Have you see the new Star Wars movie yet? If not, you may be in the minority according to the latest stats. The seventh instalment of this epic science fiction saga looks set to break all box office records and whether you love it or hate it, you can’t deny it possesses a powerful magnetic force that draws in millions of fans.
After watching The Force Awakens I have found myself thinking about a few things, particularly as I get ready to enter into a brand new year. There is something about the universal battle the whole series portrays that intrigues me. You know what I mean… ‘good vs. evil’; ‘beauty vs. ugliness’; ‘justice vs. injustice’ and ‘light vs. darkness’ – that kind of stuff. While I think that most of us are aware that Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knights, Darth Vader and his dark cohorts don’t really exist, the truth is the battle they enact really does!
Whether we realize it or not friends, we are involved in an all-consuming, all-encompassing life vs. death battle that overarches all time and space. We are at war against spiritual forces that do not simply lie in the minds of the Star Wars creators in a galaxy far, far away, a long time ago. Whether we comprehend the ongoing war or not, according to the Bible we are either surrendering to or engaging in spiritual battles every moment of every day right here and now on planet earth!
I don’t know about you, but the last few years have seemed pretty dark to me. Personally and globally things have gone on that are so unjust, so ugly and definitely belong in the category of the dark side.
When I focus in on these dark things, I feel myself being pulled into a vortex of despair. It often seems like the dark nature is a force that is winning and there is nothing I can do about it. But here is some Good News… there is a Winner! The dark side has lost and the Light has defeated it! The main battle has actually been won by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
I declare these things in faith while facing the sobering reality that there is still a mission to be completed in me and through me before I can fully enjoy the spoils of His victory. God’s massive rescue plan, a huge clean up job and desperate ongoing struggles are still in progress while we breath the earth’s oxygen – and it is getting harder to breathe the toxic waste and see through the hazy poison.
OK, that being said, because I live with an awareness of the dark side swarming around me with, bombarding me with its incessant whispers of subtle enticements that seek to destroy me and lure my soul into its murky depths, I have to guard the cracks of my mind and heart and regularly sure them up. I have to make sure I am listening to the right voice and seeing with eyes that have been opened to the Light. I do this by keeping Jesus, my Light and Salvation (Psalm 27:1), intentionally before me. I listen, I watch and hold fast to His promises in the midst of darkness. His Word is the light to my path and helps me to navigate my way home in the dark of the night as I take each step forward (Psalm 119:105).
Yes, I desperately need to know how to live life right now in this dark place and I want to share with you this one little thing that has become a habit each New Year and helped me, and may help you too.
On New Year’s Day I ask God for a personal word-of-the-year. I need a simple truth I can hold onto, grow into and allow to transform me in the darkness. In 2015, God gave me the word HOPE and it has been extraordinary journey learning about what it means to have true hope in this dark world. So I am not surprised that for this year the word He has given me leads directly on. You guessed it – my word for this year is… LIGHT!
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said. “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw the light was good… (Genesis 1:2-4)
We have just celebrated Christmas together and I love these verses spoken out from the prophet Isaiah thousands of years ago…
“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned… For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:2 & 6)
This prophecy was fulfilled as Jesus Christ came into the world. He came as light. True hope had awakened and the match was struck…
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. (John 1:1-5)
Not only has Jesus, the Light of the World, entered the world, but He has come into my world too and pierced through my darkness and despair. All I can see right now is a shard of light but I believe with my whole heart there is more. All I am is a candle alight with His love, but I believe one day I will be more. I believe that one day I will see His face and the full light of His glory and eternity spread out before me will dawn. What a day that will be!
So yes, darkness still overshadows me and tempts me at times and I feel it keenly. Darkness still swirls around me as I walk through this life with my feet planted on the earth, and it appears that my little candlelight flickers near point of extinction at times in the face of stormy winds. But you know what? Jesus’ life and light IN me is sealed and protected and makes all the difference!
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
Friends, I hope that you too choose to follow Him this year and beyond. If we belong to Jesus Christ, we are now Children of the Day! The darkness may attempt to overtake us, threaten us, pull us in and scare us – BUT WE NO LONGER BELONG TO THE DARKNESS (1Thessalonians 5:5).
So let us live out the rest of these God ordained days in the light of His grace. Let us BE the light. Let us grab our ‘light-sabers’ (His Word described as the ‘Sword of the Spirit’ in Ephesians 6:17) this year with the authority He has bestowed upon us as His royal children. Let us allow His light to illuminate in and through us in a way that will cut through darkness and create a magnetic light force that compels others into the light. Let us BE a lighthouse pointing the way to THE Lighthouse!
“God is light and in him is no darkness. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” (1John 1:5b-7)
You can be assured that this New Year is going to bring fresh battles and that the pull toward the dark side will be a strong whirlpool. But the LIGHT IN US is stronger! We need each other and as we band together , perhaps we can re-write the title of our epic battle to read…
‘REAL WARS – THE CHURCH AWAKENS!’
Have a blessed New Year in Jesus Christ. May you enjoy Him and walk in the light of His love more and more. LET THERE BE LIGHT! I can’t wait to see you shine!
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on a stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)