Transforming Power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man
Weekly Devotional 9-14-20 Overcoming Spiritual Darkness
Spiritual darkness is the condition of all persons until the Spirit of God regenerates them to newness of spiritual life. In that former condition, one cannot correctly know God. The apostle Paul writes that a person must be spiritually alive to understand (to receive) the things of God. In the opening paragraphs of that letter, he explained that he was writing to them not in the wisdom of the world but in Godly wisdom, wisdom derived from knowing God. Shortly into his comments, he asked this question, “11For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him?” (1st Corinthians 2a) and equated this with God’s Spirit knowing the things of God, “Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God” (1st Corinthians 2b). He then went on to explain, “12Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. 13These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ” (1st Corinthians 2:12-14).
Because man in his original state (pre-spiritual life) does not have the Spirit of God, he supposes many things about God. Such is the case with a young man with whom I recently had a conversation. He had been reading a book entitled “One Christian’s Perspective of Man’s Dilemma, God’s Solution” and sensed that he was not right with God. Evidently, he had come under the conviction that he should commit his life to follow Jesus, but because he was only 21 years of age, he thought that would come with too much of a cost and that at 21 years of age, he had many years ahead of him to “live” life and would commit at a later date. Such thoughts come out of spiritual darkness. First, no one has a guarantee that he has a tomorrow (see Jesus’ parable of the rich fool—Luke 12:16-21), and secondly, a life void of God’s supremacy cannot truly experience one’s purpose of life. There will always be a void, a lack of true fulfillment. Spiritual darkness does not allow man to understand his purpose in life and suggests that his physical nature has precedence over his spiritual reality. Man, after all, was created, body, soul, and spirit. He is not just a man of flesh but also a man of soul and spirit.
God had it right (it could not have been otherwise) when He told Adam that in the day Adam disobeyed Him, he would die spiritually toward Him. He would become spiritually separated from Him. When Adam sinned (violated God’s only prohibition), spiritual darkness invaded his being. No longer was he able to see (understand) God as he had originally. From Paul’s letter to the Romans, we read that this spiritual darkness was passed through Adam to all his offspring (Romans 5:12), which is everyone except Jesus, who was fathered by the Spirit of God. Spiritual darkness will not allow a person to experience God, but it does open the door to the desires of his flesh—his fallen nature, the enticements of a fallen world philosophy, and Satan, the hater of God. This seems to be the condition of my friend mentioned above. He is in spiritual darkness and is led by the enticements fostered by the entities just mentioned.
But praise God, there is a light that is all-powerful, and it is able to overcome the darkness that has invaded God’s creation, the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In our own lives, we who are “born again Christians” know this to be true. At one time, we were like the above young man, we believed that there is a God (or at least suspected that He exists), but we did not know Him. After being exposed to the gospel of Jesus Christ and the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, we actually came to know God. His Spirit now bears with our regenerated spirits and testifies that we are now His children. What an illumination! As His children, we find ourselves wanting to please Him. Those things that we at one time lived for and that we thought brought happiness and satisfaction have lost their allurements. We now have a greater joy and a greater fulfillment.
Shouldn’t we want all people to come to this same enlightenment? Indeed, if we are truly God’s children, it must be so. If we are indeed God’s children, we should not, and we cannot keep quiet about that which thrills our souls, that the God of heaven, the Creator of all there is, is our Father. We should fill our hearts and minds with the knowledge of Him and then share Him with all those around us, to the ends of the earth. Someone shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with you; someone shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with me. Therein was the process commenced that brought us to spiritual light and life. It can be the same with anyone who hears the gospel, but they first must hear it. Are you sharing it with someone?
Ascribed to by:
Lian Muan Kim
Koinonia Baptist Seminary- Yangon, Myanmar