They say that its darkest right before dawn. Maybe in the natural realm for those that see with their physical eyes, but in the spiritual realm, darkness is sensed, felt way before its arrival. There's a eerie feeling deep down in the bones. Emotions begin to wander down dark alleys, deep pits, and venture into a plethora of possibilities in the abyss. Some mistake this as depression, withdrawal, or maybe even worry. But, I call it what it is, being under attack. The darkness is coming. The imps are stirring. Plotting against you... plotting against me. The seeds that they plant are seeds of doubt, seeds of insecurity, jealousy, envy, insignificance, unworthiness, and a overall sense of impending doom. They are attempting to plague the mind with thoughts of "I can't", "I won't", "it will never", "it's too late", "I'm not smart enough", "I'm not good enough", "I'm not beautiful enough", and any other negative connotation that they can muster. Their goal is to have you, me... speak what our emotions are having us feel. At this point, it is important for me to state that "being" and "feeling" are two different things. Because it is possible to be one thing and to feel another. Our goal is to strive to be the best we can be regardless of how we feel. So, why is it important then that they have us speak these fears, these negative connotations? For them, it is vital; for, what we speak we bring into existence. We trigger a mechanism in the brain to accept what we have just spoke as truth. Spoken enough we can infest the soul and manipulate belief. Once belief is manipulated, we can change the countenance of the spirit. When the spirit is affected and thus becoming infected, we change behavior. And when behavior is effected in the negative sense, darkness consumes.
Who and/or what then is our recourse? Jesus and the wisdom within the Bible. Jesus is our model to whom we should look to for guidance and instruction. We should strive to mimic the behaviors that He displayed. It is in Matthew 4 that we are told that Jesus fasted for 40 days after which He was tempted by the tempter. It is here, in His weaken state, hungry, tired, and possibly thirsty that He gives us the proper response to temptation or any other lure of the imps. The adversary, the devil, the greatest imp of all in verse 3 questioned Jesus,
"...If thou be the Son of God,command that these stones be made bread."
Think about that for a moment. Two things are occurring,
1. Jesus is being questioned about who He is,
And 2. Prove it by providing for Himself.
How does that translate in our day and age? Take the 40 days first as a time of hardship, a time of doing without. Then, being questioned, "if you are a Christian, ask God to deliver you from your troubles". What would your response be?
Well, Jesus gives the perfect answer,
"It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. In His reply He does two things,
1. He reveals His source, the Bible which is the word of God, and His knowledge thereof.
2. That obeying the word is more important than being well fed and illustrates His trust in the Lord to sustain Him regardless of His circumstances. So, what does that tell us?
1.Study His word - make His word our source, our guideline, our light.
And 2. That through studying and applying the teachings therein we will have true life and fulfillment. However, does that mean that we won't further be attacked by the imps? Or become victim to further trials, tribulations and temptation? Of course not!It's quite the opposite.
Let's take a look at Matthew 4:5-6.
Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,and saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written,He shall give his angels charge concerning thee Ps. 91.11 hands they shall bear thee up,lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Ps. 91.12
Here again we see that the devil questions Jesus' identity and even goes further to question His knowledge of the word by quoting it. I believe that this is here to show us that the enemy (the tempter, the advesary, the devil or those under his influence) also has knowledge of the word and will try to use it against us. So, it is vital that we not only know who we are and whose we are, but that we must be diligent in studying the word for ourselves. For our belief and faith will be tested. But with proper study and prayer, we too can respond in the manner that Jesus did:
Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Please note that it is here again that Jesus reveals His reliance on and trust in His source. This is a reoccuring event. In each attack from the devil, Jesus responds with God's word. Not with how He is feeling or what circumstance that He is in. Nor does He get into a heated debate with the devil. He simply states what God says. He stands on His source regardless of what the advesary does or says.
Let's read verse 8 and 9.
Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;and saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
(I will save my commentary.)
Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written,Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God.
Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
I want to highlight that the devil is always willing to take you somewhere. But, he can't take you anywhere that the Lord can't keep and protect you. I also want to note that in verse 8, not only did the devil take Jesus to a mountain top, but he promised to give him all of the kindoms of the world. For what? For Jesus' worship, His soul. There's always a compromise and what is given always outweighs what is received, atleast with the devil anyway. Nonetheless, Jesus rebuked him, quoted His source, and stood by and on His convictions, which is His belief and faith in the word of God. Then in verse 11 the devil flees. His patience and endurance, not only paid off, but spiritually He was strengthened. Not only that, but the Lord sent angels to care for Him. What a beautiful testament. Now, I can hear you saying, "how does this connect to the darkness? The imps? Reflect on and in my life?" It's about your words, your beliefs, your faith, and your source.