Mere Christianity: The Fighter and The Battle

When I was a teenager, I read Frank Peretti’s Piercing the Darkness and This Present Darkness. They are fiction, but they caused in me a realization I’d never had before that really changed my life. And that realization was that there is a war going on around me.

If you’ve never heard this before, it probably sounds incredibly foreign. Regardless, it’s real and when you begin to understand it, it changes the way you look at everything.

In short, there is a God and there is an enemy of God (that we often refer to as Satan or the devil.) God created you and has planned abundant, eternal life for you. The enemy has come to steal, kill, and destroy you. When we choose to live a life that’s reliant on God, we also have His protection from the enemy. When we choose to live a life that doesn’t rely on God, we don’t have His protection and that makes it easier for the enemy to work against us.

That’s a very simplified explanation. But that really doesn’t begin to cover it all. And we don’t have space here today for that to happen anyway. I just felt I needed the foundation here to continue.

Last week (when I was unable to post due to technical difficulties) we began discussing Chapter 1 of Book II of CS Lewis’ Mere Christianity. So, I’m going to attempt to combine my thoughts on both Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 today.

In Chapter 1, Lewis discusses the “rival conceptions” about God. This slides very easily into the analogy we’ve been discussing of life as a war or a battle. Then, in Chapter 2, Lewis launches into “the invasion” which also lines up with the war/battle analogy. Because I like being odd, let me hit Chapter 2 first. (Actually, I just think it works better that way.)

“Do you now begin to see why Christianity has always said that the devil is a fallen angel? That is not a mere story for the children. It is a real recognition of the fact that evil is a parasite, not an original thing. The powers which enable evil to carry on are powers given it by goodness. All the things which enable a bad man to be effectively bad are in themselves good things—resolution, cleverness, good looks, existence itself.” (Lewis, 50)

God created everything. Let me re-emphasize that. God created everything. He created this angelic being, Lucifer, and according to scripture, made him the most beautiful of all angels. Lucifer directed the angel choirs, who had been made to worship God. But as with all beings that God created, Lucifer had a mind of his own and eventually, he began to believe his own press. He forgot that he could not create himself and that God had not only created him, but had given him all of his gifts. And so, he staged a rebellion against God, in an attempt to try to overthrow God.

We all have that potential inside of us. God created us, but somehow, we forget that. We think that because we’re good at this or that, that we can depend on ourselves to take care of ourselves. We forget that God gave us the abilities that got us our jobs. Because God gave us those abilities, we draw a paycheck that causes us to be able to live. And so we say that we are “self-made” men, when really, we’re just piles of dust that have had life breathed into them by God.

When we take all of the gifts that God gave us and don’t live lives that are reliant on God, then, the enemy can move in and exploit those gifts. We joke about using our powers for good instead of evil, when really, there’s a whole lot of truth to that scenario. I could give examples (from my own life, too), but I’m running out of space…

In Chapter 1, Lewis says:

“For Christianity is a fighting religion. It thinks God made the world—that space and time, heat and cold, and all the colours and tastes, and all the animals and vegetables, are things that God ‘made up out of his head’ as a man makes up a story. But it also thinks that a great many things have gone wrong with the world that God made and that God insists, and insists very loudly, on our putting them right again.” (Lewis, 45)

This is one of my favorite excerpts from Lewis. It’s funny, in a way. I’ve always been a non-confrontational person, who will do anything to avoid conflict. At the same time, if you try to attack someone I love, watch out! God’s given me that gift… He put a little fighter in me, who can’t stand to see anyone hurt, persecuted, or oppressed. And since there is evil in the world, God needs warrior princesses (like me) to stand up and fight.

Sunday afternoon, I went out to lunch after church. As we were walking into the restaurant, I saw a young, frail woman with an infant and a toddler, sitting on the curb. It was obvious the woman had been beaten. She had a black eye and was covered with bruises. But as I passed, she avoided my eyes and since the people I was with kept walking, so did I. When we came out, she was still sitting there, dejected, on the curb. Again, the people I was with kept walking, and so did I.

Even as I passed her, I knew better. I knew that she needed help and that I, though I had little to offer, had something that could help her—even if it was a simple smile, prayer, and a cup of coffee. But in my need to not be inconvenient to the people I was with, I didn’t stop and fight for this woman, who so obviously and so desperately needed it.

There are a great many things that have gone wrong with this great world that God has given us. But He has given us the gifts to put them right again.

Sunday, I saw someone who needed a fighter, and I kept walking. But in my heart and in my prayers, I’m fighting for her and believing that it’s not too little, too late. And I resolve that each day, I’ll choose the battles that God has for me, and I’ll fight.

This post is part of the regularly-scheduled book discussion my friend, Jason, and I co-facilitate each Wednesday. We are currently discussing CS Lewis’ classic book, Mere Christianity. We invite you to come along whether you’ve done the reading or not. All comments are welcome. And if you’ve written a response to this chapter on your own blog, please feel free to link your post via the link widget below. Thanks for coming by! You are always welcome!

About Sarah Salter


  1. The story about the woman sitting on the curb – it sounds like a parable. Good post, Sarah.

  2. I’ve passed people by because I didn’t quite know what to say or do. Our prayers are still efficacious. I suppose I just need to start them sooner.

  3. It’s a real battle! I read This Present Darkness in high school too. It does stir something in you to stand in prayer and see how God is working things together. Great post, Sarah. Thanks.

  4. I liked When Darkness Falls myself…

    We are in a battle and need to stand up and be counted as an active warrior in the ranks of God’s army.

    I have been guilty of the same scenario you describe… trying to move to a place where actions replace reasons for inaction.

  5. I pray that God would continue to build us and strengthen us so that we stop making the choice to “walk on by”

    Thank you for your honesty and speaking truth about what all of us do more often than we’d like to admit.

  6. it was a good chapter, wasn’t it?

  7. Howard Wilson says:

    Just happened to stumble onto your website, bless you for your words on the battle, I’m sure in one. Started working with marginalised youth 3 years ago, it came out of a calling from God, that small ,quiet word to do something. I so relate to the feeling of helplessness but that very feeling is where God wanted to step into.
    He called me to actually do something, face my fears, go talk, listen to, offer help and give a meal. I know this was totally outside my comfort zone but I so believe that is where He calls us.
    We now have a 15 year old living with us from a troubled background who has taught me so much about their struggles, am learning the meaning of unconditional love. Am now youth working, invloved with kids camps etc, as well as a semi full time job
    The story has just begun, it’s totally changed, dissrupted my life, BUT I know it is good, not safe! (C.S Lewis)
    Blessings, Howard

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