The Darkened Lamp

Isaiah 9:2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.”

How do you see life?

When you consider the way you see other people, circumstances, or problems in your life—how do you perceive them?

According to God’s Word, if your eyes are darkened by sin, then your whole body will be affected by how you view life.

If you can, take a step back and consider your vision for just a moment.

Do you see a particularly difficult boss or co-worker as an adversary or even worse, someone to direct hate toward? Do you wrestle with maintaining purity in how you see other people, regardless of how they dress? Do you have an expectation of how others should treat you and so you continually judge their actions based off the level of respect you think you deserve?

If you find yourself in a constant state of spiritual darkness, it’s possible you have been looking at the world through the wrong lens.

Matthew 6:22-23 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”

We often neglect the principles of God’s Word when taking into consideration our spiritual condition.

The Darkened Filter

In the field of photography, the people who produce those incredible shots of God’s creation often do so by changing the way the light is diffused. They might use a polarizing filter to darken overly light skies so as to increase the contrast between clouds and the sky. Like the UV filter, the polarizer reduces atmospheric haze, but also reduces reflected sunlight.

Spiritually, we can find ourselves filtering out the way God wants us to see others or our situations in light of how He sees them. If our spiritual filter is darkened, then everything will be tainted with the pall of frustration, anger, or depression.

1 John 1:5-6 “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”

It can also be difficult evaluating ourselves, particularly when our filters are darkened. Hopefully, you have a christian brother or sister who can help you see more clearly, giving feedback in such a way that presents your situation in light of God’s view rather than one that has been tainted by this world.

Removing the Filter

A good first step is to reevaluate your relationship with God. Have you stopped having a consistent prayer life? Have you neglected setting aside a time of devotion in God’s Word each day? Have you ceased listening to the Spirit’s leading in your life and consequently stopped being obedient?

Each of these areas, when neglected, lead to spiritual darkness.

You can be regularly attending church, singing hymns each week, and maybe even taking part in a group bible study, but the process for you has just become an act, a fulfillment of duty, and these have lacked the significance of growth and maturity they were meant to fulfill.

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

We have to take personal responsibility for our own holiness before God if we want to see the world through His eyes.

I’m writing this today because I personally know the struggle. I will catch myself growing more gloom in my outlook regarding my job and toward others. I begin to see members of the church as adversaries instead of as brothers in Christ, and I find myself more concerned about my own satisfaction than blessing or encouraging others.

It is so easy to slip into a pattern of seeing the world through a darkened lens, I can forget what it looks like to see it in light of God’s view.

Seeing Clearly

Once we begin to see clearly, we begin to see ourselves not just for who we are, but for who we were. There have been many times when I’ve looked back at myself and wondered how I could have been so foolish.

Paul continued his encouragement to the Ephesian church by reminding them what it looks like to see clearly.

Ephesians 5:9-15 “(for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.

There is so much we could unpack from this outline of wise living.

  • The fruit of seeing clearly is good, right, and true. The endeavor to change our view is worth pursuing. Don’t relegate yourself to living in the darkness, get up, dust yourself off, and make a determination to change.
  • Discernment comes by way of clarity. Being able to see life from God’s perspective is a byproduct of walking this path.
  • Guarding our ways is not only the path to seeing clearly, but also the way to avoid falling back into this trap. The works of darkness may try to entice you but stay strong, knowing there is a far better way to go.
  • Guard your tongue, stop speaking like the world, don’t partake of the crude jokes or hurtful gossip, remember to measure every word you say before you say it, these words do have an impact on you.
  • Be wise. Wisdom first comes from above and begins by acknowledging God’s position as sovereign over your life. It’s not about you, it’s about honoring the Son who brought you from death to life. You live now for a greater purpose and the more you know God’s purpose, the better off you will be.

I encourage you today—check your filter, consider that maybe God wants you to see your world from a different point of view.

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