LENT came upon us ever so quietly and most immediately war was launched to which I became a helpless and unsuspecting victim.
I had no control over the Almighty One who allowed this battle to surge. The essence of this warfare was of a spiritual nature, but praise God, my spiritual weaponry had been sharpened over these many months through The Word. Equipped with The Word now my two-edged sword and the Holy Spirit my protective shield, I was initially lured into battle at the mercy of my spiritual armour — the insuring tool for The Light’s ultimate victory. But as time wore on and the Prince of Darkness moved surreptitiously about the maze of the intricately weaved treasury of my soul, the substance of which can be defined as the will, the intellect and the emotions, being of a spiritual, more than soulish disposition, my dependency for survival would be upon my spiritual gifts — for what I lacked in soulish weaponry, I more than made up for in spiritual armament.
Finding myself in the middle of this intellectual and emotional battlefield, which caught my will totally off guard, my body began responding to the dictation of my emotional network which at the outset, but not ultimately, overshadowed my intellect — the breakdown began — the weakness in the link lay in my emotional entrapment.
The Evil One lunged forward with his demonic troupes to lead me into temptation. This Fallen Angel, knowing well my vulnerability and adapting the epitome of warfare strategy, stood by in the wings with bated breath in perfect mobile-ready-stance.
Like all good warrioring Generals, he assesses carefully his strategy and being the Master of Deception, Darkness, masked in Halloween fashion, moves slinkingly over The Light. So stealthily does The Darkness cover The Light, that like the transition of day into night, the effect of the movement of the earth around the sun, but nonetheless creating an illusion of the sun moving out beyond the earth, he slyly eludes us to the depths of darkness, the realization of which comes upon us only after we’re engulfed.
Now, caught off guard, we’re surrounded by all of his Black Forces. Standing small when silhouetted against these seemingly impregnable soldiers of death, panic sets in for a shattering moment and then the dawning that there is no choice but to fight back — no escape from the clutches of The Evil One unless we engage Heavenly Reinforcements.
As the Prince of Darkness moves in closer and closer, blotting out more and more of The Light, he comes within heart-beat sounding range and like a mine shaft void of light, if allowed to go too far into the darkness, there is no slipping away — agony, pain, torment, and lack of peace set in.
Rampant helplessness took hold as I sensed the coldness of Death about me. This Author of Negativity began feeding me no hope — again exercising his deceptive artistry — I almost succumbed when the Son of God reared His Compassionate Face veiled in Mercy while He whispered tenderly into my ear “Put on the whole armour of God that you might be able to stand against the wiles of the devil”, (Ephesians 6:11). INDEED! Why have I neglected and ignored The Light who is “the way, the truth and the life,” (John 14:6).
My defeatist posture began to straighten up, my face turned from its downward position and shifted upwards towards the Heavenly Principalities. As I redirected my head toward The Light, my hands in reflex action let go of its tenuous magnetism to my sin-filled body, and as they slowly lifted to summon The Counsellor, The Spirit of Truth began to unfold the truths of my predicament. My senses and His Gift of Understanding with me now, I could better equip myself for victory.
The words of The Only Begotten Son beckoned to me, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you”, (John 15:7). “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you,” (John 6:5 3).
O Lord and Master of my life, deliver me from the grips of the Prince of Darkness who attempts to stir up the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes which you have heretofore revoked.
Let not, O Holy One, this evil creature of torment and death trap me with his foolery. O Comforter, embrace my hurt and pained being with your healing grace; deliver me from this skulking attack quickening the words, “Let your light so shine before men”, (Matthew 5:16). With you leading me in battle, Victory is assured. And so it is, O Giver of Every Good Thing, that you have permitted me to endure this spiritual warfare, that the Creator of the Universe might be glorified in my helplessness, in my lack of strength and in my demonstration of shallow wisdom — my total dependence, in all humility, is upon Your Healing Touch.
Thank you for deliverance out of this Bondage whose cunningness to squeeze out The Light giving place to Darkness you have aborted. In the Father’s perfect timing, I am at last once again freed. The battle is over — CHRIST THE VICTOR — TO HIM THE GLORY, NOW AND EVER AND UNTO AGES OF AGES. Amen.
"If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.”
Joy Corey is a member of St. Michael Church in Van Nuys, California.
From Word Magazine
Publication of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America