Darkness vs. Light

(Last week, I had the privilege of visiting my friend Vonda Skelton’s web site as a guest blogger. Vonda is a gifted writer, teacher, and speaker.  Click on her link to check all she has to offer, including a series of mystery books for kids.  Just out is Bitsy and the Mystery at Hilton Head Island.  She’s also written a wonderful non-fiction book, Seeing Through the Lies: Unmasking the Myths Women Believe.  Great Christmas gifts!)

http://www.vondaskelton.com/

*Jay and I have been with his 101-year-old mother for a number of weeks.  The first week we arrived, Jay fell and hurt his back.  We’re now home, but since we’ve been on the move this week, I’m posting the same piece I shared with Vonda.  If you’ve  already read this, you might want to check out the Crumbs and the two recipes for the holidays.

Our daughter Katie lives in Alaska with her husband Brian and their four young daughters.  After reading Darkness vs. Light, she made the following comment.  “Mom, I really enjoyed reading this blog.  I can totally relate with living in a place that has less than 4 hours of light each day.  I am constantly reminded of how important it is to walk in the light whether I feel like it or not . . . . Katie”

                                                             Darkness vs. Light                              

                                                          

If you could choose darkness or light which would you prefer? Sounds like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? But is it? I know a beautiful young woman who loves and serves the Lord, and she really does prefer rainy days over sunny ones and winter over summer.

We can’t choose the condition of the weather or its effect on us. What about spiritually? Do we have a choice as to whether we walk in darkness or in the light?

Psalm 89:15-16 tells us God blesses those who learn to praise Him and to walk in the light of His presence. In this world, we’re going to encounter spiritual darkness. That’s a given. To walk in the light requires an ongoing process of understanding how to trust God to lead us out of darkness and light our path along the way. 

Sometimes I dread going to bed. I don’t sleep very well and there are nights when confusion, fear, and doubt flood my mind and darken my awareness of God’s presence. I don’t always recognize this as an attack from the enemy because his insidious influence often speaks to me in first person, such as:

  • I’m not capable of doing what I believe God wants me to do.
  • I’m not smart enough.
  • I’m too old, too lazy, too distracted.

At other times, the evil one reprimands me in second person, like a harsh taskmaster.

  • You don’t really believe this stuff, do you?
  • Where is your God when you need Him?
  • He’s far too demanding to require of you what you don’t have to give.
  • What makes you think you’ll ever fulfill your dreams? They’re just pipe dreams, not reality.
  • Besides, you’ve already wasted more time than you have left. So, why bother?

Since reality is not always pleasant or easy to take, how can we discern God’s truth versus the enemy’s lies? The same way we physically distinguish between light and darkness. We recognize darkness because we’ve experienced the light.

When we walk in the light of God’s presence, we experience peace of mind and sound faith. However, when our thoughts rob us of our peace and ridicule the very premise upon which we base our faith, spiritual darkness prevails.

How then do we learn to step back into the light of God’s presence? How do we keep from doubting in darkness what God has shown us in the light? God promises when we draw near to Him, He’ll draw near to us. That’s not theory; it’s experiential. When we aggressively feed upon the facts of God’s Word, He will restore, renew, and rejuvenate our faith.

When I question God’s will, experience tells me to prayerfully and expectantly search His Word for answers. For example, what can we expect from God when we read Romans 12:1-3? When we trust in the facts of His Word, He strengthens our faith not only by showing us His good and perfect will, but by proving to us the pleasure of embracing it. In those same verses, we’re admonished to judge our self-talk according to the measure of faith God gives us.

In the midst of our darkness, God’s truth speaks to our confusion. His genuineness dispels our fears. His promises erase our doubts. As we confess our sin of unbelief, the Holy Spirit fills us again with the assurance that God is faithful to His call on our lives and His promise to complete the work He started in us. (I Thess. 5:24 & Phil. 1:6)

But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. Psalm 33:11

Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord. They rejoice in your name all day long; they exult in your righteousness. Psalm 89:15-16

Who can thwart the mind and work of God? Not the darkness, not you, and not even me.

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