Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
By Nicky Cruz
In one of King David’s most quoted yet misunderstood psalms, he says, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4). I do not think David was asking God to remove this evil; he was asking to be pushed toward battle, to be forced to face the enemy head-on. He was ready to go to war with Satan, not hide from him!
When the apostle Paul was inspiring his brothers in the faith to remember their purpose as Christians and their reward in heaven, he told them to “comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:18). In effect, he was saying, “Push each other forward in our battle against the evil one.”
And when Jesus promised His disciples that the Comforter would be coming after His death, it was an announcement of war. The Holy Spirit would both inspire and empower them toward frontline spiritual warfare. This is a dimension of God’s Spirit that is very real yet too seldom understood and embraced.
If you want to see God’s Spirit at work in full glory on earth, take a trip to the front lines of battle where the war between good and evil — the battle for human souls — is being fought with intensity. If you want to feel Satan’s wrath, just spend some time on his turf talking to the people he keeps in bondage and telling them about Jesus. Watch him raise his ugly head to try to intimidate and mock you.
Nothing makes Satan angrier or more nervous than having one of God’s people carry the flashlight of grace into the damp darkness of his dungeon. That’s when he fights the hardest and when we see the Holy Spirit shine most mightily.