Do we love darkness more than light? There’s a lot about what we do that belies what we say…
32 Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding.
The Surgeon – An Allegory
The surgeon looked at the screen as he guided the scope through the healthy tissue. The further in it went, the less healthy the tissue became. Finally–there it was: The culprit. A secret habit. The lazer light shone exactly where the scalpel needed to go. It was painful, but removing this habit would clear up a lot of unhealthiness in the patient’s life. The “trick” was to keep it from growing back…
Our natural desires tend to rear their ugly heads routinely. Had God not imparted the righteousness of Christ to us 2 Corinthians 5:21 , we might think that we had fallen from grace and were no longer saved! But, thanks be to God, there is now NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus Romans 8:1-2! What we fight is our natural tendency to love darkness.
19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. John 3:19-21
We know that sin destroys us and keeps us from hearing God and from seeing Him working in our world and in our lives. Why, then, do we continue to go back to it? As we read today’s chapter, let us keep in mind the allegory of the Surgeon. Let’s look at some verses:
1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Easy to say, hard to do. We tend to meet fire with fire. Instead, we must run our response/reaction through our spiritual filters and answer according to how the Spirit would have us answer.
8 The LORD detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him. If we are not willing to lay everything on the altar, then our sacrifice becomes smelly rather than aromatic (the difference between burning incense and dung). Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11) paid a high price because of their unwillingness; how we can think that we can deceive the Holy Spirit is beyond me!
10 Stern discipline awaits anyone who leaves the path; the one who hates correction will die. Aren’t we glad that He disciplines us? It’s a sure sign that we are His children Hebrews 12:5-8. The reason we will die is because SIN DESTROYS US. The saving grace is the fact that dying physically is not “the end of the world” for Christians. In fact, it’s a step up! No more sin nature to fight! Still, He wants us to be like Him in this life, so we stay and strive until He calls us home.
Each verse has a dark side and a light side. Let’s take note of the dark side and apply the light side to our lives. Paul told the Thessalonians, “You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep [dead in their sins], but let us be awake and sober [minded].” 1 Thessalonias 5:5-6. If there is something that we are hiding, guarding, or hoarding that we know is hurting us and of which Jesus is asking for us to let go, let’s allow Him to “do surgery” on us and get rid of it. We may have to give it to Him everyday for a while, but then it will become every other day, and then once a week, until we no longer allow it to creep into our lives. Sweet victory!
This process is how we become like Jesus.
Let’s acknowledge His Lordship in our lives, lay ourselves on His altar, pick up our cross and follow Him today and every day.
Abba, this process would get old were it not for the fellowship of Your Spirit. The joy and peace that come from being with You makes everything new and the struggle worthwhile. Thank You for loving me and wanting to spend time with me. Help me stay away from the dark and walk in the light of Your will and way, O LORD. Amen.