Richard Lovelace on the cycle of renewal

“These two biblical models explaining cyclical renewal, the pattern of spiritual ebb and flow across the generations and the concept of fluctuations in an expanding warfare against the powers of darkness, are ultimately one and the same. Both in the Judges cycle and in the biblical portrayal of spiritual warfare, popular apostasy is accompanied by enemy encroachment and loss of ground. The defeat of Israel at the hands of its neighbors is simply the visible emblem in history of the internal spiritual losses suffered by the people of God: withdrawal of the Holy Spirit, ascendance of the flesh, conformity to the world, increasing domination by the devil. In both cases deliverance from these forces is only possible by the coming of a leader: in Judges and the rest of the Old Testament, a political leader whose influence lasts a generation; in the hidden spiritual warfare, by the Messiah. Jesus constantly represents his ministry as an attack upon the realm of darkness in order to establish the kingdom of God, and he is presented as battling the occupying spiritual forces, breaking their power, destroying their control and releasing those whom they have held captive. Under messianic rule, visible prevailing of the people of God in history and inner spiritual freedom ought to accompany one another as correlative benefits of the victory of Christ.” (Richard Lovelace, Dynamics of Spiritual Life, 71-72)

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