“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5
What does it mean to “overcome” here?
For me, it brings up images of a struggle between light and darkness, which rubs against my understanding. I mean, I get that there’s definitely spiritual warfare in the world, but there’s also no way that God could actually be in a contest with the devil, because God is so much bigger, right?
Sometimes it can almost feel like God is going to win on a technicality. Sure, we know He has to win in the end because He’s GOD, but in the meantime, it sometimes seems like the devil is keeping up a little too well.
What’s with that? God created the world, including the devil, but now, what? Is he gaining speed?
Of course not. Duh.
But what about spiritual warfare?
I think part of it comes down to God’s intervention. He gave us the opportunity to choose Him, or to choose to go away from Him.
And, yep, we really messed that one up. At which point, God could have washed His hands of the whole mess. And really, why not?
But He didn’t. He let us go with our choice, which did empower darkness, because we invited it in (check out that theme in Ted Dekker’s Black).
But it didn’t empower darkness to beat God. Because even our choice as humans lies within God’s range of power. His giving us power doesn’t give darkness power to beat Him.
The way I see it, is that God made His own choice in response to ours. Instead of just backing away from this broken world and leaving us to the darkness we invited, He decided to intervene on our behalf. Over and over again.
His intervention doesn’t mean that the devil really is contesting His power. It means that God is so patient and strong that He’s willing to jump back into the fray, over and over again. For us.
Because He intervened,
Cain bore the mark.
Sarah bore a son.
Israel bore a remnant,
Christ the nails.
And then, He reminded Death who was boss, who had always been boss. All for us.
There is no contest.
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