Lent Day 18: Light thy way
Also He said to them, “Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Is it not to be set on a lampstand? For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” — Mark 4:21-23
Do you ever look at social media posts and think, “They have best life”? It’s easy to compare our insides to other people’s outsides. Unfortunately, the outside doesn’t always show the real truth. When we bring our lives into the light, they aren’t as pretty as we thought they were. But that is the authentic truth we need to own. It truly is our friend because it points us to God, who “is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
The primary means by which we walk in the light with God is the simple act of confession. And let’s be honest, confession is not something we race to do. Confession does not secure forgiveness, but rather facilitates the power of forgiveness and its cleansing effects in the life of the believer. The acting agent is the blood of Jesus, his sacrificial death on the cross (1:7). Jesus is willing and able to cleanse us and restore our relationships if we will just get the real us into the light.
To walk in darkness means to neglect or even deny the truth about God, or about ourselves. A toddler may close his eyes and believe that he cannot be seen, but only because he does not see. So it is with the one who walks in darkness. He thinks his way of seeing things is in fact reality, but nothing could be further from the truth. He will not be able to have fellowship with God or with others until he sees according to truth only found in the word of God. In the realm of truth, he will be able to relate to God and others on the basis of what is real, and experience the cleansing power of Jesus’ blood.
That sounds great, but when it comes to our actual lives, we are not always so eager to be authentic. Instead, we deal with reality in other ways. We distract ourselves with the artificial lights of work, entertainment, and hobbies. We let the world tickle our ears with distorted scripture. When ordinary busyness doesn’t work, we take it up a notch and give ourselves to something so completely that it consumes us. These are our addictions. Pretense, excuses, busyness, addiction, and despair are not our friends. They turn us in upon ourselves, which leads to death. An honest look at reality, with God’s help, gives us insight into the way sin works and how God can bring healing and transformation to those areas of our lives. We can only repent of what we are able to see. Search us, O God! Every dark corner and every hidden place. During this journey to the cross, are you ready to confess your sins, the sins that Jesus died for?