A Fictional Look at Our Spiritual Battles
The following is a fictional post that I feel God revealed to me recently while thinking about the Holy Spirit and living a spirit-led life.
The Last Time I Died
Dust and smoke swirled in the air as I spun and fell to my knees. The searing hot arrow tip burned against the bone of my shoulder, the black shaft slicing through my periphery. The pain was excruciating but I knew I had to move to keep my back from being exposed to the enemy. Another arrow whizzed by only inches from my face as I turned, fumbling for my sword and shield.
“Charge him,” a voice shouted, ringing in my ears.
Exhausted, I looked ahead. I knew the voice within was right. There was no running away. Fleeing was no longer an option. The ground was littered with the bodies of those who had tried to run. Tried and failed. Forward and through the enemy was the only way to victory.
I looked ahead, blackness narrowing my vision. The air was thick and stifling as I began to take steps toward the enemy, resolve growing with every step.
The enemy stood at a distance, occupying the only available high ground. The bodies began to thin out the nearer I got to the man with the fiery arrows. His dark figure slowly came into focus as I approached. Heat seemed to be radiating from within him and his face was hard and he looked almost amused. A pile of bodies lay discarded behind him.
He raised his bow and shot another piercing arrow. It struck hard and lodged into my shield as he yelled mockingly, “You are pathetically weak. Don’t you know that you will never defeat me?”
“I will,” I said back with a courage that mocked my huddling position behind my shield.
“Your failures surround you,” he shouted as another fiery arrow hit my shield, knocking splintered wood into my suit and hair.
The words struck harder than the arrow. I took a step forward and knelt down behind my shield as I stopped at another body lying on the ground. For the first time, I became aware of the details of the fallen victims. In a moment of horror, I looked into his face and saw my own face.
How many times have I fought this battle? I asked myself. The scattered bodies surely numbered in the hundreds, marking numerous defeats.
“You can defeat him,” a voice whispered from within. “But you must rely on me.”
I recognized the voice as though hearing a friend’s voice in a crowd. The Spirit of God, my closest companion and mentor, had been all but forgotten in the heat of the battle. Recognition gave birth to hope.
This, I thought to myself. This is what He has been trying to tell me all along.
Thoughts from the previous months flooded my mind as I remembered the teachings and revelations that God had been showing me in my current season of life. The lessons, seemingly random and unrelated at the time, were lining up in my mind as the heat and darkness surrounded me, doing their best to stifle my progress.
I stood, facing the enemy with a new determination. The lessons coalesced and I knew I had been taught to rely on the spirit and not the flesh.
The change in demeanor was obvious and the enemy sneered. “So, you’ve heard His voice have you?”
A nod was my only response. Engaging the enemy in conversation was no easy task and not something I wished to attempt.
“Good,” he replied, releasing another fiery arrow. “It makes no difference now.”
The arrow landed deep in my shield, widening a shallow crack. I tossed it aside. I was no longer using my own weapons. Instead, I began to charge the enemy with my arm up. The enemy smiled and released another arrow, aimed straight for my heart. Millimeters from my arm the black arrow exploded, shattering against a transparent shield of light that was soon invisible again.
The enemy was no longer smiling. A wave of panic washed over his face as I dropped my sword, knowing that the unseen sword was much more powerful. He began to turn and attempt to flee but my momentum was carrying me toward him too fast. I swung with all my might. I trail of light sliced through the air and a mighty roar filled my ears.
The enemy was gone. I stood alone on the slightly raised ground. I turned to survey the scene and my last sight before returning to the natural was a myriad of heavenly host prepared for battle.