Darkness disguised as light?

If you want to know what is most important to a man (or woman), you can learn a lot about them just by the way that they talk. 

What do they talk the most about?  Family?  Friends?  Sports?  Food? Relationships?  Music?  Do they use foul language?  Do they tell dirty jokes?  Do they gossip about others?  The list is long.

You can also learn a lot about them by the way that they act.

Are they polite to others?  Do they get up and offer their chair to a lady?  Do they hold the door open for a lady?  Does the lady wait for a gentleman to open the door for her?  Are they impatient?  Do they ignore the speed limit when driving?  Do they cheat at games?  Do they lie on their taxes?  Do they steal?  Do they get drunk?  Do they dress seductively?  This list is equally long.

The combination of the way that you talk and the way that you act tells others who you are – and who you are not.

For example, let’s say I go golfing every day.  When I meet someone, I ask them about golfing.  I talk about golf and little else with all of my friends, family and acquaintances.  Maybe I am trying to get on tour so I play tournament golf as well.  I belong to competitive leagues, I play in USGA qualifiers, I play in state qualifiers.  My money is spent on golf:  equipment, lessons, memberships, tournaments and vacations.

Based on the above scenario:  The things I talk about, the things that I do – what seems to be the most important thing in life to me?

I’ll give you a hint, it starts with “G.

What about the way that I act when I golf?  Do I cheat?  Do I call penalties on myself?  Do I cuss when I hit a bad shot?  Do I talk in someone’s backswing? Do I wish failure on the other person so that I can win?  Do I yell at the slow group in front of me?  Am I patient? Do I help another look for their lost ball?  The list is long here too.

When you combine them – the way that I talk and the way that I act – the things that I do and the way that I do them – the time that I spend doing them – the things that I don’t do . . .

These things become a living testimony, through me, of what is most important, to me.

I can try to rationalize (make the unreasonable sound reasonable) that my family is the most important thing to me – that I am doing this so that I can make the tour and take care of them financially. This could be a reasonable justification provided that I make and spend time with them and for them – that when I am with them, they know (along with everyone else), that they come before golf based on my actions and my talk.  As they say, “the proof of the pudding is in the eating.” 

However, if they don’t know based on my actions and my talk – then it is just a rationalization.  An attempt by me to justify what should be important to me with what IS actually important to me.

Movies for some people are their love.  Sports for others.  Live concerts for still others.  For some it is partying and getting drunk on the weekend.  For some it is partying and getting drunk each night. Coffee, food – the list is endless.

Our lives are a witness to others – a  living testimony to them, of what is important, to us.

So what is important to us?  Where do we spend our wealth?  The old saying, “put your money where you mouth is” indicates that when something is truly important to us, the action of spending our wealth on that truly important thing will match our talk.

There is a biblical truth to this as well:

Matthew 6:21 (CJB)

21 For where your wealth is, there your heart will be also.

Where is your wealth?  Is it tied up in golf equipment?  Is it tied up in season tickets to sporting events?  Opera?  World travel?  In your child and their activities? A fast car?  A fast lifestyle?  Drinking? Sex?  A huge house?

Let me ask this another way – a more direct way:  Are we walking in darkness . . .

Skotos (darkness)… denotes the absence of light in the strictest sense.

In classical writings darkness typically implied

the inability to see

and thus the inability to know how to walk…

Evil is real and has power, and “darkness” is often used to depict this (Luke 22:53).

Thoralf Gilbrant, ed., “4510. σκότος,” in The Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary – Sigma-Omega, (Springfield, MO: Complete Biblical Library, 1991), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “4510. σκότος”.

or are we walking in the light?

phōs (Light)… Light is synonymous with spiritual life (Matthew 5:16),

and Christians can be the source of this life for the rest of the world (Matthew 5:14).

God also is seen in terms of that relationship between light and life.

The Light (i.e., Jesus) was the life of men (John 1:4; cf. 8:12).

As the Light himself, Jesus entered the world to bring life to those living in darkness (John 3:19; 8:12).

God is light (1 John 1:5; cf. James 1:17); if we live and believe in Him—in the light—we have life (John 8:12; cf. 11:10; 12:35,36,46) and we are children of light (John 12:36; cf. Matthew 5:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:5).

Thoralf Gilbrant, ed., “5292B. φῶς,” in The Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary – Sigma-Omega, (Springfield, MO: Complete Biblical Library, 1991), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “5292B. φῶς”.

We are warned to make sure that the light in us is NOT darkness:

Luke 11:35 (CJB)

35 So take care that the light in you is not darkness!

An interesting point is made by Sha’ul (Paul) while he is talking to King Agrippa about Yeshua’s commission to him:

Acts 26:17-18 (CJB)

17 I will deliver you from the People and from the Goyim.

I am sending you 18 to open their eyes;

so that they will turn from darkness to light,

from the power of the Adversary to God,

and thus receive forgiveness of sins

and a place among those who have been separated for holiness

by putting their trust in me.’

Turning from darkness . . . separated for holiness . . .

So, let me ask some really tough questions . . . regarding darkness and light (as they are defined biblically).  I will start with easy ones and work towards harder ones because ultimately, it is for Him or it is against Him:

  • R-rated movie – darkness or light?  Separated for holiness?  Is God glorified?

(sex, cussing, rape, murder, theft, adultery, violence . . .  long list)

  • Professional Sports – darkness or light?  Separated for holiness?  Is God glorified?

(money, idolatry, cheating, cussing, violence, drinking, sexuality . . . long list)

  • Party Song – darkness or light?  Separated for holiness? Is God glorified?

(drinking, fighting, sex, devil, adultery . . . a long list here too)

These are just a few examples of things that some believers think are okay in their life.  Problem is, there is not darkness in God – none! He is light:

1 John 1:5 (CJB)

5 And this is the message which we have heard from him and proclaim to you:

God is light,

and there is no darkness in him — none!

The verse in Luke makes a little more sense:  “take care that the light in you is not darkness!”   If we continue in 1st John, we find out why:

1 John 1:6 (CJB)

6 If we claim to have fellowship with him

while we are walking in the darkness,

we are lying and not living out the truth.

So the harder questions come down to this:

  • At what point do worldly things such as:secular movies, secular music and secular sports

    stop being secular and become holy?

  • When we spend our wealth on these things – when we love these things –

    when these things permeate our life . . .

    Are we walking in the light?  Separated for holiness?

    Or are we walking in the darkness . . . lying to ourselves

    not living out the truth?

     

Let’s state the warning again:

Luke 11:35 (CJB)

35 So take care that the light in you is not darkness!

What message do we send to unbelievers when we willfully break the speed limit? 

Is that a testimony of light or darkness?  Is that being set apart for holiness?

The following verses in the text are the ones that convicted me to turn to God from my sin and call upon the name of the Lord for my salvation. I was 15 years old.  Darkness VS Light:

Ephesians 5:1-20 (CJB)

1 So imitate God,

as his dear children; 2 and live a life of love,

just as also the Messiah loved us, indeed,

on our behalf gave himself up as an offering,

as a slaughtered sacrifice to God with a pleasing fragrance.

3 Among you there should not even be mentioned

  • sexual immorality,

  • or any kind of impurity,

  • or greed;

these are utterly inappropriate for God’s holy people.

4 Also out of place are

  • obscenity

  • and stupid talk

  • or coarse language;

instead, you should be giving thanks.

5 For of this you can be sure:

  • every sexually immoral,

  • impure

  • or greedy person —

  • that is, every idol-worshipper —

has no share in the Kingdom of the Messiah and of God.

6 Let no one deceive you with empty talk;

for it is because of these things

that God’s judgment is coming on those who disobey him.

7 So don’t become partners with them!

It is at verse 8 that I began to understand as a young man that living for the Lord and being worldly didn’t compute biblically.  I listened to so many in the church make rationalizations on how they could be worldly and also be a child of the light.

It seemed very hypocritical and even convenient to me.  Maybe that is why this verse convicted me – it wasn’t hypocritical.  You had to make a choice . . . darkness or light.

8 For you used to be darkness;

but now, united with the Lord, you are light.

Live like children of light,

9 for the fruit of the light

is in every kind of

  • goodness,

  • rightness

  • and truth —

10 try to determine what will please the Lord.

11 Have nothing to do with the deeds produced by darkness,

but instead expose them,

12 for it is shameful even to speak of the things these people do in secret. 13 But everything exposed to the light is revealed clearly for what it is,
14 since anything revealed is a light.

This is why it says,

Get up, sleeper! Arise from the dead, and the Messiah will shine on you!”

15 Therefore, pay careful attention to how you conduct your life —

live wisely, not unwisely.

16 Use your time well, for these are evil days.

17 So don’t be foolish, but try to understand what the will of the Lord is.

18 Don’t get drunk with wine, because it makes you lose control.

Instead, keep on being filled with the Spirit —

19 sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs to each other; sing to the Lord and make music in your heart to him;

20 always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah.

Where is your wealth stored?  What is the topic most important to you?  What do you spend your time on?

These things matter because you are a living testimony – a witness – about what is important . . .

As a believer and follower that trusts in Yeshua,

Are we imitating God as we are told to do?

Are we walking in the light as we are instructed to do?

Are we separated for holiness by the life we live in obedience to our Father?

. . . or are we living a lie? 

Darkness disguised as light.  Rationalizing the whole time that we can be:

Holy and worldly – darkness and Light – at the same time?

Your life, your deeds, your words, and the things you spend your money on –

These are your witness –

So a final question begs to be asked,

who and what are you a witness for

based upon your deeds,

your words,

the things you spend your money on

and the life you live?

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About Even If Ministries

Dani'el 3:17-18 (CJB) 17 Your majesty, if our God, whom we serve, is able to save us, he will save us from the blazing hot furnace and from your power. 18 But even if he doesn’t, we want you to know, your majesty, that we will neither serve your gods nor worship the gold statue which you have set up.”
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9 Responses to Darkness disguised as light?

  1. mimisuze says:

    Gulp! Don’t hold back Billy……..say what you believe. Seriously, all that you’ve said on this subject is right on and so very true. I wish pastors would preach this from their pulpits…….not hell-fire and damnn
    ation………the truth, a warning, a “wake-up”, an encouragement.

    • jmbannister says:

      Wow. It cuts to the chase. We live in a world of rationalizations. I agree with mimi I wish it was preached from the pulpit. Even better yet lived from the pulpit. It convicts me. ..

  2. Thanks for the encouragements!

    It makes me think of when Sha’ul (Paul) wrote Corinth in 1st Corinthians 3. I think he most assuredly expected to teach and talk to them as mature and spiritual people but couldn’t because they were still worldly. He gave them milk and nurtured them expecting them to grow and be ready for solid food – but they didn’t grow because they were living by “human” standards instead of “Godly” standards. Was the “light” in them “darkness” as they lived by those worldly standards?

    He warns them and then reminds them that they are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives inside them. Oh the muck and mire that we drag God through with the rationaizations concerning the way we live as nothing more than a matter of conscious. We were bought for a price . . . not so that we could live for ourselves, but so that we could live for our KING Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Christ)!

    Blessings to you both!

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  6. BE SURE THAT THE LIGHT THAT IS IN YOU IS NOT DARKNESS is very beginning text to my book WHO’S DRIVING THE PURPOSE DRIVEN CHURCH?
    Now to be sure, Rick Warren’s boast about his Purpose Driven Life book:
    “best selling non-fiction hardback book in history” is, in fact, darkness.
    Proof:

    http://www.perfectpeaceplan.com/post/is-rick-warrens-claim-that-his-book-is-the-best-selling-non-fiction-hardback-book-in-history-true/

  7. Pingback: Faults to Virtues// Thoughts from a Girl with Lessons to Learn – {A Penny For My Thoughts}

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