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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Darkness & Light

Did you ever have someone come into your life who actually changed you --- or at least changed your thinking? Maybe it was a school teacher or college professor. Perhaps it was a boss or a colleague. For some of us it might be a neighbor. For some it might be a pastor, a coach, or maybe a client.

Whoever they turn out to be, I'm becoming more and more convinced that these people exist. I never know where they'll turn up. And of course they aren't all people. I meet lots of people through business and social endeavors. I'm sure they're all wonderful people. But some of those meetings turn out to be a little more profound than others. The interesting thing is that I usually don't even know that until later, when I look back and realize that meeting was profound!

I met a guy last fall in a CR Step Study that I'm leading. (He's a pastor.) Quite a remarkable fellow, actually - there have been several things about him that have impressed me. The first was his leadership. This guy is unabashedly leading. I think I might be drawn to those people who lead boldly. They know who is in charge and aren't afraid to take command. I don't know, maybe it's a character defect that drives them (control issues or something). Nevertheless, I find myself drawn to that.

He has other qualities that seem to stand out. I can't say I admire them or wish them for myself. I really don't think it's like that. But I notice them. His faith and his passion for his God are remarkable. I've known a lot of pastors, and pretty well too. Few have exhibited this passion for the Lord. I get the sense that this guy would really walk through fire, go to his death or do whatever else it might take to serve his God. Call yourself a Christian, or a Jew, or a Catholic - but really, how many of us serve a God like that?

As you might have it, my new acquaintance and I are becoming good friends. Occasional coffee's with no particular agenda help us learn more about each other's hearts and minds. It may be that we're finding things in each other that we like --- for those meetings tend to happen more often and last longer than I expect. Somehow I suspect that despite the proximity we may have or not have in each other's lives, the impact he'll have in my life will be enduring.

One of the things he's said recently that really got me to thinking has been about light and dark, good and evil. The Bible is clear that darkness cannot stand in the face of light. It's equally clear about the fact that evil will never prevail in the face of righteousness and holiness (which come from God). But my friend pointed out that most people who believe in God tend to act as if the darkness were more powerful than the light. He's observed (and rightly so, I think) that people of faith tend to behave as if they're afraid of evil.

It makes me wonder. Could it be that even believers in the Most High God of creation still fear evil more than they fear Him? Is it possible that we lose conscious sight of the facts about darkness and its nature? And if so, what would cause such a phenomenon?

I certainly agree with my friend. Like I began this blog, it seems God is using him to shift some of my personal paradigms. (I'm still figuring out which ones those are too!) It is painfully obvious that even the most spiritually mature people can become rattled by their circumstances. A solid man of faith gets nervous when there are layoffs at his work. A godly mother falls apart when her child is seriously ill. A Christian business owner acts like a frightened sheep being pursued by wolves when there is a business downtown or a client sues him. What's up with these things?

Have we lost sight of the power of light? Do we forget that righteousness and holiness are the ultimate victors in this game of life? Or can we become deceived about the power of darkness? Can darkness somehow convince us that it is invincible? Does evil mock us and make fun of us, beating us into the submission like the playground bully when we were kids?

Light a candle in the darkness and see what happens. The darkness retreats. But try to bring darkness into the light of day and see if the daylight retreats. (It doesn't!) Isn't this how we are supposed to live our lives ... based on these two simple truths?

Evil doesn't win, good triumphs, holiness prevails, and righteousness endures. Darkness fades, despite its intimidating and menacing nature. And those things of the world that make us nervous, that cause us to worry or fret or even be scared? They aren't so powerful really. In fact, their ability to control us is really a farce. It's just not there!

On one of my trips to Africa a couple years ago, I heard a woman say she was not going to tell God about her problems, but instead would tell the problems about her God. It seemed like a simple statement, and yet profound. I'd like to introduce her to my new pastor friend here in Texas. I suspect God is using both of them to speak truth into me!


  1. Anonymous8:20 AM

    Hi Larry
    I believe that we as children of God, have a bigger fear of evil than we have of God because we do not know the authority we have in Christ Jesus. Everything was placed under His authority by God the Father and by accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in us upon that acceptance, we too have the same authority on earth. BUT , the enemy has stolen that knowledge and we are not taught by our elders that we have that authority.
    Luke 10:19
    Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and SCORPIONS, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

    In the above verse, I believe, the first word power could be translated with the word authority and the verse should read :
    Behold, I give unto you authority to tread on serpents and SCORPIONS, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

    Reading it that way, tells you, you do not have to fear the enemy, because you have authority over him and all of his demons. They shall by no means hurt you when you are submitted to God and are walking in obedience to Him.



  2. Amen. Thanks for sharing, Maria!