“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the Full Armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the Full Armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,…”
(The Bible, Ephesians 6:10–18)
Spiritual warfare is real. As real as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Just like not believing in Satan won’t protect you from him, not believing you’re in the middle of a war won’t keep you from getting shot at. Satan knows our weak points and will attack us in that very spot, twisting the knife, over and over again. He will use those closest to us, our friends, family, and loved ones, to hold the knife and do the twisting, without them even being aware of it. Satan knows the wounds deep in our heart and he is bound and determined to continue the bleeding. Each wound is personal to us, delivered by our childhood, our parents or lack there-of, our experiences… My personal and not-so-unique female wound is that I am unloveable. That no one will ever choose to be with me and to keep me, that no one will ever fight for me. Satan is relentless in attacking this deep-rooted spot in the recesses of my heart. The evil one knows that is the spot that will hurt me the most severely. And we each have one of these. And only God can provide full healing, only He can make whole and leave not even the slightest scar.
Sometimes I see the demons and evil spirits in this world as the dementors in Harry Potter. They are cloaked, dark, vile, soul-sucking creatures, that deplete the very hope and light and warmth from their surroundings. They lurk, and wait for their chance to devour another soul, to bring someone down, and leave them empty and lifeless inside. Isn’t this exactly what demons do to us? Thinking along these lines, I realized Jesus is my patronus. When the dementors swoop down, sensing weakness, leaving me surrounded and scared and weak and seemingly defenseless… Jesus is THE patronus of light that will surge forth and banish and bind my dementors, sending them running the opposite direction as fast as they can. All I have to do is call on Him. All I have to be able to do is say those words, and ask for Him. Sometimes it may seem like I can’t conjure Him right away, or I can’t quite feel His presence and break through the chill of the demons to let His strength overpower them. I have to be strong. I have to be confident. I have to have faith. I cannot give up, or give in. In this spiritual war, there is no such thing as lying on your back and playing dead, there are no white flags to hold up. They will not be honored if I tried. But with Jesus on my side, the dark ones will run and hide.
1 John 4:4………..”Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world.”
Each day I will rise, and put on my God-given armor, I will take my wand in hand, and be secure in the knowledge that my patronus has more power than the world, that He will come through, I believe He will come through.
David had the faith to stand before a giant, with just a sling and a stone. Our God today is the same as David’s God. He is the same today, yesterday, and forever. Equipped with faith, all I need to stand in the midst of this fallen world is His holy name.