Journal Entry // December 2, 2021
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.1 John 1:5 ESV
God is light… Pure light. He is light without darkness. That’s an intriguing phrase to use. If God is light then surely it is understood that darkness cannot exist in light. Why does John point out the obvious of the statement? I think it’s because we will naturally put this into our human experience and begin to taint the purity of God’s holiness. I know that God’s light is in me, but I also realize that there is darkness lingering. John wants me to understand that this is not true of God. He is light… No darkness at all.
As I sit and contemplate this thought, I am looking into the corner of my room where there is a floor lamp, a small table, and a potted plant. Each morning as I sit to read and reflect I turn on that lamp and it’s light dispels the darkness in that corner of the room. It’s not very bright, as I really want just a soft light to warm up the room for my eyes. As I reflected on this passage I became interested in the shadows created by this light. Shadows cast onto the wall and the floor where the light was not penetrating. Shadows caused by objects inhibiting the light.
As I think about my heart and the light of Christ within me. I wonder at the ways I inhibit this light to penetrate and flood my entirety. Looking at my lamp, the first thing I noticed is a lampshade. This lampshade has one purpose, to dim the brightness of the light and diffuse it at the source. In my heart, I wonder at what shade I am using. I know it’s there. I know that I have put a cover over the bright burning light of God living within me. I know this because I don’t love the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. I am veiling the light of the gospel within me.
The other thought in this picture comes from the shadows being cast by the table and the potted plant. I look at them and begin to think about the objects I have placed in my heart that create shadows from the light of Christ. Different than the shade in the sense that these objects are not designed to diffuse the light, but they nonetheless block it and create pockets of darkness. I think of these as idols in my heart that are there because I want them there. The table with the potted plant is a pleasing view. So to are the idols in my heart. I have these idols because the bring me pleasure on some level, but they block the light and bring darkness. Worse than that, in order to create the shadow they must be exposed to the light. So I am not unaware of these idols. These idols are in my full view with God’s penetrating light shining bright upon them.
So what do I do with all of this. Should I just walk away thinking, “Oh that was a good reflection time. I feel as though God was speaking to me just then.” Is it enough to just have these moments of God’s presence giving me understanding into my heart? Not really. I want to walk away with not only this experience of fellowship with Christ, but I want to be changed. I want to see those idols removed from my heart. I want that shade to be lifted and cast away. I want God’s uninhibited light to dispel the darkness within me. Completely.
This takes humility and repentance. Humility to be honest with myself and with God about the ways I cover over the gospel and look to idols for happiness. It’s ugly and messy. But that’s the point. The light will dispel the darkness and reveal the truth about my heart. The question then becomes, what do I do with this truth? Do I hide it and cover it up or do I accept what is revealed and then turn in repentance and faith toward Christ. He is faithful to cleanse my heart and remove the ugliness within. I must repent and turn from that darkness and embrace the light of the gospel.