As Believers in Yahushua Messiah [the Hebrew name for Jesus Christ], we desire to walk as ‘Children of Light’ (Ephesians 5:8).
However, even Children of Light are, at times, subject to a specific element of darkness that is very deceptive. We need to vigilantly guard 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. But what does it mean, when people turn from darkness to light?
In the natural realm, turning from darkness to light is a response that all of us do, whenever we awaken from sleep.
In the natural realm, while we are asleep, we are in darkness. We have no awareness of the darkness or of our sleeping condition. This is completely normal, for 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 of us, when we first wake up, we have a brief, agonizing twinge. We momentarily cringe at the realization that our sleep is finished, our dark state of unconsciousness is interrupted, and 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 means we will awaken out of our 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 the actual source of the Light — Yahushua 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 Christ shall give you light. (Ephesians 5:14)
The true spiritual Light of God’s truth is found in Messiah Yahushua.
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 — going to Yahushua Messiah, the True, Everlasting Light, by becoming Born-Again! If not, then please see the brief article: Good News!
As I said earlier, Children of Light are, at times, subject to a specific element of darkness that is very deceptive. We need to vigilantly guard against this dark deception, and seek to penetrate it, and wake up, with God’s Light.
Let’s see what it is.
The specific spiritual darkness I am referring to can cling 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 ‘hit the snooze button’, turn over, and go right back to sleep! We tend to 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!!”
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 to avoid Pride, is to understand that Pride has many expressions. Here are a few: Haughty. Arrogant. Disrespectful. Selfish. Contentious. Lazy. There is something about these words that is just plain ugly.
These are only a few expressions of the darkness of Pride. But again I must 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 darkness?
A Safeguard Against Pride
There is one thing that seems to be a safe-guard against this darkness of Pride, and one Scripture verse seems to sum 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 hath 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!!
Let’s take special note 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 cometh 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 exalteth 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. This a very dangerous darkness to be in!
King Saul succumbed to this lofty way of thinking, and the kingdom was taken away from him (1Samuel 13:8-14; 15:1-26). Unfortunately, King Saul never recovered from this lofty, prideful way of thinking — 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 who recovered from this lofty way of thinking.
The prophet Elisha gave Naaman specific instructions to follow. Naaman’s first reaction is a picture of how we react, when we hear of something ‘new,’ or hear something that contradicts what we already know:
But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of 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 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 the prophet of God. 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 associations — 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 thing’ in his 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.’ He chose to ‘be not wise in his own eyes.’
Naaman made a conscious, deliberate decision at that moment to:
And what a reward!!!
He received total healing from leprosy!
Naaman turned from the spiritual darkness of Pride, to the brilliant Light of humility, obedience, and gratitude!
It is very probable that, as he became more and more obedient, Naaman began to fear and tremble at the Word of God, given to him through Elisha!
Naaman is a most excellent example of one who truly decided “not to 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 promoting our own self-importance!
The darkness of Pride keeps us from seeing the Light — the Light of Humility, Yieldedness, 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!”
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 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!
- 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