Light in the Darkness

Right after I titled this post my power went out so I am literally writing this in the darkness by the light of my fire and the moon shining in through my window. I have been well-acquainted with darkness lately–not depression, but more like fog, like a pressing down cloud, and a very strong sense of spiritual darkness around certain places and people. Sensing these sorts of things to this extreme has been pretty new to me, fairly consistent, and very overwhelming. Today I was sick and had some extra time to spend with the Lord. I told the Lord about this dark cloud I have been sensing as I started spending time with Him.

(OK…caveat…sometimes God gives me mental pictures to help me understand either my own heart or something He is trying to show me. I don’t often share these because some people think it’s weird, but God’s not weird–people are, so it’s fine. Also it’s biblical. See Joel 2:28, Acts 2:17)

So as soon as I told Him about this, God showed me an image. It’s not from the Bible, but it was a picture of a biblical character. It was a picture of Elijah, exhausted, laying down against a rock with a cloud over Him. Then I saw a man with a staff walk up toward the head of the rock, start running, jump over the rock, and lift his staff, cutting the sky above Elijah. And the sky split open showing the sunlight. Then I fell asleep. As I was sleeping I could hear whispers of scripture about light. It was like being prayed over. It was beautiful.

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

“For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light” Ephesians 5:8

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1

“The people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.” Matthew 4:16

“For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.” 1 Thessalonians 5:5

“And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.” Genesis 1:3

“For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness.” Psalm 18:28

When I woke up an hour later, the Lord told me to turn to the window and this big stream of light illuminated my face. It felt so good I fell back asleep and the last thing I remember hearing was this:

“…if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7

Maybe these are just the musings of someone with bad case of strep throat, but I don’t think so.

I sense the Lord reacquainting me with “light.”

Last week I was with some friends worshiping in a small group and we were singing about the goodness of God. In that moment, all I could perceive spiritually was a flood of dark figures covering the earth like a wave. It was like a wave of crude oil, shaped like horses and warriors on chariots. It was evil, gross, darkness. I cried as I made myself keep singing about God’s beauty and His love (which was embarrassing because I did not know these ladies very well, but they did not stone me or laugh at me so we’re ALL good.) In the end, there was a song that came from the depths of my soul. I don’t remember how it went exactly but it was something like this:

“Though it seems like darkness wins, it will not always be so. The light of the Lamb and of His throne with reign forevermore.” (Revelation 21:3 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.)

I kept singing this song until my voice was cried out. I was so tired of the darkness winning in peoples lives, in hearts, in our world, in the way we treat one another, in watching love grow cold, in watching people die and loose loved ones to cancer, drugs, unfaithfulness, demonic oppression. I was so tired. In my heart, I silently asked God how light could possibly encounter this sickening, advancing evil wave of utter darkness. Then, I looked and saw a huge bubble start to form from the ground underneath this dark army. Suddenly, sliced open from underneath, light escaped from beneath the earth, then an explosion from underground that rendered all the darkness absolutely obliterated by pure light. The vantage point shifted then, and I saw in front of me horses made of light cutting open the sky above them as they charged forward.

He told me to write it down. So I did. And I’m sharing it with you. It’s a little different than my normal posts, but this way of learning from the Lord through pictures is pretty normal for me these days so just bear with me, then hold it up to scripture for yourselves and test it.

Recap. The darkness will be broken from underneath and within. The kingdom of God is in you. Already/not-yet. We have the light of life inside us. So the darkness cannot overcome. The Sword of the Spirit goes out with the Word of God. He breaks darkness even as it covers the earth and even as it feels like it covers us. He says no. By the authority of His word, we cut the darkness that overshadows others. We say no to lies, deceit, temptation, oppression, condemnation, and trickery of the enemy. We cut the dark wide open and see the light of life. We will see the Lord in the land of the living. We will be strong and take heart. (Psalm 27:13-14) And we need others to do this for us sometimes. We need people to cut the sky. We need fellowship.

“…if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7

The darkness is real, but the light of God is inside us who have been crucified with Christ and born again to receive the life of Christ and THAT light of Jesus is the light of humanity. It is stronger than the dark even if the dark is all we can see. We declare together in the name of Jesus, the Word who was in the beginning with God, “Let there be light.” His kingdom is coming. It will have no end. (Luke 1:33, Is. 9:7) Every knee will bow in heaven and on earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father (Romans 14:11; Philippians 2:10–11; Isaiah 45:23).

The new heaven and the new earth are coming (Revelation 21:21). It is going to be so bright one day that we do not even need the sun. That is the glory of God that we are only now glimpsing partially. We live in dark places but we are full-blooded citizens of the already not yet kingdom of God, which is a kingdom of unfathomable light. That is why we feel so torn as the people of God. We are operating spiritually in an already, not-yet kingdom, operating according to those laws of the Spirit now (Romans 8), living on another plane of reality that demands spiritual sensitivity, sobriety, intentionality, focus, and great love. Those awakened to this spiritual reality will be able to perceive beautiful things, but also scary, sad, and dark things. We hear creation groaning and we groan too.

19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. 2In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. Romans 8:19-27

And then, by faith, we as the worldwide body and bride of Christ gain a trajectory and purpose that is bigger than our own lives, bigger than our own needs, bigger than our own dreams, bigger than racial rifts, political lines, and language barriers. We can see the very demographics of heaven and we align our heart with the very heart of God!  

9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.” Revelation 7:9

Here is the reality of this “Kingdom of Light.” One day people from every tongue, tribe and nation will be worshiping the one true living God! As the people of God worship now on earth, they call others into a global hallelujah, into a state of already-not yet, of a prophetic moment when it is possible to catch a glimpse of what Revelation describes. Worship in the presence of God is the place I see the darkness being pierced. It is in the declaration of His goodness from people whose lives, marriages, children, and loved ones, are under massive attack from the enemy, but are not destroyed. It is the people who are loyal to Christ, who say “though He slays me, yet will I trust Him.” (Job 13:15) It is the cry of those who have come out of great tribulation and washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 7:14).

Dealing with temporary darkness is our reality living in the world, but we take heart because Jesus has overcome the the enemy and given us His Spirit together by which we also overcome. One day, He will split the darkness finally and forever and render it absolutely and eternally destroyed. And as for us, we have overcome the enemy by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony, because we did not mind dying (Revelation 12:11). For us who have died to ourselves and are born again, “It is finished!”

The light is winning. Jesus, the Son of God, is life and light (John 1:4). There is a Father of Lights who delights in His children and who is permanently reliable (James 1:17). There is no fear in His perfect love because His love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). We can be made perfect in this love and love one another this way too. It’s not that we don’t see the darkness, it’s not that we ignore it or deny it’s existence, but we don’t succumb, and we don’t fear it, and we acquaint ourselves even more fully to the light of Christ. We fight for each other. We cut the sky. We are not of those who shrink back (Hebrews 10:39).

Hey! The power just came back on.

Father let your light shine in us. Though the darkness cannot comprehend it, you keep speaking life to dead, dark things. You light up darkness, because where light is there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). You, Jesus, are the light of humanity. According to your promise, we will not be overtaken or overwhelmed. Nothing is at risk really, for you have already won. Teach us how to walk in your victory today. In the already, not-yet. Light in the Darkness, lead us in your path of right living, shining brighter until the full light of day (Proverbs 4:18).

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