Bad things happen in the dark. Recall how much it hurts to stub your toe or shin on furniture when you misjudge where you are in the dark—even in your own home. Think about other things that people misjudge in the darkness. Accidents happen when people can’t see a curve or an obstacle on an unlit road at night. It can be hard to judge who is approaching you as you walk down a street in the dark. I think we can agree that, generally speaking, darkness is less safe for humans than light.
If literal, physical darkness is unsafe, let me suggest to you that mental and spiritual darkness are extremely unsafe. What we don’t know definitely can hurt us. Ignorance may be bliss, but that bliss can be short-lived when it leads to really bad decisions. This can apply to anything from buying a car to entering into a new relationship.
Today, for example, I’m stumped on a technical issue related to another blog I’ve launched. Yesterday, I was in the dark, blissfully unaware that I even had a problem. But my lack of knowledge yesterday didn’t mean that no problem existed. Light (in the form of an email) was required to show me that I do have a problem—a problem that, until resolved, will never let this other blog grow to its potential.
The light shows me that my problem is bigger than what I can handle on my own. I need help. I can sit here afraid that if I get to tinkering around with the HTML code, I might totally crash the new website. Or I can search for somebody who can bring more light into the situation.
One thing is for certain, I want to be fully enlightened and delivered from my problem. Going back into the darkness won’t help. And remaining aware of the problem alone, without being informed of the solution won’t help either.
The same principles apply to spiritual realities. To be unaware that we have a problem doesn’t mean that we’re not in serious trouble. Heartache, danger, and death dwell in the domain of spiritual darkness. We all know the darkness in the world. Spiritual darkness generates fear. It can paralyze us, or we can seek help, repair, safety, and full potential by turning into the full light of spiritual truth!
Light, Truth, and Life
Throughout the Bible, God is portrayed either as robed in light or as being pure light. Light is a manifestation of God’s glory, splendor, and holiness. It also communicates the truth and life that God alone can offer. Light shows reality for what reality is. As 1 John 1:5-7 says,
God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him and yet keep on walking in the darkness, we are lying and not practicing the truth. But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
Light and truth show us what needs fixing. It reveals what is not right. But the light of God shines in every direction. It illuminates, not only the problem, but also the solution. It shows us where life and help can be found. Just look for the Source of the light. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. The one who follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
Jesus offers the gift of life—real, full life as it is meant to be. In Christ, God offers us redemption and forgiveness. “[God] delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13-14)
A redeemed life is a life that has been transformed from meaningless to purposeful. A redeemed life is one that has been liberated from brokenness and disintegration to freedom and well-being. A forgiven person is one who can, along with Simon Peter, give thanks to God and joyfully “proclaim the virtues of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)
So don’t remain in the dark. It’s dangerous in there. Come into the light.
Neil T. Anderson, Victory Over the Darkness: Realizing the Power of Your Identity in Christ, Regal, 2000.