Wednesday, December 9, 2009
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Our daughter and son-in-law and two grandsons were driving through the Midwest a while back and not liking the drive very much. For most of that day's drive, they were in the thick of a powerful storm system (maybe you've done that), with drenching rain, and more significantly, a lot of dangerous lightning until they got to Springfield, Missouri. When our daughter called us, they were heading south out of Springfield and liking the trip a lot more. She said, "You cannot believe how ugly it looks behind us. The sky and the lightning back there look angry and foreboding, but the road ahead of us is clear and bright!"
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Darkness Behind You, Sunlight Ahead."
With so much darkness behind them and a much better road ahead, believe me, our family had no desire to turn around and head back into what they had come from. Why would anyone do that? Including someone Jesus has delivered from spiritual darkness and put on a much brighter road?
If you've given your heart to Jesus Christ, then you've experienced the miracle described in our word for today from the Word of God. Colossians 1:13 says that God "has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves." Rescued. Imagine someone rescued from a burning or collapsed building. Can you imagine them going back into the wreckage they were just rescued from? And yet that's exactly what many of us Jesus-followers do. We head back into the darkness from which Christ has delivered us.
That day our family experienced the dark clouds behind them and the bright road ahead is a picture of your own, what I call, "B.C./A.D." experience. That's your time "before Christ" and your life since the moment you began your relationship with Him. It's not just the world's history that's divided into B.C. and A.D. - it's the personal history of all of us who have been rescued from our sin by Jesus Christ.
But could it be that you've been heading back to some aspect of the "B.C. - the before Christ" you, back in the direction of what God calls "the dominion of darkness"? The old lying, the old habit, the old crowd, the old selfishness or bad mouth, the old anger, or the old depression. Somehow you've made a U-turn on the Jesus-road and started back toward that time before you met Jesus.
Maybe you're forgetting how ugly, dark and stormy it was back there. Or maybe you were raised in a Christian environment. You never experienced much of Satan's enslaving darkness, and you're just tempted to try a little. Sin has some very attractive packages, but that's all it is - a package. Once you open it, you find what's inside is a lot of guilt, a lot of shame, a lot of bondage, and a lot of loneliness. And it costs you the greatest anchor you've got in your life: the wonderful sense of the closeness of Jesus and the peace that only He can give you.
Paul says, Jesus "gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness" (Titus 2:13). How can we drift back into the things He died to get us out of? I can't think of a greater insult to the Man who died for you. Because of Jesus, you were able to drive out of the storm, out of the darkness, out of eternal danger. Don't go back there. Everything you were made for, everything you need is on the Jesus-road ahead of you. Keep driving toward His light. That ugly sky behind you will soon be just a shrinking shadow in your rear view mirror.