Where to Begin

It’s back to California tomorrow. I’ve had an great time hanging out with a community of young people near Chicago and now in southern Wisconsin with brothers and sisters who are on this journey. It has been a lot of fun.

A few weeks ago as I flew out of New England, the movie on the plane was the new Narnia movie, The Voyage of The Dawn Treader. I enjoyed keeping an eye and ear on it while I was reading some other things. I already referred to one of the lines in that movie that touched me in a previous posting.

I noticed another one this time around. It was advice given to the voyagers by one of their counselors on their journey.

“To defeat the darkness out there you must first defeat the darkness inside yourself.”

Why is it almost always true that when God shows us something about ourselves our mind first focuses on all the other people around us who should know this too? It is almost as if we use up our passion for what God says by trying to make others see it, before it has borne fruit in our own hearts. Is this why we are always seeking to remove the sawdust from someone else’s eye instead of taking note of the log that is in our own? Any time you’re trying to force your will on someone or convince them to embrace your insight, you might consider that you are taking on darkness in the wrong place.

When the light of God shines into your heart, embrace it. As long as I’m battered by doubts, driven by fears, and tormented by a false need to perform in my own righteousness, my freedom to help others will be limited. And that will mostly happen not by confronting the darkness in me, but embracing the light that is in him. The more preoccupied with who he is, the freer I become from the twisted places in my own heart. This is the joy of learning to live loved.

He first wants to take shape in us before we try to help encourage others. And what I’m finding is that the more he takes shape in me the less need I have to shape others. If we can’t let him defeat darkness in us, we’ll be of no use helping conquer darkness in others.

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14 Comments
  1. Ken May 2, 2011 at 11:47 am

    I think I’ll pass this post on to some friends of mind. They really need to read it… 😉 😉

  2. Ken May 2, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    I think I’ll pass this post on to some friends of mind. They really need to read it… 😉 😉

  3. kent May 2, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    Our outer chaos is just an indication of our own personal inner chaos

  4. kent May 2, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    Our outer chaos is just an indication of our own personal inner chaos

  5. Mark May 3, 2011 at 6:30 am

    I have found this to be so true in my life. I must first recognize that the revelation that God has given me is for me – it should change my life and walk….then maybe others will see and hear from God what they need – otherwise “my revelation” just becomes almost like a law or burdensome to them because I am trying to get them to see what I see….

    God will do it for them at the right time and circumstances in their lives.

    Jesus will give me Grace to live free as I do just that – Live Free and allow Him to Love me and use my life to be Life for others – in whatever ways…

    and honestly, its not just “seeing” but walking it out and living it that makes an impact and that takes time for such old habits and thought processes to be Transformed by the Spirit – and I believe Trust opens the door …

  6. Mark May 3, 2011 at 9:30 am

    I have found this to be so true in my life. I must first recognize that the revelation that God has given me is for me – it should change my life and walk….then maybe others will see and hear from God what they need – otherwise “my revelation” just becomes almost like a law or burdensome to them because I am trying to get them to see what I see….

    God will do it for them at the right time and circumstances in their lives.

    Jesus will give me Grace to live free as I do just that – Live Free and allow Him to Love me and use my life to be Life for others – in whatever ways…

    and honestly, its not just “seeing” but walking it out and living it that makes an impact and that takes time for such old habits and thought processes to be Transformed by the Spirit – and I believe Trust opens the door …

  7. Jeff N May 3, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    @Ken… LOL very nice!
    You can almost see this along the lines of the parable of the sower.. but its not that birds come and pluck the seed from our ground, we actually give it away before it has sprouted….
    One of the many things I love about Jesus is that He does not just tell us to do something and then send us on our way. He is that light that is shining in our Spirits and He has the resources we need to accomplish His will in our lives. THANK YOU LORD!
    My 12 year old just recently heard the Lord in his spirit telling him that He wanted him to drink of the cup of purity, but first he had to get rid of his impurity.. FREAKED HIM OUT.. my son thought that he had to purify himself and he didn’t know how he could do it… we told him that he can’t.. without the help of the Holy Spirit.. our flesh can never be holy and pure and we should never assume that it will be, only our spirit indwelt with the Holy Spirit of God is pure.. Glory to God..

  8. Jeff N May 4, 2011 at 12:52 am

    @Ken… LOL very nice!
    You can almost see this along the lines of the parable of the sower.. but its not that birds come and pluck the seed from our ground, we actually give it away before it has sprouted….
    One of the many things I love about Jesus is that He does not just tell us to do something and then send us on our way. He is that light that is shining in our Spirits and He has the resources we need to accomplish His will in our lives. THANK YOU LORD!
    My 12 year old just recently heard the Lord in his spirit telling him that He wanted him to drink of the cup of purity, but first he had to get rid of his impurity.. FREAKED HIM OUT.. my son thought that he had to purify himself and he didn’t know how he could do it… we told him that he can’t.. without the help of the Holy Spirit.. our flesh can never be holy and pure and we should never assume that it will be, only our spirit indwelt with the Holy Spirit of God is pure.. Glory to God..

  9. nancy May 5, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    We can encourage the light within each other, but only God defeats the darkness.

  10. nancy May 5, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    We can encourage the light within each other, but only God defeats the darkness.

  11. amy h May 6, 2011 at 6:59 am

    Yowza. Went from reading Romans 8 this morning to this. Sunk deep. Thank you.

  12. Steve Singer May 6, 2011 at 8:21 am

    Thanks so much for visiting SE Wisconsin. It was an encouragement and blessing to all of us here.

    This statement is so true!! ” When the light of God shines into your heart, embrace it. As long as I’m battered by doubts, driven by fears, and tormented by a false need to perform in my own righteousness, my freedom to help others will be limited”

  13. amy h May 6, 2011 at 9:59 am

    Yowza. Went from reading Romans 8 this morning to this. Sunk deep. Thank you.

  14. Steve Singer May 6, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Thanks so much for visiting SE Wisconsin. It was an encouragement and blessing to all of us here.

    This statement is so true!! ” When the light of God shines into your heart, embrace it. As long as I’m battered by doubts, driven by fears, and tormented by a false need to perform in my own righteousness, my freedom to help others will be limited”

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