28.11.06

The darkness within - Jeus Army Life, Day 484

by carf of flickr.comLast night I got together with a few brothers for a meal and a time to think about our spiritual lives. It was a valuable, rich evening which I truly appreciated; and it wasn't all thinking-stuff, we had a practical time of practicing prophecy and anointing our host's flat, but an interesting issue did come out of it that I'll relate in a moment.

On the way to work this morning a brother was talking about how shocking it would be if we all spoke out what we were thinking all the time! We concluded that we'd soon learn to control our thoughts, which begs the question - why don't we? The brother commented that the problem was that thoughts exist in our private world where no one else can see them (except the Spirit of God), in other words they exist in the darkness. We don't have to control our thoughts because no one else can see them. It reminded me of the scripture:

The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
Matthew 6:22

In other words what you focus on effects your how good or bad your conscience is. We can be full of darkness (and how great that darkness) because while on the outside we pretend to be good, inside we are truly rotten and wicked, not really focussing on Jesus or giving ourselves to him.

When I had been with the brothers I'd spoken about Jesus' story of the slave who did nothing with the talent given to him by his master (Matthew 25). The slave was an intimate member of his master's company, if he were a modern Christian he would have gone evangelising when his brothers evangelised, he would have prayed for people to be healed if that was the activity of the day, he might be moved to cast out demons, but when asked to do the specific work of personally investing his energy for the profit of his master he failed because he practiced disobedience in his heart. The slave was punished.

How about us?

Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'
Matthew 7:21

by bitmapr of flickr.comIt is vitally important that we give ourselves to knowing Jesus with all that we are or he will say that he never knew us. We simply cannot allow the darkness to rule within. Interestingly all that Jesus says before his words on focussing on the darkness is about what we do in secret, and how it must all be given to God. It's too easy for the hypocrite in each of us to do whatever everyone else is doing and think that we are doing good. It's all about what we do when no one else is looking. We've got to get our religion right.

True faith produces a life full of actions, not a head full of facts.
Anon

Photos by carf and bitmapr of flickr.com