The Darkness Within

God's Message on the Web - My earliest podcasts.

It is distinctly possible that every adult in this audience and most of the teens in this audience all used a similar object this morning. In fact, it is distinctly possibility that all adults and most teens use this similar object every morning. In fact, we all use this object so commonly that we rarely notice it. The only time we think about this object is when no one has one. When we have it, we never think about it. When we do not have it, we really miss it.

I expect some of you are thinking, “No way! Many of us might use something similar, but nothing is used by all of us.” How many mirrors do you have in your house? Do any of you have a bath room sink or a dressing area that does not have a mirror? Is there ever a day in your life when you do not look in a mirror?

The probability is high that you have some very good mirrors in your home. If you want to make a room appear larger, use some mirrors. If you want to brighten up an area, use some mirrors. Good mirrors are incredible in the way they reflect light. Mirrors literally can destroy darkness. But, regardless of the quality of the mirror, it only reflects light. A mirror is never the source of light.

  1. I want us to read together a number of passages on light, and I want us to make the connection scripture makes between light and mirrors.
    1. Read with me these scriptures.
      1. First, note God is the source of all light, not the mirror but the source.
        James 1:17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
        1 John 1:5 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.
      2. Second, note that Jesus is our light because we see God through him.
        John 1:4,5 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
        John 1:9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.
        John 8:12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”
      3. Third, note that Christians reflect Jesus’ light into our world so through us people see Jesus and through Jesus people see God.
        Matthew 5:14-16 You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
        Ephesians 5:6-14 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you.”
    2. So you say to me, “Let me get this straight:
      1. “God is the source of light.
      2. “Jesus as our light reflects God to us.
      3. “If we are Christians, we reflect Jesus and through Jesus people see God.
      4. “Are you not just stating your opinion?”
    3. May we allow Paul to verify that is precisely the situation. Consider 1 Corinthians 3:21-23.
      So then let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things belong to you, and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God.

      1. The Christians in Corinth had many problems.
      2. One reason they had problems was this: they exalted certain people.
      3. They exalted these people because they did not understand the roles of God and Christ.
      4. Paul explained that in the matter of salvation everything, including spiritual teachers like Paul, Apollos, and Cephas existed for their benefit; and they existed for Christ’s benefit, and Christ existed for God’s benefit.
  2. The simple, immediate point I want you to see and understand is this: if you are a Christian, you are a mirror to reflect Jesus Christ.
    1. I want us to ask two extremely important questions and to understand the answers.
      1. Question # 1: Why does God’s light shine through Jesus?
      2. The answer given in the verses we read is consistent: the light shines to destroy darkness.
      3. Question # 2: The darkness where? The darkness “out yonder” or the darkness inside of us.
        1. I think most of us would quickly say both.
        2. God wants to destroy the darkness out there and the darkness inside us.
        3. Which darkness do you try to destroy?
        4. May I make an observation that each of us needs to think about very seriously: we will never effectively destroy the darkness outside us until we are serious about destroying the darkness inside us.
    2. As amazing as a mirror is in reflecting light, that mirror reflects absolutely nothing if there is no light.
      1. When a good mirror reflects an intense source of light, it can blind you–never look into a mirror that is reflecting the direct rays of the sun.
      2. Take that same good mirror outside on a pitch-black night that is completely overcast.
        1. In the darkness lay the mirror on the ground, back up two or three steps, and attempt (in the dark) a complete turn.
        2. Then find the mirror; if you find it, it will be by feeling because there will be absolutely no light to reflect.
        3. That mirror is never the source of light; it can only reflect light.
    3. If we are Christians, we are never the source of light; we can only reflect light.
      1. We can only reflect light to the degree that we let Jesus shine through our lives.
      2. We can reflect light only to the degree that we allow Jesus to destroy the darkness within our own lives.
      3. Several things cause me to be very afraid for us.
        1. Some of us are not even aware that there is darkness inside of us to fight–we allow the darkness of evil to exist inside of us without opposition.
        2. Some of us know there is darkness inside us, but we have decided if we can hide that darkness from “the right people” it is perfectly okay to keep it.
        3. Some of us have concluded our darkness is okay, that if other people accept us they will just have to accept and get used to our darkness.
        4. Some of us are so busy opposing the darkness “out there” we never take time to confront the darkness inside.
    4. “What are you talking about?” Let me illustrate clearly what I am saying.
      1. Some of us Christians have our list of big, horrible sins that as black, black darkness are absolutely outrageous.
        1. This list might include things like prostitution, murder, violence, physical abuse, obvious addictions, promiscuous conduct, thievery–things such as those; such things are black, black, black darkness.
        2. But there are other things that we might classify as undesirable, but we would hesitate to say they were darkness, and we surely would not say they were black, black, black darkness.
        3. “What things?” Matters such as greed, deceit, prolonged anger, ungodly words, bitterness, slander, gossip, indulging sexual desires, drunkenness, cheating.
        4. If you are really concerned about letting Jesus’ light destroy the darkness inside, see which of those lists are resisted the most in the epistles.
  3. A few days ago Brad received an e-mail I want to share with you. No confidentiality has been violated, and no, I do not read Brad’s e-mail. I do not know who sent this e-mail and have made no effort to find out. Brad received permission from the person for me to share it with you. All I know about the person is this: it is a teenager above 15 years old. This teenager has attended this congregation all his or her life.
    1. This is the message:
      Okay I know I said I was going to try to come by this week … but I can’t. I have tried to make room but I am booked all week it seems … ah … I feel like I am about to fall into a bottomless pit and I don’t think I am going to be able to get out … ever.
      How in the world am I going to get out of this messy room when I don’t even know whose room this is anyways. How will I know even where everything goes and goes precisely? I am scared of getting yelled at from someone for doing the job wrong let alone just the job. I do not know that I can clean another room besides the room I am in right now … but how do I get to that room when I can’t even see the door to this room I am in … I am confused again and I don’t know where to begin … the fog had fallen and the dew is setting … the temperature is dropping and hearts are getting colder as well … I don’t know where mine belongs. I don’t know where to store it … who to give it to or whatnot.
      I don’t know if you understood that but I hope you do … later.”

      1. I doubt any teenager here above 15 has any difficulty understanding that letter.
      2. I am confident that a number of adults honestly would ask, “What was that teenager saying?”
    2. I want to share with you an insight, not a statement of confrontation or an argumentative statement, but an insight.
      1. We as adults are grieved deeply because so many of our teenagers leave the church when they become adults.
      2. Those of us who still have children at home are terrified that our children might decide to do the same thing in the years ahead.
      3. My insight: our children do not see us using the light God gives through Jesus to fight the darkness inside ourselves.
      4. We have focused so much energy on fighting the “darkness out yonder” that we individually do not even look at the darkness within ourselves.
      5. When something forces us to peek at the darkness in our own lives, we are far more likely to justify the darkness than we are to use Jesus’ light to attack the darkness inside.
      6. And our children see it and know it; they hear us tell everybody else how to fight the darkness out yonder; and they see us unable to shine the light on our own personal darkness.
      7. So when they confront darkness in their own lives, they have absolutely no idea of how to fight it, and the church as they know it suddenly becomes very irrelevant in the battle against personal darkness.

Some of you are a source of great personal joy and encouragement. Some of you understand that the first battlefield in the war between good and evil is the battlefield of the darkness inside self. Some of you understand that the only way to fight the darkness inside is with the light of Jesus. Some of you realize that to become lights to the world, we must constantly fight the darkness within. We are mirrors who reflect Jesus Christ. If we do not fight the darkness within, our mirrors have nothing to reflect. When we use the light to fight our own darkness, we shine Jesus’ light in our world as well as in ourselves.

David Chadwell

Author: Greg

Welcome to Gods Message on the web. My name is Greg and I want to welcome you. I started doing these Podcasts, MP3, and Audio Books back in 2007. Stay awhile and make yourself at home. The Christian Podcasts here are free and for everyone to enjoy. I’m doing a complete series on David Chadwell who is a retired minister from Fort Smith, Arkansas. I’ve also done an Audio Book for Wayne Jacobsen’s the Naked Church. Plus a series of MP3s for Pastor Billy Crone and his The Final Countdown series.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *