Holy Spirit pointed out something new to me about these questions this week. This: they are not purely rhetorical. They have actual, concrete answers. He can utilize these two questions to expose some vital “intel” relevant to our spiritual battles. He can then in turn apply the information they uncover to move us back into a place of peace.
Allow me to explain. What if we really do ask these questions of our soul, in His presence? I believe that this is an essential strategy for overcoming spiritual attacks. Every time our soul becomes disquieted, there is a reason for it. Emotional malaise does not happen randomly. The problem always has a source. It always originates somewhere. If, with Holy Spirit’s illumination, we can pinpoint the cause, then we can deal with it accordingly.
I’ll share with you an example from just a few days ago. I was feeling uncharacteristically “off.” A sense of heaviness was stubbornly hanging onto my emotions. Not even my usual way of finding relief (listening to worship music) was bringing the reprieve I needed. So I asked the two questions: “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me?”
Then Holy Spirit gave me the answer. My soul’s unease was coming from the concern I was carrying for one of my children – one who has struggled quite a bit with this whole quarantine study-at-home situation. The inner disturbance boiled down to two thought darts that had been pummeling my mind and emotions: “Maybe this will be a crippling setback to my kid’s future” and “This is too much for me to carry.”
When I say “thought darts,” I’m referring to this verse: “In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one” (Eph. 6:16, ESV). In this famous passage about our spiritual armor, the only enemy weapon specifically mentioned is flaming darts. This is because flaming darts are the adversary’s primary way of attacking us. What wonderful encouragement to know that we can extinguish every last one of them! See it there? “…you can extinguish all the flaming darts…”
As soon as you identify what flaming dart has come against you, it’s much easier to extinguish it. The two darts that had come against me were both lies, the enemy’s chief language. Once Holy Spirit shines His light on what incoming lies have disquieted us, His living waters can extinguish them quickly and efficiently. He illuminates our hearts with the truth that sets us free. In my case, He reminded me of these two priceless principles: 1) He loves my child far more than I do, and 2) His grace is sufficient for me.
It would be one thing for me just to say those two statements to myself in my mind. It’s another thing entirely when Holy Spirit, the Ruach* of God, breathes them into my heart of hearts. One breath from His nostrils extinguishes every attack of the enemy in an instant. With one corresponding mighty truth to address each dart, He moved my soul back into His beautiful peace.
I would encourage you to try it out, next time your soul is feeling uneasy. Inviting Holy Spirit into the conversation, employ those two questions. “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me?” Let the Spirit show you the answer, the specific darts that have come against you. Then, turn your gaze to your Savior. What truths does He have for you in this moment? Linger with Him as He silences every lie with the truth that sets you free.
*The Hebrew word for Spirit, Breath, Wind
Do you have a testimony to share about Holy Spirit’s help in extinguishing fiery thought darts?