What springs to mind when you hear the phrase “we wrestle not?”
If you’re like me, you think about Ephesians 6:12, which reads, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” This prompts you to think about the sermon series your pastor has been doing. And thinking about that reminds you about how you got convicted in church on Sunday.
Yesterday at church as we read our scripture from Ephesians 6:10-20, which is about putting on the armor of God, I broke into tears when we got to verse 12. I couldn’t read aloud any more with the congregation. I just stood there sobbing, lamenting that I didn’t have a napkin or tissue in my purse, and wiping my face with the back of my hand. Ever since the sermon series on this passage in Ephesians began, the Holy Spirit has been nudging me to work on a novel I started years ago. But yesterday, the gentle nudging turned into full-blown Holy Spirit conviction.
The novel, titled We Wrestle Not, is about the spiritual warfare that surrounds us daily, and how, even if we cannot see it being waged, we can see and feel its effects. It does so through the intersection of the lives of Malcolm and Teresa. More a composite novel or short story cycle than traditional novel, We Wrestle Not examines how angels, demons, and the power of prayer have a very real impact in our physical world.
And I’m here to testify that I’ve been doing some wrestling of my own.
I’m always in the middle of several writing projects. I’m good at starting them and horrible at finishing them. I’ve long wanted to assume that I just have some personal failings that keep me from completing projects. That’s probably true to an extent, but what I also believe to be true is that God is working powerfully through my words and Satan is trying to block that work by blocking my writing.
I can say that I believe that, because I do, but I often act as if I don’t. Instead of putting on my spiritual armor to fight this battle that is not against flesh and blood, I allow myself to be buffeted by the wiles and fiery darts of the wicked one.
It’s dangerous wrestling against an enemy you can’t see. So just as I’ve been cultivating the daily habit of writing, I’ll also cultivate the daily habit of donning my armor. With the Holy Spirit’s help, I pray I’ll be able to write more about the spiritual battles raging all around me without so often becoming a casualty of one of them.