What do Santa Claus and Spiritual Warfare have in common?
Question: What do Santa Claus and Spiritual Warfare have in common?
Answer: They both show up at Christmas.
I realize that during the holidays, spiritual warfare might be the last thing on your mind. I can understand that. And I can relate—I feel like I’ve got a full plate getting ready for Christmas as well.
But I bring it up because the holiday season is a time when we actually encounter a lot of warfare and rarely notice it.
No, I’m not talking about the “War on Christmas,” although there is certainly spiritual warfare involved in that. Nor am I referring to the rise of depression and mental health emergencies that happen this time of year—though those can often be the consequences of spiritual attack.
Most of the warfare that you and I experience happens within our own minds. It comes as toxic thoughts that form a damaging inner dialogue.
We encounter a parade of condemning thoughts within our minds without us ever questioning it.
“You’re not good enough.”
“You’ll never measure up.”
“Why did you do that? You’re such a screwup.”
“You’re never going to succeed. Why don’t you just give up?”
“Who do you think you are? You can’t do that.”
“Any moment you’ll be exposed as the failure you are.”
“Nobody loves you. You’re all alone.”
“You should be afraid. After all, God won’t come through for you.”
“You’re such a disappointment to God.”
Have you heard thoughts like these?
The enemy loves to camouflage his condemnation inside our own inner dialogue. This is actually the primary way spiritual warfare attacks us.
The holiday season actually amps up our vulnerability to these kinds of attacks in two ways:
1. The frenetic pace of the holiday season adds lots of expectations that we cannot live up to, which can add to our feelings of insecurity.
2. Spending time with relatives can bring up unresolved conflict and pain. It can even tempt us to fall back into old patterns of living from a false self.
Sadly, the result is that this time of year offers more opportunities for the enemy to attack us.
Also, since Jesus is the reason for this season, you can bet that the enemy would love to take any opportunity he can to redirect our attention off of Jesus and get us stuck looping through feelings of inadequacy, bitterness, and anxiety.
With the potential for so much joy and connection available to us all, evil works overtime to derail our thoughts. Instead of filling up on love, joy, and peace, the enemy would rather leave us feeling tired, disappointed, and lonely.
Now, the last thing I want for you is to end the holidays with an emotional hangover. And, I’m sure that you would like to finish 2020 as strong as possible. After all, we all want to end this year on a high note, am I right?
In order to do that, you need to pay attention to the thoughts that come your way this Christmas.
Don’t listen to damaging or condemning thoughts. After all, there is “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).”
So, when thoughts come to mind that put you down, or rob your joy, don’t take the bait.
Instead, ask God to show you what is true. The best way to counter the enemy’s lies is with God’s truth.
Then, try to turn your attention instead to the celebration at hand. Often, the antidote to anxiety is to practice rejoicing with thankful celebration (Philippians 4:4-7).
So, whenever any kind of anxious or condemning thought comes your way, treat it as an opportunity to talk to God.
Talk to Jesus about them. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth of the matter.
It’s a simple way to wage spiritual warfare. And it’s a great way to ensure that you truly enjoy your Christmas, too.
If this post piqued your interest, and you’d like to learn more about how spiritual warfare affects your daily life, check out my new book War Stories: Spiritual Warfare & the Toxic Narratives that Sabotage Your Life.