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062 On Walking in the Light

"And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God." John 3:19-21

"This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.  If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin." I John 1:5-7

All of us reading this have had God reveal things to us. Sometimes they're important things about Him. Sometimes they're uncomfortable things about ourselves. It feels to us as though we've seen a great light; we say, "Before, I did not understand; but now I understand." And that's true, and it's good.

Today, I want to offer a simple visual reminder regarding what's going on when that happens.

What we think is happening looks like this:

What is actually happening looks like this:

There is more to God than we can possibly imagine. And there is more of our own fallibility and weakness that He has yet to uncover than we dare to confess, and really a lot more than we even know.

So allow me to recommend that we all walk hunbly with God and with each other, and that we pray constantly for eyes to see Him more clearly. Oh, and get used to forgiving others their darkness, 'cause you're pretty much in the dark, yourself. Just a suggestion.

I was reminded of this because of conversations this week with atheists in which I pointed out that God had completely revealed Himself in our universe, and that we don't see Him because we systematically block Him out. They assumed that I meant that atheists block Him out but Christians don't. It is crucial at times like that to remember that we're really no better; Christians block Him out, too, except for tiny bits of light that we have decided, through repentance, to allow in. And we didn't really want to allow even that much in; He had to pursue us to do it. It pays not to think of ourselves as more enlightened than we are. We're getting lots of help.

The top picture is what heaven is going to be like for us all, at least at first. Exposure to God as He is, without the thick, protective veil of our own self-delusions, is going to be hard for us (but also full of joy). This is why the theologian Dallas Willard wrote in his outstanding book, "The Divine Conspiracy," 

"I am thoroughly convinced that God will let everyone into heaven who, in his considered opinion, can stand it. But 'standing it' may prove to be a more difficult matter than those who take their view of heaven from popular movies or popular preaching may think. The fires in heaven may be hotter than those in the other place."

Let in as much of God as you can stand, and pray to be able to stand more. I'll be back in a couple of weeks. God bless your walk.

Phil Weingart

PS: I wrote about this in chapter four of my first book, "He's Greater Than You Know," available in trade paperback and Kindle format from Amazon dot com. Click on the image to visit the listing on Amazon:

And don't forget to order your copy of my latest book, "The Rabbi on the Mount," also available in both formats on Amazon dot com. Again, click on the image to visit its listing on Amazon.


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