“No one lights a lamp and then hides it or puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house.
“Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. But when it is unhealthy, your body is filled with darkness. Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness. If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.”
I have fallen into this trap too many times and lately has been no exception. I have believed that I was doing right, and for the most part, I was. However, there were still parts of my life that weren’t completely right before God. I had corners of darkness in my life. Have you experienced this, too? Do you have any dark corners in your life that are holding you back from having a great relationship with Jesus?
Satan is clever and he knows what each of us likes and what our weaknesses are. Many people don’t know all their weaknesses, but the devil does. He is a Master at knowing us and has devoted his life to getting to know each of us intimately. The issue is, most of us don’t spend that much time getting to know ourselves, or to at least know when we’re in a dangerous position in life.
In this article, I want to talk about some of the dangerous situations I’ve gotten myself into lately and how these have affected me and my walk with God. Seek out the darkness in your own life and turn to God to help clean up the mess. God is light and He will expose the enemy in your life. If you aren’t sure of whether there is darkness in your life, just ask God, and He will bring it to light.
Three forms of darkness that God has exposed to me in my life
Nobody likes their crimes to be brought to light. The dark things of their life are best left in the dark, right? But that’s not how God helps us grow. If you have anything in your life that you know that God doesn’t approve of, you will be doing yourself a favor to seek deliverance from that thing through the power of the Holy Spirit, who sees all and knows all.
There is nothing in your life that can be hidden from God. Sure, you can hide certain things from family and friends, but not God. I suppose that these three issues of my life that I will be talking about weren’t things that I was trying to hide from anyone, but rather, I was more blinded of the truth than anything.
I’m afraid I will struggle with these for the entirety of my life, but I also know that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). So, each day, I must get up and seek God first. Throughout the day, I must pay attention to my thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors. I am responsible for my actions and I’m responsible for my relationship with God. So, I must do my part each day to walk with God and let God do His part to help me with my areas of weakness.
Think of any things that you struggle with and bring as much light as possible to them before God. He knows that we’re not perfect and that we will all make mistakes throughout life and He wants to work with each one of us to refine us and make us stronger. But first, we need to be willing.
Here are three areas that I continue to struggle with.
Pride has many faces
I’ve always thought of pride in one way; conceitedness. I just figured that people that were too confident and had too big of an ego simply had a pride issue. I walked around telling myself, “Thankfully, I don’t have that problem in my life.”
I have come to learn that pride does have many faces. Pride is a form of darkness that got Satan cast out of the presence of God and Heaven. It’s a form of darkness that can prevent a person from going to Heaven, or at minimum, living a life that God wants us to have.
My pride issues come in the form of control. I guess this borders on trust issues, too. I just don’t want to give God full control of my life. I mean, I want to give God full control in my life, but I seem to hold back in some areas. When I pray and give a problem to God, I quickly take the problem back and try to figure it out myself. When I come before God in humble submission, I can tell that I’m holding back, but with what?
I really don’t know all the ways that I hold back, but I am learning that I am holding back. I guess this is a step in the right direction. I know there is a trace of doubt in my mind when I ask God for something. I pray sincerely, but the thought arises, “God probably won’t make that happen for me.” Where did that come from, I ask myself. But I know the answer.
Satan wants you to fail. He wants you to be filled with pride and doubt. He knows that this prevents God from working fully in your life and moving the mountains that need to be moved. Just as I must examine myself constantly, I encourage you to do the same. Search for any type of pride in your life and talk to God about it.
Idolatry can be very subtle
God has destroyed many nations because of idolatry. If God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, then what makes you and me any different today?
What is idolatry? Again, I figured that it concerns those who worship other gods; those who make a figure out of something and then bow down to it and pray to it and worship it. Well, this is true. But then I’ve learned that there are many types of gods.
Money can be a god; kids or family members can be a god; our skills and talents can be a god; our possessions can be a god; animals, homes, careers, pursuits of greatness, and on and on and on.
Through all of these, the same is true; God hates it. God hates idolatry. Hate is a strong term, and how can God hate, right? Okay, how about I use the term, detest. This means to dislike intensely. Either way, this form of darkness is one that God won’t allow. The bible tells us that God is a Jealous God and that He won’t tolerate such a sin.
For me, the idolatry that continues to plague me is my constant desire and focus on money. I don’t have any, but I can’t stop thinking about it. I want a better home; I want a better car; I want to travel; I want to eat great foods; I want, I want, I want. In my eyes, I can’t because I don’t have the money.
Well, many people don’t have money. Many people can’t do these things. God doesn’t promise financial riches through a relationship with Jesus. Instead, He only promises a rich and satisfying life. But the devil will tell us time and time again, “With money, you can have it all.” This is a great deception. With money, many relationships have been destroyed and many lives have been lost.
If you are only concerned with money and your goal in life is to gain as much as possible, be careful that it doesn’t cost you a relationship with God, the One who can give you true riches.
I’ve been trying to learn about being content and appreciating what God has already given me. When I take my focus off money, I find that I am generally happy and more productive. For me, when I think about the pursuit of money and focus on what I don’t have, I open the door to Satan and invite him and his darkness into my life to do much damage.
Our sinful nature is a fighter
Selfishness has been a problem for me my whole life. I know I’m not alone, here. Many people struggle with selfishness to some degree.
I would hold doors open for people and I would help anyone who would ask me, but when alone, it’s all about me. I don’t mean that I set up a shrine and sing and dance, but I mean that I seem to constantly think about what I can do to feel good.
I used to consume drugs and alcohol to feel good. But that’s not what I’m talking about. What I mean here is, I am always scheming in my mind things to do that will make me have fun and give me feelings of happiness, even if temporary.
Well, as normal as it is to want to feel good and have good times, God doesn’t like this kind of behavior. God wants us to have a great life and to have fun, but He wants us to focus on other people and on Him and on doing His Will. Through these, God wants to bring the fullness of life to each of us.
This has been my struggle. I know that by helping others that I get a dose of “feel-good” and yet, I still find myself getting caught up in self-fulfillment. It seems that no matter how hard I try, I just can’t seem to get away from this.
I suppose that’s the problem, right; I’m trying to do it on my own power. The Holy Spirit is most powerful and if we would only submit and allow the power of God to work in our lives, we would find victory over the darkness much sooner and more completely.
In this article, I’ve certainly exposed some of my weaknesses and struggles to anyone who reads this. The things that I’ve struggled with are things that I believed would make me better if I had them. In a way, these are dark things that I’ve tried to put a twist of light onto. But these are damaging. These are things that have been holding me back from experiencing the life God really wants me to have. And, today I’m sharing them with you because I want you to also experience the rich and satisfying life Jesus died for you to have.
As I said earlier, the dark issues from Satan plague all of us in some way, and exposing them is the only way to bring light to them. But when you do, God can free you from them. Does this mean that you’ll never struggle with them ever again? No. Not likely. But the more time that you spend serving God and learning about Him and building a relationship while walking in His light, the stronger you will get in your faith and spiritual maturity.
It’s through repeated submission to God that your life will be made whole through Christ and through repeatedly shedding light onto the dark topics of your life that you will walk in the victory that brings true happiness.
Jesus is the light; the more of Jesus that’s in you, the more light will be in you for all to see.
If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, you can follow this link (Prayer for Salvation) to find out how. Also, if you need prayer for your life or your family, feel free to fill out a private prayer request in the provided prayer box in this article. My wife and I would love to pray for you.