My husband and I drove home last night from a friend’s house who lives in a neighboring city. The town is small, and it barely made a dent in the encompassing darkness. I’m not big on hanging out in the dark, and it was a relief to see the aura of light coming from Lawton. I couldn’t make out the town, but you could see the light that it emanated. Though Lawton is by no means large, it almost looked like daytime. Or maybe that was what it seemed like to me since I had been in the dark for so long.
“Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects; Therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty. (Job 5:17 Modern KJV)
Just as I longed for the relief of the light, our hearts should strive for the light of truth, because the light will dispel the darkness that hides there. I was relieved when we reached a brightly lit town, we should also rejoice when God convicts us because He is revealing areas that need to be changed. As we sit in church, pray, and read God’s Word, God is shining a light in the darkness of our heart, into the hidden corners, the small spaces we overlook.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life. (Ps 139:23-24 NLT)
I have been in such a rush once that I forgot to put on a slip, and after realizing it, I was ever conscious of the light and where I stood. Our flesh is the same. We tend to want to cover up that conviction, whether that is through denial, anger, or debilitating guilt and shame. We cleave to the darkness, so that our sinful nature will not be exposed for all (or even just ourselves) to see. The devil wants us to stay in the darkness, remain unchanged, so that we cannot shine with the light of Jesus.
But God doesn’t want you to grace His pews and feel holy, He wants you to come humble and be changed. He doesn’t want you to feel satisfied and comfortable with who you are now, He wants you to strive for who He created you to be eternally. He doesn’t want you to feel grumpy about when you are convicted, He wants you to feel loved. He corrects those He loves.
So let God expose those areas of darkness so that we can become that brightly lit town. As others, driving through the darkness of the barren land of sin see us in the distance, they will see the Light shining through us, beckoning to come and find rest, peace, and relief.