“This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.” (John 3:19-21 MSG)
Around 7 a.m. most days, the rising sun shines through my living room window. The shadow it casts at that moment is always riddled with dust. I can see every grain on each table and chair. The floor is filthy. The TV, the cabinets and bookshelves, are coated in it.
Sometimes, I’ll get up and dust or sweep the floor, but my most earnest actions merely move the dust from whatever I’m polishing and into the air. It swirls around me, just waiting for things to calm so it can land again. There really isn’t any good way to get rid of it permanently, and in the end, I usually wait for the light to fade and hide the truth.
|Photo by Sigrid Abalos from Pexels|
I do this in my personal life as well, keeping my bad habits or sinful actions tucked away while God’s light is on. In the dark, I can pretend they don’t exist. Or even if a sudden ray of spiritual light hits me, shined from one of my friends, a sermon I’ve heard, or the words of a worship tune, I simply turn my good side outward and shield the rest.
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. (Psalms 51:10)
I’ve prayed this Scripture for years, asking God for right motives in what I do. But be careful what you wish for, because I’ve found in my life, which is far from perfect, that the person most guilt-ridden when things go wrong is me. I watch as others sweep the moment under the rug, while I struggle to put that argument . . . bad habit . . . incorrect behavior in its proper place. Whether it was mine personally or someone else’s that’s affecting me.
I’m not always successful and, along the way, have become a cynic. I watch the secular world sprint toward hell without a clue it exists, and I feel powerless to stop its downfall. Worse, I’m carried along on the wind of it. My good motives to overcome the thing I’m fighting seem fruitless amongst the criticisms of a displeased, offended age.
Or are they? What did Jesus say, recorded in the book of John?
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (Jn 16:33)
Victory over sin and the sway of a godless, secular society . . . even stronger, having peace and cheer in its midst . . . comes with constantly bathing in the God-light. I seek out a word from heaven and faithfully apply it to me. Rather than duck into the shadows until it passes by, I face it and commit to change. Change comes slowly. That’s what Christians don’t understand. It’s walking every step, every day, in the light of Christ and allowing Him to alter our motives.
God is working in you to make you willing and able to obey him. (Php 2:13 CEV)
I look back and see how far I’ve come. This gives me hope for the future. And strength for today. God is with me, guiding me, even when I close my eyes, and I take courage in His presence. Because even when things are bad, whether in private or some public tragedy . . . at that minute, I know God’s been there already.
For my sake, He faced death and won.
For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light. (Eph 5:8)
Suzanne D. Williams