Luke 1:78, 79 “Through the tender mercy of our God, With which the Dayspring form on high has visited us; To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Light verses darkness; we see it throughout the Bible when talking about the purpose of Jesus Christ coming into our world to deliver us from the sin that separates us from God. In these two verses Jesus is referred to as the Dayspring from on high. Jesus came to earth to be born as a baby, to walk this earth showing us the heart of the Father, and to die to bridge the gap that sin causes between God and man. He is our light in the darkness; our peace that reconciles us back to the Father. What does it mean to sit in darkness?
Darkness – Greek word skotos – The word is used literally for physical darkness and metaphorically for spiritual, moral, and intellectual darkness. The darkness arises from error, ignorance, disobedience, willful blindness, and rebellion. Darkness is an evil system absolutely opposed to the light.
It is said that before a person is born again, or brought into the light, that one of the ways that Satan uses to keep them from coming to the knowledge of needing Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord is through hanging a veil over their minds that blinds them so that the light of the gospel of the glory of Jesus Christ can’t shine on them. (2 Corinthians 4:3,4) We often pray for the lost that the blinders will be taken down off their minds so they can see the great love that God has shown them through the crucifixion of Jesus Christ for their salvation. The Bible records that when a person is born again they are “delivered from the power of darkness and conveyed” into the kingdom of the Son of God. So the person who receives Jesus as Savior and Lord is no longer under the power of darkness because when he accepts Jesus as Savior and Lord he is translated into the light that comes through salvation in Christ Jesus.
But what about life after being born again? Can a person who is now a resident of the kingdom of light, of God, still walk in the darkness? Even though God has broken the power of darkness over us when we choose to willingly sin we give darkness a right to hide in our hearts.
1 John 1:5-9 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that 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.
We often hear 1 John 1:9 quoted when a person is admonished to confess their sins to the Lord for salvation, but this scripture is clearly written to believers as later in the book in 1 John 5:13 he states that he has written these things to those who believe in the name of of the Son of God that they might know that they have eternal life. So it is possible in a believer’s life for sin to hide in our hearts and not be fully exposed until at some point in time when God takes a person through a time of soul searching to be freed from a bondage or stronghold that sin has created. Inner healing comes as we allow God to shine His light into our hearts to expose the darkness that hides within us. In God there is no darkness at all, so when we confess our sin to Him it is exposed to the light and driven out. Light dispels darkness. The brighter the light the stronger it shines into the recesses of our hearts and the more darkness is exposed and driven out. The Psalmist prayed in Psalm 139:23, 24 that God would search his heart and see if there was any wicked way in him. As we walk in the light the prayer of our heart should be that God would shine His light in our hearts to reveal any darkness that might be there so we can be cleansed and forgiven.
I recently finished one of my college courses on the Father Heart of God. It was a course about understanding the love of God and living “fully loved” through receiving His unconditional love for us. There are many things that hinder a person from being able to receive God’s unconditional love. Things that have happened to us in our past sometimes causes us to build up walls of protection to keep us from being hurt again. Those walls create an alienation from both God and man. When the light of God’s love is shown in our hearts those hurts are exposed to the light and driven out. When we choose to not forgive people for the hurtful actions they have done that have created the need for these walls of protection it creates a sinful dark place in our hearts. It is as we confess these things to our loving heavenly Father that His light can shine on the sin that’s in our hearts and drive it out setting us free from the bondage that we have been under. What we think we have done to keep from being hurt once again really has created a distancing between us and the Father who wants to freely pour out His love on us but the barrier hinders us from receiving. Even though we may have had no control at all over the things that have been done to us if our response creates unforgiveness to the offender then we are at fault as well. It is that sin in the heart that causes us to walk in darkness, even as a believer. Confessing the sin to God and then forgiving the offender releases us from the darkness and sets us free to receive God’s love.
Romans 12-14 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
The works of darkness are cast off as we choose to not allow the hurts of the past to hold us in darkness. We must choose to repent of the sin that has come into our hearts through offense, hurtful words, and unkind treatment. Walking in the light of Jesus Christ then becomes an armor of protection. Sin keeps us chained to darkness, but acknowledging and confessing our sin to the Father sets us free to receive all that God has for us. Freedom comes when the deeds of darkness are exposed to the light.
Are you living in the light of God? Is there unconfessed sin in your heart that is keeping you from receiving God’s love in its fullness? Healing can’t come until you acknowledge that you need healing. A lost person cannot be saved until they recognize that they are lost and in need of a Savior. That is the first step to being healed of the hurts of your past. The next thing is that those negative feelings must be confessed to God in order to be brought out into the open. Then forgiveness needs to be extended to the one who has hurt you. Once you have forgiven the channel is opened for you to fully receive God’s love. Once you have received His love it is important that you secure that healing through believing God’s thoughts about you. He loves you unconditionally and you are made in His likeness and image. In Psalm 139 it says that you are fearfully and wonderfully made and His thoughts of you are more than the sand. Isaiah the prophet says in Isaiah 49:16 that God cares so much about you that He has inscribed you on the palms of His hands. Your walls, or your life, is continually before Him. And Jeremiah 29:11 says that God has a good plan for your life, to give you welfare instead of calamity, a life filled with a hopeful future. God loves YOU! Thinking God’s thoughts about you helps you to live in the light so the darkness has no place in you. The last step in being set free from the darkness that a wounded past has brought is that you not only need to think God’s thoughts about you but you must endure. When the enemy tries to bring back the offense, and he will, it is only you that can endure the fight to win. Stand strong in the freedom that you have received in Christ Jesus. As you endure and fight the good fight of faith the enemy’s attacks against you will decrease and the light of God’s love will shine brighter and brighter. Don’t give in to his pressure; continue to live in the light.
Father, I thank You that in confessing our sin to You we are set free from the darkness that tries to envelop our hearts. Thank You for providing a way for us to live in the light of Your love through exposing the dark things that try to hide in our hearts. Father, I pray for those this morning who are struggling with injustices that have been done to them throughout their lives. Father, I pray that You will reveal to them the need for confession of those things and their reaction to them that has created a place for darkness to hide in their hearts. Father, shine Your light of love into their hearts and show them what needs to be confessed to You so they can receive freedom. For those who don’t know You, I pray that the blinders that have been hung over their minds that have blinded them will be torn down so they can see the light of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ and come to salvation. For those who are born again but having difficulty dealing with hurts and the pain of their past, I pray that You will draw them to You and show them that they can be free from the pain and injustice through allowing You to cleanse their hearts and apply Your love to their wounds. Give them the courage to face the offender and set themselves free through forgiveness for freedom comes as they are cut loose from the offense. Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering my prayer that is offered up in the name of Jesus. Amen.