When I was a kid, I was pretty afraid of the dark. I would wake up in the middle of the night and start imaging things. That weird light was really a ghost and I was going to see it move. That shadow is a demon ready to pounce me. I would become overwhelmed with feelings of terror to where I felt like I couldn't even make a move to my parents room or to turn on my bedroom light because I would be attacked or something.
I slept with a night light until I was at least 12 if not older! And even into high school and college I would wake up sometime terrified enough to turn my lamp on, hug my Bible and try to go back to sleep.
This is what happens to us when we live in the dark. We begin rationalizing what we're seeing to be what is really real. We're held back from doing what we need to do (turning on the light) to stay paralyzed in our thinking and action.
“This, then, is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who practices wicked things hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed. But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be shown to be accomplished by God.” John 3:19-21
It is easier for us to live in the dark! It's easy to not deal with sin, to dig up the cause of our shame, to deal with the core at our bad behaviors. Often it seems easier to make excuses for our sin than to deal with it.
My first year full-time on campus had ups and downs - especially lots of downs. Second semester I began believing lies about myself, my personal ministry, and my calling into ministry. "You made a rash decision joining Master Plan, Leah. You came into it for all the wrong reasons. And now look! You barely do anything on campus - you disciple 4 girls and you barely go out and share your faith. You're even too afraid to go meet new people sitting next to you! This can't be your calling, can it?" I did try to fight them off for a while, but then it became easier to rationalize and believe the lies as truth.
The lies soon affected my thinking towards others on staff, which I began to believe more lies. "They don't think I'm doing a good job. I don't want them to know what I really think about ministry because then they will tell me just to do more - and I'm already feeling exhausted! I have way different views about how discipleship should look. They probably think it was a mistake to accept me onto staff."
By the end of the year, I felt completely wiped! I let myself into this vortex of negative thinking to where I felt poisoned by it. And if it wasn't for the fact I was getting married to a man that wanted to come on staff with MPM, I'm not fully sure I would still be in the ministry today.
THAT is living in the dark! THAT is living in lies instead of exposing them to the truth of Jesus Christ!! I believe that this passage in John is trying to expose how we NEED the light to be exposed to the dark spots in our life! The light is truth amid the lies we are believing. It's exposing who we really are to the God of the universe.
That's scary to be fully exposed before God Almighty!! But you know what? He already knows everything that you have already done, the things that have been done to you, the bad habits that you're stuck in now. He just wants to shed some Light on the subject! He wants you to take the next step in approaching Him.
Can you imagine what your life would look like if Light dominated over the dark places in your life?! These areas of unexposed sin and regret keep us from fully being the women God originally created us to be! They hold us back from God getting glory in all areas of our life, and then in turn keep us from being as effective in the mission He has called us to.
What are those areas in your life that you wouldn't want anyone one to know? Have you let God shed truth in that area? What is keeping you from approaching Him?
In my next article, I'll be addressing what some practical steps are for living in the light before God.
Leah works with Master Plan Ministries at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO. Other than watching college students' lives change, she enjoys getting her mind blown by God and His Word, watching sci fi, baking cupcakes, and spending time with her hunky husband.
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