Initial infusions of spiritual light are often revealed with a wholesale effect. The sensation is that everything is changing, and that would not be a false statement. One of the first Bible verses I learned as a new believer was, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Cor. 5:17 I truly did become a new creation at twenty-one years of age when I decided to follow Jesus. I felt like the blind man that Jesus healed, who when questioned by the religious leaders simply responded, “I was blind but now I see.” Jesus later approached the man to impart spiritual light to his life. “‘Do you believe in the Son of Man?’ ‘Who is he, sir?’ the man asked. ‘Tell me so that I may believe in him.’ Jesus said, ‘You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.’ Then the man said, ‘Lord, I believe,’ and he worshiped him.”
The good news about spiritual light is that it will forever be an ongoing experience in our lives, as we grow in Christ, and eternally worship Him in the age to come. What I didn’t know on the front end, but know very well today, is that old mental strongholds surface in resistance, provoked by the light of truth, and thus the need for continual renewal of spiritual light. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Rom. 12:2 The mindsets of this world beat upon the shoreline of our lives every single day. Waves of darkness WILL consume us, unless we take authority over them. A practical illustration would be the furnace filter in your home. The quality of the air you breathe in your home is determined by the filter, through which the air must pass. If changed on a regular basis, dirt, dust, and pollen will be taken captive and prevented from entering the vents into your airspace. Spiritually speaking, God’s Word is a light filter for my thought life. “We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor. 10:5Deeply rooted darkness is overcome by deeply rooted light. Click To Tweet
As we mentioned last week, the contested planet on which we dwell, mandates that we be armed for battle. “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Eph. 6:11-12 One of the pieces of armor that is subsequently described, is the helmet of salvation. Helmets are worn for protection against injury. It’s common now, and even the law in some states, to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle. The helmet of salvation can be succinctly defined as having the mind of Christ. Thoughts have the power to control my emotions and my actions. My putting on this armor is a deliberate action to choose right thinking, while also resisting the negative thoughts pressing for access.
Another practical illustration came to mind. Did you ever hold a piece of mail up to a bright light, to examine its contents? Here is what I discovered: if the envelope contents are thin, like one sheet of paper, or perhaps a check, the light will enable me to view the contents without even breaking the seal. But if the contents are thick, there is no way the light will pass through and I will need to open the envelope. Spiritual application: there are some thoughts delivered to me, that when I hold them to the light, I can instantly see the true contents. Some junk mail I don’t even have to open, but simply dispense with it. Then there are thoughts which I cannot discern so quickly, and will need to probe a bit further into the contents.
Deception can be a tricky business (pun intended). When I have believed lies as truth, for years on end, I may agree with a new-found spiritual light that has touched my soul, but it takes time to change out the old for the new. Deeply rooted darkness is overcome by deeply rooted light. A greater fullness in Christ will manifest as we are “rooted and built up” in Him. Col. 2:7God's Word is a light filter for my thought life. Click To Tweet
Darkness seldom lies dormant and passive while being displaced. The Apostle Paul warned the church in Corinth of false apostles in their midst. “For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” 2 Cor. 11:13-14 Darkness, taking the form of light, leveraged against a cognitive or emotional liability within us, is a formidable foe.
The good news is, that the solution is within our reach. Warning against false prophets, the Apostle John says this: “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 Jn. 4:4 The basis for your victory is “Christ in you.” Col. 1:27 The Light of the World, resides in YOUR world. Think of it this way: Greater is He that is in you than anything else that is in you. It simply needs to be enforced.
So let’s sign up again today, to say “Yes” to truth and “No” to lies. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Phil. 4:8 This will obviously rule out many would be intruders into my thought life. Thankfully, we have the Holy Spirit as our tutor, to teach us the mind of Christ. “This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.” 1 Cor. 2:13 (More on the “how to” of this, next week.)