By Jennifer Slattery, Crosswalk.com
How Christ's Light Illuminates Our Deepest, Darkest Places
Gust Post by Susan Aken
(This post first appeared on the Wholly Loved website.)
Discouragement clouds my soul when unloving thoughts seem like the default in my heart. Jealousy rises up: often prompted by social media posts. When selfishness plagues me, pride is always waiting.
There are moments as a teacher when I’m shocked at my impatient or rude response to a student when I’m in a stressful situation. A friend gleefully shares on Facebook about their current victory, and sometimes my first reaction is envy or resentment and I choose not to give a “like.” An opportunity to serve or meet with other believers is open, but I want to keep my evenings free for television or comfort. Guilt over my weakness pulls me down.
I want to be the loving, kind, patient, giving woman Scripture teaches about but I often fail.
How liberating when I learned: Seeing the yuck in our lives means we're in God's presence. Jesus illuminates the dirt in our hearts so we can repent. Feeling remorse for our failings is good.
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12, NIV).
Jesus has all power over evil and overcomes our wrongdoing. As long as we keep our eyes on Him, He will show us the way and reveal all that needs to be cleansed.
Evil seeks the shadows in order to hide wickedness (John 3:19). Those who stay there are blind and often numb to conviction.
Darkness can’t exist unless light leaves. We don't turn on darkness; we turn off or from the light. We have night because the earth moves away from the sun not because its illumination is swallowed. Light has all power over darkness.
Darkness hides. Light reveals.
C. S. Lewis, one of the most well-known Christian writers, wrote, “It is when we notice the dirt that God is most present in us: it is the very sign of His presence.”
This truth encourages me. Instead of choosing discouragement, denial, or escape when conviction comes, I run to Jesus, yielding to the Holy Spirit as He fills and guides me. He always forgives. I rejoice that He reveals my sin rather than leaving me blind to my own faults. The one who can’t see where they’re wrong can’t repent. Change comes from awareness of our faults.
We’ll never reach moral perfection on earth. Until the day we enter heaven, we’ll battle daily with our weaknesses. But we can learn to move forward by listening to God’s leading and following and obeying Him. When I’m convicted of a behavior that grieves God, instead of rejecting myself, I submit to Him. I confess and agree with His truth, receive His forgiveness, and ask Him to help me yield to His Spirit. When I’m surrendered to Him, He produces His fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control through me (Galatians 5:22-23).
Jesus, help me stay in the light. Thank You that I belong to You and You live in me. Thank You for revealing all in me needing to be cleaned up or restored. I want to live in Your truth by walking in repentance and grace. Help me yield to Your Spirit so You can produce good fruit in my life. When discouragement comes or I’m tempted to give up and hide from the truth, help me resist and accept Your unconditional love as I keep moving forward. I know You love me and nothing can ever take that away.
What is God revealing about your life today?
Write a prayer of confession and give all your struggles to Him.
How can you yield to the Holy Spirit?
Get to Know Susan
An Oklahoma native who has lived in Nebraska since 1987, Susan is a former school librarian and a current substitute teacher who has been involved in public education for over thirty years. She and her husband have one son whose adoption at two days old when she was 39 was a miracle. They now also have a beautiful daughter-in-law. Susan is a contributing writer to Wholly Loved Ministries and has occasionally written devotions for other blogs. Besides writing she has a passion for special needs ministry and prayer ministry. She enjoys time with family, reading, photography, movies, walking anywhere in nature, and sitting down with a cup of tea.
Susan uses her writing to serve Wholly Loved Ministries in numerous capacities, including creating content for our devotional projects and Bible reading plans as well as writing articles for iBelieve on the ministry’s behalf. She looks to Jesus as her constant friend, Savior, and Lord. She believes life is a journey and we’re all in different places. It’s all about grace.
Jennifer Slattery is a writer and speaker who hosts the Faith Over Fear podcast. She’s addressed women’s groups, Bible studies, and writers across the nation. She’s the author of Building a Family and numerous other titles and maintains a devotional blog at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com.
As the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, she’s passionate about helping women experience Christ’s freedom in all areas of their lives. Visit her online to learn more about her speaking or to book her for your next women’s event and sign up for her free quarterly newsletter HERE and make sure to connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.