Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Darkness will always try to make a home inside of us. It can’t help itself; that’s its nature. Darkness seeks to consume and suffocate, as it preys upon our weaknesses and fears. Carnal instincts are triggered, being rooted in sin, to which this world is immersed. It is no simple task to walk through this journey of life and maintain distance from the darkness. It shows up on our doorsteps, and for many of us, we have graciously allowed it to come inside. What comes next becomes a defining part of our characters, creating habits and actions that we so easily condone.
We’re okay with holding grudges and letting our anger erupt. Gossip is no longer harsh and unkind; it’s simply sharing information. We seek ambition, adjusting our principles as needed while becoming slaves to external markers of success. Relationships become our gods, and we’ll do anything to keep them intact. Money and lifestyle preferences create new obsessions; a lack of self-control is now acceptable. And while the list could go on, the concept remains the same. The more we let darkness in, the more God’s light will fade.
Darkness as False Light
We’ll start to pick the spiritual principles that suit the kind of lives we’re interested in leading. If those don’t work, we’ll bend them as needed to fit our personal narratives. There will be new interpretations of scripture, and a blatant disregard for God’s word as we prioritize our own needs above God’s will. In the moment, the decisions we make might feel good, but why wouldn’t they? Darkness is as darkness does, and in this world of sin, darkness has a tricky way of appearing as light.
Sometimes, it feels good to choose the darkness, because we’re feeding the pain, emptiness, and discontentment that lives within our own souls. We’re making up for what we think we should’ve had but were never given. We’re creating connections that are built on mutual hatred and disdain as we serve our need for power and control. We look for attention wherever we can find it because external validation is how we soothe our wounds. We purposefully set out to find the flaws in others so we can feel better about ourselves.
Yet in the midst of these decisions, we’re still going to church, reading our Bibles, and labeling ourselves as good people. Accountability is far from us, because we’ve decided that these types of issues are not our problems. Furthermore, we fail to acknowledge that darkness is transferable, so we don’t carefully consider the company we keep or the influence we have. We forget that it is not enough to hear or see God’s light, we have to choose it. If not, we will think we are living a life free in Christ, but instead are operating as slaves to sin.
No One Can Serve Two Masters
Discontentment will rule over us because, unfortunately, we’ve chosen it as our master. Have you ever put in more work hours to achieve your goals but are left with a feeling of dissatisfaction? Have you acquired material possessions in hopes of filling the emptiness, yet the void still exists? Do you self-indulge for a moment of happiness but find yourself even more deficient? We search and search until we face the emptiness, and then in desperation we pray to God for answers but find His voice to be silent. Where is He? Why isn’t He where I expect Him to be?
Jesus gave us insight to this predicament in Matthew 6:24 when He said: No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. If we desperately hold onto the darkness, we cannot experience God’s light in its fullness. The two cannot coexist. Nevertheless, if we prioritize our sinful desires, we will continue to feel the nagging frustration in our lives, where our souls cannot seem to settle. Darkness likes to keep us off balance, making it more difficult to trust in the power of God’s light and His ability to dispel the darkness.
If we aren’t careful, we’ll make the mistake of believing that Satan is more powerful than God. And it’s not that we’re saying this with words, but we are saying it with actions. We’ll adhere to the perceived logic of this world, casting aside the divine principle that with God, all things are possible. When life doesn’t work out, we’ll place the blame solely on God, and question His reliability. Our bad habits will be labeled as unchangeable personality traits. We’ll forgo the healing we so desperately need because brokenness is more “comfortable”.
God’s Light Gives Light
Nevertheless, despite the decisions we’ve made in the past, we’re allowed to make different one for today and the future. We can dispel the darkness within us, living life more abundantly, but we can only achieve this by embracing God’s light. This choice is not one of just words but is steeped in action. We must acknowledge that we’ve chosen to go off track, and we are making a conscious effort to course correct. Practicing honesty and submission to God’s will helps us to build a more fulfilling relationship with Christ.
In this space, shame no longer has a home in our souls because we see our weaknesses, not as flaws, but as victories soon to be won. As we understand the power in God’s divinity meeting our humanity, the idea of overcoming is met with a bold sense of trust. Ego is cast aside as we take up the cross of humility. If you are struggling, however, with the idea that darkness can be dispelled, read John 1:4-5. It says: In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. Darkness is limited. No matter how much it might try to fool you, sin cannot blow out the flame of God’s goodness.
In this truth, we understand that God’s light gives life. It breathes into us a spirit of peace and restoration. Forgiveness is now achievable. Progress is attainable. Miracles are always possible. And if we need help, with discernment, God will guide us to the right resources and people. There is grace and mercy in knowing that we are not bound to the constructs of this world of sin. Even the smallest of lights still shines bright. With God’s help, we find the spiritual consistency needed to make choices each and every day that strengthen our lights to shine brighter. The darkness cannot limit our light; with God, we can always walk in our purpose.
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