There is a thought that caused my mind to explode with different ideas….one of those wonderful “Aha! Wow!” moments of reflection where I got more than I bargained for.
Back about a month ago, we had some friends over, and I was conversing with the husband about our jobs. The topic of the state of the world came up–just how bad things are and the evil and profound uncertainties that surround us–and I pointed out something that’s been in my mind for some time now:
“No matter how much evil and doubt and faithlessness there is, the Lord has a counterpart to all of it. Not that the Lord is countering evil, though. In fact, it’s the other way around. Evil is trying to counter the Lord.” And then, I said, “Everything has its opposite.”
Then my friend posed, “So do you mean that Newton’s law…the one that says, ‘For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction’, applies in the spiritual sense also?”
I had to pause and think…and finally replied, “No…because the scriptures indicate that the Lord’s people will be surrounded by evil. They will be outnumbered by the forces and people of evil. BUT! The Power of God that will be upon the Lord’s people will not allow evil to prevail against them. Evil will come to fight…but it won’t win.”
Later on, this conversation stirred in my mind…because “Everything has its opposite” didn’t make sense with God’s prevailing over evil, and evil’s inability to succeed over God.
Then it hit me.
A Key from the Temple and a Hint from the Scriptures
There’s only one figure who said, “everything has its opposite”…and that figure is Lucifer, also known as Satan. This is one thing I discovered as I listened to what was taught in the Temple. This sentiment is something that Lucifer believes in. However, in the scriptures, we read that “there is an opposition in all things”. (2 Nephi 2:11) This is what God teaches.
“Everything has its opposite” and “There is an opposition in all things” sound like they are the same. Why does Satan say the first? And how does it differ from what God teaches?
And then it began to make sense.
Mimicry is a form of Deception. The intent of mimicry is to just look like the truth…while not being the truth. And this showed me the personality of Evil.
Lucifer wants to be like God…but not just that. He wanted to take God’s place. (That’s why he got kicked out of heaven to begin with.) He wanted His glory and kingdom. Lucifer wanted to be EQUAL to God. He still does. And he’ll try his best to convince you that he is equal to God…in power, in scope, in everything. “Everything has its opposite” shows that very personality. The word “Opposite” implies that two things are a flip-side of each other, a mirror-reflection of sorts. Flip side…but equal. 1 = 1. Same height. Same width. Same power. Does the same things…but on opposite ends of the spectrum. One is a counterbalance of the other. And this is how Lucifer sees himself: a being that is equal to God…in magnitude, power, scope, strength, intelligence, and spiritual capability.
However, that is not God’s teaching. God teaches us that there will be opposition in all things. “Opposition” is different from “Opposite”. “Opposition” means that something is going against something else. It’s a force that comes against another force. They are not necessarily the same in strength. They can be. But more often than not, one will be stronger than another. We will just have to be exposed to forces of varying degrees. But this also reflects God’s personality: He knows that Satan is not the same as Him. He is greater than Satan…IN ALL THINGS.
God is not the opposite of Satan. God is greater than Satan.
God is not the opposite of evil. God is greater than evil.
Light is not the opposite of darkness. Light casts out darkness..and darkness has to depart.
Truth is not the opposite of deceit. Truth eliminates lies.
Heaven is not the opposite of hell. Heaven is above hell.
The power of Heaven is not the opposite of the power of hell. The powers of Heaven are greater than the power of hell.
If Satan teaches: Equality in everything….even between him and God.
God teaches: Not everything will be equal…but you can all have Equal claim and opportunity to things. No two trees will have the same number of leaves, the same amount of nutrients, the same number of fruit, or receive the same amount of sun…but all trees may have claim to the sun, rain, wind, soil…equally…and gather as their strength allows. All trees will be subjected to the same storms and be tested equally. All trees will be given a chance to grow. Likewise with people.
If Satan teaches: I will bring death and destruction to soul and body.
God teaches: I have overcome death…through resurrection. I have overcome sin…through forgiveness and through Jesus Christ’s paying for all of our sins (the Atonement).
If Satan teaches: Justice only…where you are rewarded equally for your obedience and punished equally to your disobedience. You’re a sinner…it’s too late for you. There’s no hope for changing now. You’re too far gone.
God teaches: Justice…tempered with Mercy…where you’re allowed a second chance, where your circumstances are put into context, where God knows the intents of your heart. I will forgive whomever I will. I have the power to forgive all men.
If Satan teaches: I will slow you down with damnation, adversity, weaknesses, trials. I will halt your progression, block your way.
God teaches: If you will come to me, I will make a path for you and allow you to prosper. You can even walk on stormy waters.
If Satan teaches: I will tempt you, entice you, and overpower you. Eventually, you will succumb.
Christ teaches: There is no temptation that you cannot overcome.
If Satan teaches: You can know everything. You can be like God (just like me!)
God teaches: My thoughts are higher than your thoughts. My ways are higher than your ways.
The world’s belief systems would teach us that everything has an opposite. But the Lord teaches us that there is a higher way, regardless of the opposition against Him.
Where do we go from here?
When you have an object with two forces of equal strength trying to pull it in opposite directions, where does the object go? It goes nowhere. There is no movement in either direction. This is called “damnation”, the halting of progression.
When that same object is subjected to two forces of differing strengths pulling in opposite directions, where does it go now? Towards the one with the greater influence. Movement only happens when forces are unequal.
Why this is empowering…
This opposition of forces is between God and Satan. They both will have influence in our lives. Who will we allow a greater influence upon us? If we choose to not align ourselves to God and live in His way, then we passively allow ourselves to be influenced by the devil…and we will find ourselves addicted, distracted, abused, and ultimately empty and unhappy. If we choose to align and connect ourselves to God and draw on the powers of heaven to aid in our cause, evil will inevitably have to weaken and depart, and the power and influence of the devil will diminish in our lives. We will see miracles happen before our very eyes, our paths made, our souls delivered from the very tentacles of darkness.
So…if I choose to be on God’s side and allow Him to be a part of my life, no amount of darkness can prevail in my life. If you light a single match in a darkened stadium, the darkness has to flee to the very edges of that little match. But guess what! That little match light can be seen from even the farthest parts of that stadium. That little light penetrates the very darkness that claims to surround it! No matter how thick that darkness…it cannot snuff out that light.
Truth is light. Love is light. Goodness is light. Faith is light. Patience is light. Work is light. Honesty is light. Forgiveness is light. Humility is light. Sincerity, loyalty, kindness, endurance, gentleness, beauty, heavenly communication, prayer, sincere repentance, courage, boldness, meekness, service….all of these are lights! And who’s the source of these lights? Why, God…who is the ultimate Light! And if I fill my life, my heart, my mind, my associations, my friends, my family with God and with these lights…what will the influence of darkness and evil eventually have to do?
One word: Depart.
That is the weakness of Lucifer…and the nature of the power and strength of God.