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 all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-5 NIV
I was blessed with an opportunity to attend a Matthew West concert a little over a week ago. Whoa! What an awesome worship opportunity. I was expecting to have fun and hear a few songs I knew. I was not expecting to worship with friends and family in the Body of Christ and be blown away by the moving of the Spirit in and through the spoken Word of God. (A big thank you to a few special people who gifted me with the tickets, time, and free arms to fully enjoy the experience!) The whole experience from Jason Castro, to Sidewalk Prophets and Matthew West (plus his adorable family) were awesome blessing and Lights.
God has spurred me to think a lot on this event and I have found the name of the tour (and its namesake song) to be significantly motivating. “Into the Light” is written about a woman who is being physically abused by her husband and the agonizing choice to take her two sons and leave the situation. She admits she stayed in the situation for far too long. Why do we do this? The enemy whispers in our ear that it would be shameful to let people know; “you will be seen as weak, as unlovable, as unintelligent, as a freak.” In some form or another we have all heard this voice.
For me it whispers “you have done enough for your children, you have done enough for your husband, you have done enough for your church. Just forget about it and take care of the things you need. You deserve to get your nails done, you deserve to have an i-pad, you deserve some new clothes and shoes, you deserve to get your house decorated and have it kept perfectly clean. You deserve to rest, relax and think only of you. ”
This focus on self, this focus on what I deserve* takes my mind away from the ‘light of all mankind’. When I keep these attacks to myself, they stay in the darkness and become harder to combat. And I end up feeling worse about them, because I know they are untruths; but I don’t always know how to ‘un-believe’ them. When I bring them into the light, I am reminded that Jesus is the Light and the ‘darkness has not overcome it’. As I share with my Christian brothers and sister, I can now be prayed for specifically. I can now be held accountable. I can be honest and share how God is working and, eventually, how he overcomes.
In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He existed in the beginning with God.
God created everything through him,
and nothing was created except through him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it. (John 1:1-5 NLT)
See you in the Light, my dear friends in Christ!
*An important side note, the word deserve contains the word ‘serve’. When we think of others, we serve. When we think of ourselves we often de-serve. The root of deserve: “Middle English, from Anglo-French deservir, from Latin deservire to devote oneself to, from de- + servire to serve” (from Merriam-Webster). Ahhh, that makes some sense. When we think of what we deserve, we think of what we should devote to ourselves. Dangerous territory. Again, when we become the focal point, we just look longingly back into the darkness instead of focusing on the beautiful light that we have been gifted in Christ’s sacrificial life and glorious resurrection!