“Jesus came to free us from the fear of the shadowlands – of being swallowed up by the darkness of discouragement, doubt, and depression. He is Light, and He banishes darkness” (Ruthless, Stern, p.127). I’m so thankful we serve a God who is Light and who shines His Light into our dark places. This year in particular, I have been experiencing some intense attacks from the evil one. He doesn’t fight fair and attacks me in my weakest moments and in my weakest places. On one particular day last week, I awoke early, as is my practice, to spend time with my Heavenly Papa. To my surprise and delight, I soon discovered that the lesson our team was focusing on for the day was on spiritual warfare. This helped me remember what I’ve learned over the years about warfare – praying Scripture, the armor of God, praying in Jesus’ name and such. Then, I had a new thought. I know I absolutely hate warfare; it doesn’t feel good. It’s human nature to want to stay away from things we don’t like or cause us pain and discomfort. I want God to take it away, to save and rescue me. I believe He will. But what if warfare is so much more? What if spiritual warfare can draw us to the heart of God? I think I tend to cry out to Him in my neediness way more than when life is good. My heart’s prayer is to know God. What if spiritual warfare draws me even closer to His heart, His love, His care? Maybe, instead of asking for deliverance (which I don’t believe is wrong, just secondary), I need to ask Papa God to bring whatever He can into my life to push me towards Him, even if it is spiritual warfare. So, even though I hate the warfare, perhaps it’s being used in my life as a powerful reminder of how much I need God. This perspective helps me endure the battle. “Thank you, Jesus, that you defeated the darkness. Thank you that I can use the battle I sense around me to remember Your presence and Your heart. Thank you for your love, care, and protection from the evil one. In Jesus’ name, Amen.” Thanks for continuing to pray for us. The battle is real. God is up to amazing things!