; free photos/pixabay; Steve Halama/unsplash; Jack Sharp/unsplash; Simon Matzinger/pexels]