Darkness is the story of mankind without God. From the Garden of Eden to this present throbbing moment, those who walk apart from God cannot process life correctly. In the darkness, that which is beautiful can look horrid. In the same way, that which is ugly can actually look attractive. By walking in spiritual darkness we are placed in a danger that cannot be calculated, and dare not be underestimated.
How It All Began
The apostle Paul tells how man entered into darkness in Romans 1:18 – 21.
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honour him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. ESV (emphasis added)
Although every star of the heavens, every blade of grass in the meadow, and the intricacies of the molecular world screams that God is!, man chose to close his eyes and ears to the testimony of creation and turn away from the knowledge of God. By turning away from the God who is light (1st John 1:5), man walked into the darkness of ignorance and unbelief.
There were three very important things that result from man refusing to retain God in His thinking.
Man stops receiving light. By turning away from the One who is the very embodiment of truth, man closes the door on receiving truth from God. This leaves him to try and figure things out on his own.
Man stops reflecting light. Instead of enlightened man reflecting the existence of his Creator by the way he relates to life, the light has gone out. Man is left with only the emptiness of darkness.
Man stops transmitting light. Instead of transmitting the light of God through speaking the truth in love, man’s ministry becomes darkness and his message becomes folly.
The Embodiment of Darkness
Man is now left to define himself and interpret the world around him without the aid of his Creator. Living his life without God in the picture causes man to become the very embodiment of darkness. This is probably what Paul had in mind when he wrote to the Ephesians that at one time they were darkness (Ephesians 5:8).
What does it look like for man to embody darkness? For some it will mean deteriorating into ever worsening forms of evil. For others it will simply mean a good moral life apart from God. For some this will serve as confirmation that man can be good apart from God. Thinking himself to be the master of his own destiny, man deifies himself to the blasphemy of the One who created him. In this state of delusion man becomes the unwitting pawn of something far worse than he ever imagined.
Ruler of the Darkness
There is something sinister that lurks in the darkness. Satan, the evil genius behind all that is sin and the supreme antagonist against all that is holy, rules wherever the knowledge of God is absent. While I know this sounds like something from a b-rated horror flick, it is absolutely the truth as Paul writes in Ephesians 6:12.
For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere. Amplified Bible (emphasis added)
Man may think he is living independently of any spiritual influence of any kind, but that is a complete myth. If he is not deliberately living in submission to God through Jesus Christ, by default he is living under the sway of demonic powers. He becomes a mere puppet on a string, dancing to the tune of a power he likely doesn’t believe exists. This power cares nothing for him, will use him to do its dirty work, and then discard man like so much rubbish when it is through with him. It is not safe to live in the darkness.
Don’t Live in the Darkness
The good new is that we don’t have to live in the darkness any longer. Through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ, God has delivered us from the authority of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of Christ (Colossians 1:13 – 14). Please don’t live in the darkness any longer. Flee the darkness and run into the light by living in the Reign.