Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Light up the Darkness

Your testimonies are wonderful;
therefore my soul keeps them
The unfolding of your words gives light;
it imparts understanding to the simple.
I open my mouth and pant,
because I long for your commandments.
Turn to me and be gracious to me,
as is your way with those who love your name.
Keep steady my steps according to your promise,
and let no iniquity get dominion over me.
Redeem me from man's oppression,
that I may keep your precepts.
Make your face shine upon your servant,
and teach me your statutes.
My eyes shed streams of tears,
because people do not keep your law. 
- Psalm 119:129-136

 I've been thinking a lot lately about where I was at this time last year, spiritually and emotionally.  I believe my deep reflections are, in part, because end-of-year is around the corner and I am a 'collect all the lessons from the year' kind of person.  I like to make sure my life has no unattended rough edges which require my attention and yearly reflections help pick up any slack!

But I think, also, a huge influence for me has been how dangerously close I stood to the edge of Christian reason last year, so ready to be enticed and duped by the suffocating barrage of the world.  As I cast my backwards glance I gratefully recall how far God has brought me back to safety and, in verses like the above in Psalm 119, I am strengthened to know His Word contains references I can cling to for comfort and focus when my vision gets blurry.  These below help as well:

I rise before dawn and cry for help;
I hope in your words
My eyes are awake before the watches of the night,
that I may meditate on your promise.
Psalm 119:147-148

Rising daily to pray and read God's Word is so critical to keeping the world at bay.  His good Word is the Truth which can unfold and shed light on the darkness of lies so cleverly disguised at every turn today.  We live in a world which says "Right is wrong" and "Wrong is right".  It degrades absolutes and hoists "relatives" in their place while pointing fingers, denying true responsibility, and approving of wayward walks in the name of justice.

I'm sentimental.  I'm empathetic.  I come from a family of predominantly non- or marginal-believers.  If I am not careful, I lead the pack to rush the lines of otherliness and, if I am really not careful, I can loose sight of the Light and find myself in those dark places, duped by the lies and deceptions. 

Can't we all though?

Christ's greatest example was His servant heart to the point of sacrifice.  As Christians we want desperately to serve and sacrifice for others.  To.the.point.of.death.  But when the "death" we speak of finds us standing in dark places where His foot will not stand but for to draw us out, then it is time for a different approach.

The Bible is replete with examples of Christian Living and other-worldness vs. worldliness.  And when I read Psalm 119 I am reminded of not only how God's Word is a Light helping me understand the simple, lighting up those dark places with it's Truth, but it also provides Power which I can pray to keep my feet on the path of Light and Hope and Truth...

Keep steady my steps according to your promise,
and let no iniquity get dominion over me. v.133        

It can be hard to beat back those enticing Worldly claims.  It can be tough to resist surrendering to the dominion of a World which can seem to offer answers outside of God's Word.  But we have POWER, a fuse to strike and bring out the Light when we call out, "let no iniquity get dominion over me".  It is a battle cry I have learned well this past year.  A plea which God is always faithful to answer when I am faithful to keep following. 

I pray, if you are finding yourself enticed by a world whose darkness is cloaked, that you remember the Light through daily walking in God's Word, allowing that Light to unfold and impart wisdom, and that you can find the strength and purpose in calling out, "let no iniquity get dominion over me"!


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