Push Back the Darkness

By Carter Conlon

A new law was recently passed in Ontario, Canada, stating that if your son, at the age of eight, decides that he is a girl, yet you refuse to let him go to school in a dress, the government has a right to take that child out of your home.

Clearly, we are living in a perilous time—an age of lawlessness that the Scriptures warned us about. We read in the Bible that there will be unspeakable darkness and a great falling away in the last days before Christ returns, but most of us probably never thought we would live to see a day quite like this. And if you think this is bad, I fear what kind of generation we will leave for our sons and daughters, without God's intervention.

Now before he became king, David also lived in a season when his own nation was in a fearful spiritual decline. Self-will and spiritualism under King Saul was on full display, leading the nation toward what inevitably would become a certain defeat, without divine intervention. David soon found himself being pursued by an army that hoped to cast off all that represented God. Of course, we know that David ultimately ended up being someone who made a difference.

In an hour when perversion is paraded and morality is degraded, you and I are the only ones who can bring a spiritual awakening back to the nation, just as David was in his day. We have power with God to bring a moment of mercy—to push back the darkness that wants to swallow our society!


So the question now is: What exactly are we supposed to do?

Let's take a look at what David did in Psalm 140. He was in a cave when he penned this psalm, and there was talk of violence everywhere. A madman was pursuing him, and his own people were urging him to kill King Saul. However, David understood that this was not how the kingdom of God was going to advance and so he did what you and I must to do today: pray for deliverance from the spirit of the age. "Deliver me, O Lord, from evil men; preserve me from violent men, who plan evil things in their hearts" (Psalm 140:1–2).

David was not referring only to the people outside who were pursuing him but those inside as well—those whose speech was given to other than godliness, who were looking for a solution in human terms. You see, David felt called to something higher than the petty violence and grievance of his generation, though nobody around him seemed to understand. David was the Christ type of his generation—an example of somebody who was governed, guided and empowered by the Spirit of God.

We, too, must pray for deliverance from the spirit of this age, saying, "Lord, I do not want to be part of the problem. I want to be part of the solution. Help me to get my mind back on spiritual things. Get me away from the media and anything that might poison my spirit and cause my speech to lose its effectiveness as it becomes exactly the way of the world. God, give me a spirit different from that of this age. Give me Your Holy Spirit! Give me Your thoughts, Your mind, Your compassion for the multitudes. Help me to love even my enemies."

David goes on in that psalm, "I said to the Lord, 'You are my God. Hear the voice of my supplications, O Lord. O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, You have covered my head in the day of battle. Do not grant, O Lord, the desires of the wicked; do not further his wicked scheme, lest they be exalted'" (Psalm 140:6–8). In other words, "Cover my head in the day of battle, and help me not to listen to the voice of the enemy. Help me not to succumb to the threats of the wicked."

I am sure David remembered when he was young and a voice arose on the opposite side of the valley, challenging the armies of Israel. Day after day, Goliath would come out, essentially saying, "You do not have the power to overcome what is against you, so yield to it now rather than be humiliated" (see 1 Samuel 17:8–10). Yet David, refusing the armor Saul offered him, discovered that God was faithful to cover his head in the battle and shield him from the enemy's taunts. Instead of listening to the voice of that generation, David had a word from God. He courageously ran into that valley toward Goliath, saying, "You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied" (1 Samuel 17:45). This weaponry looked foolish in the natural, but we know that David went on to win a great victory over Goliath! And so if we, too, ask God to cover our heads in the day of battle, I believe He will help us not to succumb to the voices of this generation.


Not only did David ask God to deliver him from the spirit of that age, but he said in Psalm 142, "The righteous shall surround me, for You shall deal bountifully with me" (verse 7). This brings us to another thing you must do if you want to push back the darkness in this hour: Believe that your life will make a difference! Believe that God's life inside of you will greatly impact the people around you—so much so that they will make a difference in this generation as well!

Notice that when David said "the righteous shall surround me," it was actually a prayer of faith, for around him at the time were discontented, distressed men who were in debt (see 1 Samuel 22:2). They wanted David to resort to violence and engage in a physical fight, but David understood something that they didn't: The battle they were called to was much deeper. In the same way, we must remember that we do not fight with physical weaponry as the people of this world do. We fight with spiritual weaponry; we fight with prayer; we fight with righteous living.

And so it was as if David was saying, "I see a day when the righteous will surround me—those whose hearts are right, those who make right choices. They will understand the true battle we face as well as the power God is willing to give His people." As they witnessed David living with a different spirit and saw the hand of God evident in his life, something changed in those men, and they emerged from that cave as mighty. They took on battles that could have been won only by the strength given them by God; they became men who changed their generation!


There is a third thing David did that we must do in this hour: He believed that God would give him the victory—one that would result in abundant thanksgiving. At the end of Psalm 140, David said, "I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and justice for the poor. Surely the righteous shall give thanks to Your name; the upright shall dwell in Your presence" (verse 12). Similarly, you and I must believe God will give us the victory we need in this hour and that worship and thanksgiving will become the portion of multitudes in the days just ahead.

That was David's declaration in the cave, despite what things looked like in the moment. Think about it: There were only 400 with him while thousands were against him. He did not know whom he could trust anymore. Nevertheless, David knew that the only One he could fully trust was still with him. The One who had given him victory over a lion, a bear, and a giant was still his God—no matter how difficult his life looked.

You and I would be wise to learn this lesson from history. Yes, in the natural, we are on the weaker side. But in the spiritual, we are already more than conquerors. We are seated at the right hand of Almighty God— the One who already destroyed the power of darkness and sits in all power and authority. We have direct access to the throne of God; we have power to push back the darkness and believe that there will be victory and rejoicing in the days ahead!

The Bible tells us that David lived to see the victory he believed God for. As God's presence was being ushered back into Jerusalem—as the heart and will of God was being fulfilled—David could not contain himself any longer. He began to dance before the Ark with all his might (see 2 Samuel 6:12–14). I believe there were probably many people dancing with him, for they knew that only God could have given them the victory!


We are at a crossroads in the Church of Jesus Christ. We must press in and fight to push back the darkness. Think for a moment how darkness can encompass an entire ocean. Storms can come and threaten to swallow sailors and travelers, making their passage impossible. Yet all that is needed to counter the darkness and bring multitudes to safety is a lightbulb. I have been in lighthouses all over the place, and it is amazing when you consider the immensity of the darkness, the ferocity of the wind and the waves—all that seems to be opposing travelers on their journey— and then you realize that a small lightbulb, put in the proper place, can diffuse it all! It can send out a beam for miles, saying, "This way to safety!" No matter how hard it tries, darkness cannot hide the light.

No wonder Jesus said, "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden" (Matthew 5:14). If you and I are willing to be given for the sake of others, we cannot be hidden. Sadly, for too long in America, Christianity has focused on itself, allowing this society to devolve into the darkness that is now threatening to swallow multitudes. However, we can still be the city set upon the hill if we are willing to make the journey.

It is important to keep in mind that this is not an hour for self-seeking. This is not an hour for those who pray the foolish prayer of Hezekiah. He was a man who won incredible victories, but at the end of his days, when a prophet told him that his sons were going to be taken captive, Hezekiah praised him, essentially saying, "As long as it doesn't happen in my day, isn't that a good thing?"(see 2 Kings 20:19). Likewise, there are people in this generation who are saying, "Well, as long as I am dead before all this evil comes on society, isn't that a good thing?" No, it is never a good thing! It is only a good thing for those whose entire Christianity is all about themselves. May God deliver us from this childish foolishness and make us men and women of God! May God cause us to understand that we have power to make a difference in our generation and those to come!

I recently told my wife, "Whatever happens to me, I want you to tell our grandchildren that I fought for them. I was not willing to let them be swallowed by a darkened time."I pray that would be the story of every man and woman reading this. "Tell the next generation I fought for them. I did not live my Christian life merely for myself. I stood up and was counted among those who belong to God!"

I recently told my wife, "Whatever happens to me, I want you to tell our grandchildren that I fought for them. I was not willing to let them be swallowed by a darkened time."I pray that would be the story of every man and woman reading this. "Tell the next generation I fought for them. I did not live my Christian life merely for myself. I stood up and was counted among those who belong to God!"

Remember, the Bible says that "when darkness comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against it" (see Isaiah 59:19). Therefore, I am confident that God will take all of us who have willing hearts and make us more than we are. He will give us faith that is beyond our natural ability, words that are deeper than anything we can think up. He will give us passion and power to fight for everybody, even our enemies. The Lord will cause our lives to impact those around us, and He will give us a great victory which will result in an abundance of thanksgiving to the glory of His name!

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