For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true. Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them, for the light makes everything visible. This is why it is said, “Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”Ephesians 5:8-14
You are full of light now where once you were full of darkness. Interesting isn’t it? How much light do you need to be full of light? It is not like water where you have to keep pouring till the vessel is full. With light it just has to be let in and it permeates to the furthest corners. The only places it can’t get to are the areas that are shut off by walls or doors. Mmm, ponder that for a moment. There are some deep concepts there. As Paul says, “the light that is within you produces only what is good and right and true”. Let the light in and it drives the darkness away, INSTANTLY. Like Paul infers, evil worthless deeds of darkness when exposed can’t stand before the light. The deeds of darkness have to be practiced behind closed doors, in the shadows. Just a little light is enough to deal with a lot of darkness. With just a single candle the darkness is gone. Don’t take part in dark deeds; rather bring them to the light. If the deed won’t go to light, take the light to the deed. Even just a single candle will make everything visible.
Wake up sleeper, just like when you rise from a night’s sleep and Christ gives you light. He does every morning when the sun rises but so too will He grant to you light for your spirit to drive out the dark when you wake and come to your senses. Wake up, be aware of the battle around you. You need to realise that you do indeed battle spiritual forces in high places seeking to bring you down. Wake up to the fact that you are in a spiritual battle.
We had a very interesting experience in one of the villages we lived in for a while working on a translation project. We encountered darkness of a sexual nature when the people of the village were trying to encourage me to leave them with a memento of our visit by leaving them with a child conceived with one of their women. (That’s the nicest way I can put it.) I made some very strong statements about morality and told them I was committed to one woman; that there was no way I would do what they were suggesting. Tania perceptively made a comment later when we were alone that she thought I had made such a strong moral statement that we needed to cover ourselves in prayer against any spiritual attack that may come. Which we duly did. Later when we were back in the city again we both had a period of a week or so struggling with our thought life: constant tempting thoughts. I kept trying to deal with it myself. Praying, quoting Scripture like: How can a young man keep his way pure; by guarding it according to thy Word. Thy Word have I hid in my heart t! hat I might not sin against thee. (Psalm 119:9)
But still the thoughts came. Then one day Tania said to me “There’s something I need to tell you.” She shared that she was struggling with her thoughts, assailed by attacks from the enemy of our souls. I was ashamed that it had taken confession on the part of my wife to draw it out of me. I then told her how I was finding the same thing but had been trying to deal with it myself. Not wanting to share it with her because somehow the mere act of thinking the thoughts seemed wrong. But it had been a battle to stop thinking them. The moment we had talked about it and shared the struggle, the battle in our thoughts stopped for both of us.
Dear Reader, there are some deep lessons from that experience to help you too!
Having the thoughts come to mind is not a sin; dwelling on them and harbouring them is. Bringing our thoughts into the light is the way to deal with darkness. The moment the darkness is exposed to the light it has to go. But at times there is an additional step needed of confessing our sins (and our thought life) to one another in order to add another level of exposure. Trying to deal with your thoughts alone, keeping them to yourself is not the way to do it.
Deal with the darkness by turning on the light.Ian Vail
Satan builds his strongholds in the shadows of our strengths.Tom White
Don’t be afraid, darkness cannot put out the Light. It can only make God brighter.Sidney Mohede
Never fear shadows. They simply mean there’s a light shining somewhere nearby.Rick Godwin
Why is it called “after dark” when it’s really after light?Ian Vail