When you were young, were you afraid of the dark? I was. I liked to keep the nightlight on or a flashlight on hand. I was especially afraid of going down into the dark basement alone. Darkness has a way of giving people the creeps, and for good reason. A lot of shady stuff happens at night and in the dark including a lot of crime. Often, darkness breeds dark behavior.

  There is a great conversation about the power of darkness in Marvel’s sci-fi television series “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” When the enhanced female agent, Daisy, is isolated and full of pain and rage her friend and fellow agent, Mack, says to her:

  • “You know what? Another thing the devil’s capable of… filling a person with so much anger and so many dark thoughts that is consumes them. But it’s up to that individual to make a choice. Either let the darkness fester and grow or let the light inside shine through and vanquish the darkness.” [i] (Watch video below)


  Our enemy and his tactics thrive in darkness. The forces of darkness are called that for a reason. Satan’s forces are really good at covert operations and developing darkness within us. They oppose the light and actively try to avoid being exposed. Sin grows in the dark and thrives in secret. Most people try to hide their most sinful behaviors and addictions and pursue them in private. One of the enemy’s tactics is to keep us isolated and in the dark, struggling in secret and all alone.

  • You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. (Eph. 2:2, NLT)

  Satan develops darkness in and around us to the point it blinds us from the truth, distorts our thinking, derails our perspective, disrupts our progress, and blocks our vision. The darkness becomes so heavy that we can’t find our way or see the light. If we are not careful, the darkness can consume us. We can get stuck in sin, drift away from God, and allow our faith to fade.

  Faith-based leadership fights the darkness and resists the drift to the dark side. Leading well means living in the light and shining the light of God’s Word on the dark areas of our lives. Faith-based leaders push back the darkness with the light of Christ and seek to help others out of the darkness.

How can we fight the pull of darkness and let God’s light shine through us?


Posted: June 2023 • Author: Larry Ely

Excerpt: “Chapter 10- The Enemy of Our Faith” from Leadership and Faith: The Art of Leading Well.

© Larry Ely & Daniel Ely. All rights reserved.

[i] Billy Gierhart (Director), 2016. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Absolution [TV Series], Season 3, Episode 21, created by Marvel.