I sat down at my kitchen table, the warm sun beaming in and finding a resting place across my face. It was a welcomed warmth. The past few days had been hard. Sick babies, which makes ill babies, which leads to a frazzled set of parents. That wasn’t all though, my soul felt worn. Worn from the war. Even though it couldn’t be seen, I had felt like I was standing in the middle of the greatest heavenly battle that’s ever occurred in the cosmos.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over the present darkness, against spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12
Our eyes aren’t in tune with that realm. Thank goodness, I’m not so sure we could handle it. Yet, our souls are. The pull, the strife, the darkness invades….an invisible reality with visible side- effects. The effects can be felt; they can be seen on a downcast face, heard in the voice of the stressed, in the tears of the battered.The evidence of this war leaves its mark all over our lives; darkness. Camouflaged as an ill spirit, hidden within a snappy word, seen as discord takes over harmony,as peace is slain and joy surrenders.
Your fight isn’t with your boss, your co-worker, your spouse or your kids, your sister, your mom, your car, your bank account…their all bystanders in this battle of Light and darkness. The darkness will slip through any outlet it can; a thought gone awry, a run away emotion, a train of anxiety, an unredeemed memory. And with those conduits something within shifts and in comes the darkness of temptation, the darkness of pride, the darkness of our past, they all seem to eclipse the light. But yet we have good news:
The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5
Light symbolizes Gods presence throughout Scripture. It can be seen in the desert as God lead His people to the Promise Land, It was the penetrating force of light that transformed Saul into Paul in Acts.
Psalms 43:3 says “Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!”
It pulls us to the heart of God. John the beloved wrote the most of any New Testament writer about koinonia; fellowship. Koinonia is the Greek word meaning: partakers, joint participants. It’s a word that connotes intimacy and togetherness. John knew about this kind of intimacy. He was one of the inner three (James, himself, and Peter), the ones Jesus would pull aside and show the “deeper things”. Not because they held any more clout than the others, but because their hearts were hungry for more. He was also the one who hung close by the night of the crucifixion, so close that in some of Jesus’s final words He entrusted His own earthly mother to the beloved disciple. And then there was the time at the Passover meal, as Christ inaugurated the New Covenant, John leaned into the bosom of Jesus. He was so close to The Teacher that as the question arose of who would betray Him, Peter told John to ask. Why? Because John was closet; he was leaning in. And when you lean into the heart of the Savior, He tells you His secrets. So, it’s no wonder John uses the word “koinonia” so frequently. But as you read the letters of John, another word jumps out; light. John seems to see the two coupled to each other some how.
Fellowship brings light. As we draw near to the presence of God, His truth cuts through the deception of the darkness. Lies surrender at the penetrating truth of The Light.
The key to victory for the powers of darkness is simple; deception. We see that all the way back in the garden, as the serpent deceived Eve and darkness fell on mankind. Darkness is born out of deception, it hides and covers up. That’s the point of it all, to get us to hide away from God; hide the questions, hide the hurts, hide the shame. All the while, The Light is calling our names, beckoning us to come to join Him, to partake of the goodness of His presence.
Deception hides behind the fake facade of entitlement and lurks behind the shadows of fear. Its purpose is never revealed, not until your caught in the snare of darkness.So it begins, this plot of darkness, to get us to believe a lie over the truth. The enemy uses many things as bait for deception: love of money, pride, insecurity, unchecked desires, emotions, heartaches…anything that we do not turn over to the Lord is a battlefield for darkness. The enemy loves to use our secret places against us. Don’t let him. Invite in the Light, Turn it over to Him, don’t leave any weapons in the enemy’s arsenal.
Light illumines, it reveals with purity. It dissects the complex anatomy of our hearts and pin points the cause of darkness. The place where a lie was believed and glory exchanged for shame.
If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 1 John 1:6
Where we find ourselves will depend on which one we are leaning into: darkness or The Light?
With hearts bent toward deception it will take an act of the will to lean into the Light. A conscious surrender of our secret places. Sin thrives in the dark, it longs for secrecy. It screams for silence and denial. That’s part of deceptions tactic; to make us believe our secret places are not harmful. All the while they are growing and getting stronger with each passing day, as the incubate in the darkness. Then one day it is awakened from its hibernation and it turns on us. It ends up being our ruin.
Throw open the doors to the secret chambers of your heart, for all secrets are safe in The Light.
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1John 1:8-9
Darkness stands no chance when brought into the light. When backed up into the corner, deception has to bow, for Light never compromises on truth – NEVER. Not for the enemy, not even for you and I.
On the darkest days; lean in. On the frustrating days; lean in. On the days you have no answers; lean in. On the brighest of days; lean in. He’s calling your name…
…even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. Psalm 139:12