And Keep the Light Burning in the Darkness
I live close to the Texas Gulf Coast and lately we’ve had lots of days when you can literally feel the outside humidity. It’s even harder to breathe for people with respiratory problems because the air is so heavy. Then we go into our home or a building and instantly notice the difference.
Sometimes in church the presence of the Lord is like that – it’s heavy and you can feel it. Not at all that it’s hard to breathe; rather everything is better. This story is kind of backwards, where the 90% is what we want and the 10% is not so good but where we can find ourselves if we’re not careful. When Monday comes, or maybe even simply going home from church, it’s like going from 90% humidity to 10%. You can really tell the difference.
That’s when believers in Jesus Christ must guard ourselves so that we don’t absorb that 10%. We want to carry the 90% presence of the Lord with us wherever we go, but if we’re not careful, it loses its effectiveness and dwindles down to 50%. Then problems come or we meet opposition on the job and suddenly that 50% has lost to 30%. By Thursday or Friday, it’s down to 10% and we’re wallowing in the darkness of Satan’s battles.
When I face tough situations he tries to fill me with doubt about the validity of God’s Word in certain areas. He’s smart and doesn’t try to turn me from God entirely but desires to inject doubt about a particular subject. Sometimes I can easily fight him off; as the Scripture says, Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7 NIV). At other times, I find the fight harder. Sometimes I feel like the devil doesn’t know that Jesus defeated him at the cross and that still stands today. He knows alright but won’t admit it because he continually tries to defeat me.
Probably all of us face this problem from time to time. We must let the glory of our Father’s presence we know in church follow us throughout the rest of the week and let our light shine in the darkness around us. But busy-ness tries to interfere with that time we need to spend daily in God’s presence. If we miss that, then our job of taking the Light of Jesus with us to work or wherever we go becomes much harder because we have less of that presence ourselves.
That morning time is necessary because if we’re only half full, then we have that much less to give as we go about our daily lives, and when we miss a couple of days, Christ’s presence in us dwindles more and we find ourselves walking in darkness. Not the darkness of overt sin but the darkness that makes fighting Satan much harder. We simply aren’t prepared for battle.
Remember the story of the ten virgins in Matthew 25:1-12? All of the virgins had lamps but only five had extra oil for their lamps. For the sake of this meditation, we might say that all ten represent believers but only five were able to carry the presence of the Lord with them all week-long as they went about their business. Therefore, only those five successfully battled the devil when he tempted them.
Yes, keeping the Lord’s presence with us all the time takes determination. We must make the decision to let our spirits dominate our minds, emotions and will so that we remember and act upon knowing Whose we are. Certainly we live in this world, but we don’t belong to the world-ruler, Satan. Rather, we belong to the God of all Creation. The blood of Jesus Christ our Savior took us back from Satan’s stronghold and keeps us in God’s kingdom.
How we live depends on how seriously we take our standing under Christ, and that takes practice – remembering to keep steadily in His presence. You and I mustn’t let our lights go out when we leave church. We must continue to practice the presence of Christ daily. Then our world will be much brighter and so will that of others as they come into contact with us. Let’s all strive to stay in the presence of God as we know it in church. What a blessing to walk in that daily.