Believers in Yahushua Messiah [the Hebrew name for Jesus Christ], desire to walk as ‘Children of Light‘ (Ephesians 5:8).
However, at times, everyone, even Children of Light are subject to a specific darkness that is very deceptive. We must guard ourselves against this dark and powerful deception, and seek to penetrate this darkness with God’s Light.
There is a key verse in the Scriptures that will help us to overcome this darkness.
But first, let’s look at an important phrase in the Scriptures :
“…To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light…” (Acts 26:18)
This phrase was part of the apostle Paul’s amazing commission given to him by Yahushua [Jesus].
What does it mean, when people turn from darkness to light?
Turning from darkness to light means we awaken out of our spiritual darkness.
In the natural realm, turning from darkness to light is a response that all of us do, when we awaken from sleep.
In the natural realm, while we are asleep, we are in darkness. We have no awareness of the darkness of our sleeping condition. This is completely normal. Sleep is a natural, periodic state of rest during which consciousness of the world is suspended.
When we wake up, we immediately see, and look to, the light.
For some, when we first wake up, we have a brief, agonizing twinge. We momentarily cringe at the realization that our sleep is finished — that our dark state of unconsciousness is interrupted, and now the light is shining in. The twinge is due to our regret for leaving our idealistic state of sleeping darkness.
A Spiritual Counterpart
This natural response of turning from darkness to light has a spiritual counterpart.
In the spiritual realm, when we turn from the spiritual darkness of sin (the darkness of ignorance and deception), then we begin to see the spiritual Light of God’s Truth.
Turning from spiritual darkness to spiritual light is to awaken out of spiritual darkness.
We awaken to see the spiritual Light — the light and the knowledge of the Glory of God, in the face [the reality] of Yahushua Messiah [Jesus Christ]. (2Corinthians 4:6). We begin to understand who the actual source of the Light actually is — Yahushua the Messiah!
The Scriptures tell us, Yahushua is the Light:
Then spake Yahushua [Jesus] again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (John 8:12)
Wherefore he says, Awake, you that are sleeping, and arise from the dead, and Messiah shall give you light. (Ephesians 5:14)
As these verses reveal, the true spiritual Light of God’s truth is found in Messiah Yahushua.
Similar and Parallel
The similarities between the natural and the spiritual processes of ‘turning from darkness to light’ are amazingly parallel!
When we are in spiritual darkness, we have no awareness of our spiritual darkness! In fact, we actually enjoy the spiritual darkness, and we strongly resist turning to the spiritual light. While in spiritual darkness, we will often repel and criticize any true spiritual light that might try to invade our darkness.
- Hopefully, if you are reading this article, you have taken the very vital, first step toward spiritual LIGHT, which is to come to Yahushua Messiah, the True, Everlasting Light, by becoming Born-Again! If not, then please see the brief article: Good News!
- As we saw in Walking in Newness of Life, it is through the New Birth that we find the genuine, TRUE, eternal Light from the Living God, and we begin our journey out of darkness.
As I said earlier, everyone is, at times, subject to a specific element of darkness that is very deceptive. We all need to be aware of this dark deception, and seek to penetrate it, and wake up, by following the ‘Light’ of God’s written Word.
Let’s see what it is.
The Deceptive Spiritual Darkness
The specific spiritual darkness I am referring to clings to us like glue!
Indeed, any sort of spiritual darkness behaves exactly like our natural tendency upon awakening from natural, periodic sleep — disgust!
Upon awakening from sleep, many of us quickly turn over, and go right back to sleep! We immediately want to be lulled back into our state of darkness — lulled back into a condition of insensitivity and sleepy disregard for the light!
In our darkness, all we want to say is, “Hey, I like it here! Leave me alone!!”
This is exactly what we do when in spiritual darkness!
We are disgusted by the Light, and we say, “Leave me alone!”
So what is the spiritual darkness I’m referring to?
The one particular spiritual darkness that is the ‘grand-daddy’ of all spiritual darkness, is the ugly spiritual darkness called Pride.
Pride is the one, most spiritually destructive quality that will blind us, and lull us back into that so-called ‘agreeable’ state of darkness and deception.
I have been thinking about this because Pride is a darkness that tends to prevail and periodically overtake everyone.
Just like sleep, no one is exempt from the Darkness of Pride!
When the powerful Darkness of Pride covers us, then the Light of God’s Word and Truth is extinguished.
So how can we avoid the spiritual Darkness of Pride? How can we turn from this darkness, and be in the Light?
Expressions of Pride
One thing that can help us avoid Pride is to understand its many expressions. Here are a few: Haughty. Arrogant. Disrespectful. Selfish. Contentious. Lazy. These words are disgusting characteristics!
These are only a few expressions of the Darkness of Pride. But again I say, Pride is the grand-daddy of all spiritual darkness. Pride has an endless array of ‘off-spring.’
Of course, those who are Children of Light want to do everything possible to avoid this spiritual darkness!
Is there something we can do to be ‘on guard’ against this deceptive darkness?
A Safeguard Against Pride
There is one thing that seems to be a safe-guard against this Darkness of Pride, one Scripture verse that sums it up very neatly:
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith. (Romans 12:3)
That little phrase — “Do not think more highly of yourself than you ought to think” — that is a piercing bit of God’s Light! That is a huge help in guarding against the Darkness of Pride! We need to memorize that phrase!!
Take special notice of that word ‘highly.’ Thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought, is exactly what Father means when He says things like:
- ‘lean not unto your own understanding’ and
- ‘be not wise in your own eyes’ (Proverbs 3:5-7).
Thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought is at the heart pride, and the cause of many arguments, contentions, and turmoil! Scripture tells us, Only by pride comes contention (Proverbs 13:10)!
Thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought is what causes us to ignore the great importance of Father’s written Word. The apostle Paul warns us of this ‘high’ thinking of ourselves, telling us to cast down ‘every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God’ (2Corinthians 10:5).
It is the ‘high’ regard we place on our own thoughts, our own imaginations, and our own opinion, that often leads us to treat Father’s written Word as trivial, petty, or unnecessary, and thus keep us in spiritual darkness. Such pride is a very dangerous and deceptive darkness to be in!
King Saul succumbed to this lofty way of thinking, and the kingdom was taken away from him (see 1Samuel 13:8-14; 15:1-26). Sadly, King Saul never recovered from this lofty, prideful way of thinking — of thinking more highly of himself than he ought!
The Example of Naaman
Naaman, the captain of the host of the king of Syria, is a great example of one who repented and recovered from this lofty way of thinking.
The prophet Elisha gave Naaman specific instructions to follow. Naaman’s first reaction is typical of how we react whenever we hear something ‘new,’ or hear something that contradicts what we already know:
But Naaman was wroth (very angry), and went away, and said, Look, I thought, he will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of Yahuwah [the LORD] his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean?? So he [Naaman] turned and went away in a rage! (2Kings 5:11-12)
At first, Naaman succumbed to the powerful Darkness of Pride, by refusing to heed the word of God’s prophet. Naaman ‘went away in a rage!’ This clearly reveals his high and lofty opinion of himself! He was haughty, arrogant, self-important, proud!
Yet the following few verses reveal something so wonderful! I love what happened. What a dear and special man this Naaman was! Oh that we all would have such a heart, such ears to hear the whispers of godly instructions!
Naaman’s servants, not Naaman’s fellow officers, but the lowest of his associates — his servants — said to Naaman:
His servants went up to him and said, “Sir, if the prophet had told you to do something difficult, you would have done it. Now why can’t you just wash yourself, as he said, and be cured?” So Naaman went down to the Jordan, dipped himself in it seven times, as Elisha had instructed, and he was completely cured! His flesh became firm and healthy like that of a child. (2Kings 5:13-14 GNB)
Now here is a man who made the choice to humble himself!!
Naaman went down, as Elisha had instructed!
Naaman made the immediate choice to cast down the ‘high place’ of his own thinking — to cast down the pride that exalted itself against God’s Word. He chose in that critical moment to ‘not lean unto his own understanding!’ and receive the Word of God! He chose to ‘be not wise in his own eyes!’ and instead, trust in God’s Word!
Naaman made a conscious, deliberate decision at that moment to…
“not think more highly of himself than he ought!“
And what a reward!!!
He received total healing from leprosy!
Naaman turned from the spiritual Darkness of Pride, and to the brilliant Light of humility, obedience, and gratitude!
It is very probable that, as he became more and more obedient, Naaman began to tremble in awe at the Word of God, given to him through Elisha!
Naaman is a most excellent example of one who truly decided — “do not think more highly of yourself than you ought to think!”
The ‘High Place’ of Our Own Opinions
The spiritual Darkness of Pride ferociously clings to the exalted ‘high place’ of our own understanding and reasonings, our own imaginations. The Darkness of Pride tricks us by asserting the ‘rightness’ of our own imaginations, thus making our own understanding to be our own ‘god.’ Pride twists things around, deceiving us by promoting our own self-importance!
The Darkness of Pride keeps us from seeing the Light — the Light of Humility, Yielded-ness, Obedience, and Gratitude.
The darkness of our own prideful understanding — if it could talk, would say:
“Hey, I like my way of understanding; my understanding works just fine!”
This is so typical of spiritual darkness: “Don’t bother me with the facts! I’ve made up my mind!”
“Not until we have become humble and teachable, standing in awe of God’s holiness and sovereignty; not until we acknowledge our own littleness, distrust our own thoughts, and willing to have our minds turned upside down, can we then have divine wisdom become ours.” — James I. Packer
Oh may it be that we would always remember the example of Naaman!
Naaman humbled himself for the pride of his heart. He made a conscious decision to heed God’s Word. He made the decision to not have a high and lofty opinion of himself and of his own way of thinking. Naaman decided to humble himself by receiving and following the Word of God.
The example of Naaman is a good example for us to follow!
Naaman turned away from the Darkness of Pride — he turned!!
He turned from darkness to light!
- Lead Me In Your Truth: Part 1 – The Basics
- Lead Me In Your Truth: Part 2 – The Ancient Paths
- A Very Little – Learning Faithfulness in little things
- Trusting In Yahuwah With All Your Heart – Part 2 – Steps we can take to learn how to not lean on our ‘own understanding’
- Light Arises in the Darkness for the Upright
- Let Me Not Wander From Your Commandments
- The Key To Gaining Understanding
- The Importance of Holiness
- Acquiring A Teachable Heart
- Enduring As Seeing Him Who Is Invisible
- 5 Characteristics of The Foolish
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