Seeing Things In the Dark That Are Not Real: Sin and Reality Are Two Different Things

Posted: March 2, 2015 in Gospel of Luke

Luke 11:33-36 — When you wake up in the middle of the night and have to go to the fridge to get something to drink and you don’t want to turn on the lights so as not to disturb anyone, there are times that you think you see something. You get freaked out. You are frightened like a little school girl. You turn on the light and what you thought was a someone sitting slumped over at your kitchen table is actually the coat that you had thrown over the kitchen chair last night instead of hanging it up in the coat closet. Ever happen to you? Our minds can play tricks on us in the darkness. Sure, it’s happened to you. The mere mention of the illustration probably brought back at least one memory to you just as it did for me.

This passage today reminds us that it is our heart that matters. First, when our hearts are harboring unconfessed and active sins, it creates white noise in our lives. Second, we can let sin make us see things that are unholy as holy.

When we have dark corners in our lives, it creates white noise that prevents us from hearing from God, from seeing Him at work in our lives and the lives of others. White noise is the sound that a TV or radio makes when it has no signal. It is static. When we have hidden sins that we are harboring and nurturing, it prevents us from hearing the Word of God clearly. Just think about it. When we are preoccupied with preventing our active, unrepented sins from coming to light, how focused are we on God? The man keeping an affair with a woman to whom he is not married is obsessed with the affair. It is all he can think about. Keeping it hidden requires significant attention. The man embezzling money from his employer ends us spending as much time hiding his crime as he does actually doing productive work for the company. The woman who is addicted to cocaine spends virtually all of her day revolving around getting the next fix. These are just a few examples. Others can be when we become so obsessed with our financial situation that we cannot think of anything. A mountain of debt that takes every penny we make and then some to pay each month creates white noise. Anything that takes our focus off of God creates dark corners in our lives. Anything that we become obsessed with becomes dark places in our lives. Our hearts become hardened by the darkness of sin. We cannot see things as they really are because we are so focused on the idol that the sin has become in our lives. Satan calls us to harbor this little sin and that one. He knows that when we have unconfessed sin in our lives that it will take our focus off God and make us ineffective for the kingdom of God. Yesterday, we talked about being clean and close, as my pastor calls it. We cannot be effective for the kingdom unless our hearts are right.

Another thing that darkness in our heart, those unconfessed sins that we nuture and allow to grow will cause us to see things as OK that are not. Just like when we go into a dark room and we think we see one thing but it becomes something totally different when we turn the light on. Think back to the man that is having the affair that we talked about in the previous point. He will justify his sin. He will even believe it is OK. There are reasons that he is having the affair, he says. His wife does not show him any affection. She is mean to him. She belittles him. She has let herself go. On and on go the reasons that the affair is OK. He is making the illustration at the beginning of this blog come to life. He is making a coat slung over a chair into a human being. Darkness makes us perceive things that are not real. The man does not see that the affair is not purely selfish sin and nothing else. The embezzler justifies his actions by saying that he has a family to take care of. He says that the company undervalues him and he deserves to have the company pay for his new car and his nice vacations. The cocaine addicted woman says that she can handle her drug. It doesn’t cause her any problems in life. She can just pay that light bill later. The kids clothes are fine right now. Active, unrepentant sin makes us see things as they are not. We so justify our pet sins that it causes us to create alternate realities from what the real truth of the matter is. We want to keep our pet sin. We construct walls and dark corners around them to keep them hidden. We justify them any way we can so we can keep them.

This little light of mine. I’m gonna let it shine. We must ask the Holy Spirit to shine the light in the dark places. We must ask the Holy Spirit to rid us of those sins that keep us from discerning God’s will for our lives. We must ask Him to rid us of our sins that keep us from hearing from the heart of God. We must as Him to shine His light on those sins that we are harboring in our lives that we want to hold onto. We must ask him to shine His light on the truth. Shine his light on the lies that we have constructed around our pet sins. We must shine the light on Satan. In the darkness, he looks wonderful. In the light, he is ugly. We must have the Holy Spirit clean us. We must have the Holy Spirit keep us close to the heart of God. We cannot be close without being clean. Clean us oh Holy Spirit so that we can hear God clearly, see His work plainly, find the path that He has lit for us.

Father in heaven, help us to see our sins in the light of the Holy Spirit and confess them to You and repent from, turn from, them. Help us to see our sins as that which keeps us from fulfilling the purpose you have for us. Help us to see sin as that which keeps us from receiving your blessings. Help us to see that sin keeps us from experiencing the fullness in You that you want us to experience. Help us to see sin as that which keeps us ineffective. Help us to stay clean and close. Help to see sin and run from it. Amen.

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