The funny thing about natural darkness is it never comes on quickly. You probably remember a time sitting outside with good friends talking and having fun. Before you knew it the sky was black and all light was gone. But it was not a sudden change only our perception of the transformation.
The same holds true in our own lives. Darkness never comes quickly. It is a slow process built up over time. At each stage, as the darkness consumes our lives we make excuses, tell ourselves lies, or ignore the realities around us. We get comfortable with each stage of the darkness until we are completely consumed.
How to Resist the Slow Consuming Darkness?
1) Be Honest
You need to be honest about your life and action. You can convince yourself of anything. We know we shouldn’t eat that donut, but hey “just this once” or “I worked out today.” That same is true with the sin in our lives. We lie to ourselves and convince ourselves it is alright. Especially when we live in a society which celebrates the darkness.
We need to take the time each day and be brutally honest about our actions, words, and deeds. Where are we letting the darkness creep into our lives? How do you need to stop a bad habit on the internet, television, or with friends. No one else is going to do this for you or take the step for you. It is up to you to own your life and be responsible for not letting the darkness creep into your life. (Galatians 6:7-10; John 8:12)
2) Don’t Believe the Lies
With 24 hour messages constantly beaming into our homes and minds, we need to be very careful of believing the lies. Remember, the world is lost, and in being lost they are only sending out a message which makes them feel good or justifies their actions. Which is why there is so much depravity in this world. Think about subjects like body shaming, race, or politics. It would not take much time reading stories on the internet to believe you are an awful person.
These are the lies of the darkness. First off, you need to be cognizant of the messages which are coming into your life through media or friends. Secondly, you need to guard your heart against these messages. These lies which we are told on a daily basis can be the beginning of the darkness creeping into your life. You must adamantly guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23) and life against these lies to avoid the darkness.
3) Surround Yourself with Light
Darkness will always be repelled by the light. This is why it is important you surround yourself with light. The best way to accomplish this task is to surround yourself with people who are positive, uplifting, and reject the darkness. When you have a group of individuals surrounding you the darkness becomes more distant. The light becomes impenetrable. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)
This light can keep you from the dark places by revealing to you the truth behind the lies you are being told. It will always be easier to avoid the darkness in the company of others. By yourself you will never be as strong as with a group.
4) Pray Against the Darkness
No matter your circumstances you will always need to pray. Prayer is our lifeline to God and through prayer your own darkness can be revealed. You can also have those lies exposed through the truth that can only come through Christ. Prayer is our own personal light to shine through the darkness. Keep you heart focused on things above and then the things of this world, will not seem so enticing. (Philippians 4:6-7)
5) Protect Yourself with God’s Word
In order to avoid the darkness you will also need to use God’s word as protection. if we spent as much time studying the Bible as we did on social media, video games, or Netflix could you imagine the strength we could possess? When we are not filling our head with the things from above, it is more than likely we are filling our heart and mind with things which begin the slow creep of darkness. (Hebrews 4:12)
Think about the activities you are doing when you could be reading God’s word. How do you think spending more time reading the Bible could keep you from the darkness? The Bible is a lighthouse of brightness to shine through a darkened world, but it is up to you to pick it up and shine the light. (Mark 4:21-24)
We are all probably more consumed with this world than we would even admit or imagine. It is difficult because it is all around us and darkness is easily accessible. But it is avoidable. If we take up the cross daily (Luke 9:23) and follow Christ then the light will shine from us. A light which provides much need brightness in a very darkened world.
What area of your life are you hiding in the darkness? How can you bring it to the light? What is one step you can take today (pray, read your Bible, turn off the TV, not gossip, etc…) to keep you from being consumed by darkness?