When Life Shouts, “War!”

God, the King, wants to articulate the feelings, emotions, and weaknesses that are associated with overcoming the circumstances of our lives that shout, “War!” Most often those feelings of war won’t fit into the neat and tidy Sunday school answer box. There is a sense of darkness to the state of affairs that expose the war that is raging. In the middle of pressing situations, the darkness can swell and envelope our rational thoughts and perspectives. The Enemy’s desire is to veil our eyes tangibly and intangibly. The unrefined emotions of darkness can attempt to caress your senses dull when you feel in the middle of a soul war. The unrefined emotions of darkness need the refinement of a king. We need to open wide the door for the King of Glory to ride in to rescue our hearts. “Lift up your heads, O gates, and be lifted up, O ancient doors. That the King of glory may come in! Who is the King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O gates, and lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in!” {Psalm 24:7-9}

We start by defining the darkness of what is at war in our lives. We need to define those “ancient doors” of war we have locked tightly and hidden beneath the thorn-heavy garden of our souls. We need to get in a position to see, hear and receive from God. We need to be equipped to operate from Christ’s perspective, becoming capable of battling with lifted heads alongside our strong and mighty warrior King. Seeing, hearing, and receiving from your Father as you perceive His Presence in your circumstances is an attribute of a daughter becoming all glorious within. These are the tools that will ultimately give us the ability to learn, receive, and respond regularly to the King’s voice, regardless of our life circumstances.

Any phrasing that could have the power and potential to give us ownership of the darkness is not good. My issues and my darkness don’t exist. You do not own a dominion of darkness. Period.

A few years ago, my husband brought to light that I kept claiming personal ownership over the enemies on the front lines. One day while talking through some tough trials, he put his hands on my shoulders, looked me straight in the face, and said, “Cari, stop taking ownership of the darkness that is surrounding you. It’s not yours. It’s not over you. Stop accepting that in your life. You are a child of God and have the power to step into His marvelous Light, but it’s your choice. Step away from owning the darkness, and don’t take it on as your own. “ Boom goes the dynamite.

“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” {1 John 1:5-7}

As much as we try, we cannot produce light. However, because Christ dwells in our hearts and lives, we have access to the Glorious Light as well as the power to use it to illuminate ways that the dark presses against us.

“He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. {1 Timothy 6:15-16}

I love the language Paul uses as he writes to Timothy. He focuses on the glory of God, so the corresponding smallness of Timothy’s opponents might be revealed. Paul coaches Timothy by reminding him God’s power and authority supersede his present conflict, confusion, corruption, temptation, or the dominion of darkness that is rising against him. That’s what we want to do: Push the unapproachable radiance of the Light of the King and discern the diminutive power of the darkness.

We want to come alongside Christ and allow Him to dispel the lie that the darkness will overcome, overpower, or overtake you. God wants to dismantle and discredit the lie that there is little to no hope of ever getting out of that deep, dark, oppressing war. “Stronghold” is a military term from war. It is where forces hold up in a concentrated and fortified location. Spiritually, a stronghold is any idea that is directly opposed to the Word of God and seems immovable and unchangeable. God wants to lift the fog of confusing circumstances that are veiling your heart from taking the fantasy of your dreams into the activated energies of your reality.

We have to stop taking ownership of the dark, even in our passing language. Anytime you refer to a dark place in your life as “your darkness” or “my darkness,” you create a stronghold. Don’t give yourself an out just because you haven’t used the word “dark.” Double-check any language you have used that refers to things of this world. Any of these phrases could fit just as well: my addiction, my problems, my depression, my pain, my stress, or my anger. Please take a second to connect the dots with me in the scriptures I just read. He has transferred us from a domain of darkness into His glorious light {Colossians 1:9-14} and to him be the honor and eternal dominion forever {1 Timothy 6:15-16}.

His word over your life destroys strongholds. God wants to blow up the enemy strongholds from the inside out. All of the fortress disintegrates with His Word, and His Light invades and liberates hope and victory.
I’m not suggesting we walk around with a false sense of reality and just ignore our problems because, “Cari said we shouldn’t talk about the darkness of the problems that surround us.” I’m challenging us to look at the dark places of life alongside the Light of Christ, not with our limited human nature alone. I am suggesting we rise above the war line to see the King standing atop the hill. I think God desires to challenge our thoughts, so we stop assigning it to the wrong place. It’s not yours to pick up, and if you don’t pick it up, it won’t overwhelm you. The lie that you own your darkness or war will only keep you chained to guilt, shame, abandonment by God, and feelings of unworthiness.
He has transferred us from a dominion of darkness and eternal condemnation into His glorious Light, and that means the eternal light of glory is what now has full, complete, and uncontested dominion in our lives forever. That is our identity: an eternity of glorious Light not despairing darkness. The dark might press against us, but it cannot be in us if we have given our lives to Christ. The dark you have experienced, whether intentionally or unintentionally, does not have the spiritually legal right to take over any residence in your life. Unless you give it a right. “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” {John 16:33}

The world promises to give us tribulation, dark circumstances, and weapons that threaten to take us down. The darkness comes in uninvited at times, and as a weapon of darkness, it could come in the form of isolation, heartache, loneliness, depression, boredom, laziness, an unhealthy soul tie, rejection, addiction, or despair that threatens to stay. How they remain, how they stay and war against you, is directly related to our response to them. Not the response you show everybody on Sunday morning, when you “put the face on” or when you are hanging with your good Christian gal pals, but when you are in the quietness of your own heart. I’m talking about when your pretty little head hits your Egyptian cotton pillow at night. What voice is putting you to sleep? Remember, a true, enduring, becoming-all-glorious-within-beauty has to radiate from the inside out, and that includes the voices in your head. It won’t last if you work from the outside in. Allowing God the space to have victory over our soul sickness is what gives us peace and healing from the inside out.

In the book, The Rest of God, Mark Buchanan states, “Physical sickness we defy, but soul sickness we often resign ourselves to.”

Feeling that you are alone and left to die in the darkness can be very real. There is pain in this world deeper than I could even attempt to give explanation for or relate to. Unthinkable damages are inflicted on the daughters of God every day that I can’t possibly entertain without being moved to tears. I know on a broad level there are hurts this world has caused that can make our souls nauseated with heartache and anguish. And for that very reason, God has to reign as King. If we dwell on dark times without committing them to the King’s care, it could swallow us up like a gruesome monster. Living as timid fairy princesses isn’t going to cut it in the Kingdom of God during this generation of the world. “for God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” {2 Timothy 1:7}. The King is calling His daughters to rise up, fight in the dark, and give Him the valiant opportunity to rescue them.

“Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you!” {Ephesians 5:14}

We can manage, position, and control every painful experience that ultimately prevents our healing. Or we can step into becoming glorious and start to exalt Him as the King with all authority over the dominion of darkness. If we are brave enough as daughters to stop emasculating God so that we can feel all warm and fuzzy, we’ll light the world on fire. I believe with every fiber that God wants to do something extraordinary with His daughters in this generation. I believe it so much that I claim the Song of Victory proclaimed by the prophetess Deborah over my own daughters’ lives. “March on, my soul, with might!” {Judges 5:21}. I say it over them every night. I couple it with Psalm 16:5-6: “May the Lord be Shelby and Ainsley’s chosen portion and their cup; may He hold their lot secure as daughters. The lines have fallen for Shelby and Ainsley in pleasant places; indeed, Shelby and Ainsley have a beautiful inheritance.”

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