By David Stahl

The longer I go in God the more I realize the power of darkness.  Most Christians have been taught to be afraid of darkness; it is evil, of the devil, but if this is your thinking then you have missed out on all of the treasures God has for you in the darkness. “Secret places” that only God knows where He has hidden riches far beyond jewels and power.  I have shared on this verse before “And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.”  (Isaiah 45:3) usually from the positive vein of truth, but do you know there is another vein a negative vein of truth that darkness can occupy.  Sadly most of the nominal church today is walking in this darkness because of their love for money, desire for acceptance, not wanting to offend, power, and authority.  Now there are two different types of darkness with two different and distinct degrees.  The first darkness is that which arises from sin.  It is a darkness that is filled with unhappiness and leads the Christian to eternal death. The second type of darkness is darkness which the Lord allows within our inward part in order to establish and settle virtue.  This is a happy darkness because it illuminates (revelation) our inward spirit, strengthens it and gives it greater light.  This darkness is a place most Christians try to get to spiritually,  but do not know it is found in darkness so they reject their unknown and unfamiliar environment. We must never rush out of the spiritual darkness (the unknown and unfamiliar) in which we can suddenly find our self in.  It would be well for us to stop all of our frantic running, struggling, and searching and just wait before the LORD.  There are some people who do not know God provides a light to walk through darkness they go stumbling on and stumbling on and falling into all kinds of unpleasant messes, getting cuts and bruised, and crying the blues.  These times are out there just waiting for us, as matter of fact God has planned them for us not to make our way difficult, but to make our journey meaningful and instructive. They do not believe there could be a light in such intense darkness.  They believe many things which are not true.  How readily some believe the suggestions of  others while being slow to believe the Word of God.  Job wrote, “By His light, I walked through darkness”  (Job 29:3) God gives us a light. We must see these times of darkness as a time we persevere in our inward pursuit.  It is a manifest sign that God, in His infinite mercy, is seeking to bring us into the inward path.  How good will be the results if we embrace these times with peace and with resignation.  Such times are for our spiritual growth and development. As we persevere God will give us a light which grows and increases in the midst of darkness. Often it is in times of darkness wisdom and strong love are begotten.  It is in times of darkness not in times of great outward spiritual joy that our self-nature and self-seeking is dealt a mortal blow.  Images, ideas, wanderings, and other hindrances which give us a distorted view of God and His ways are consumed.  Last of all the Lord uses darkness to purge us of our outward senses. This purging is necessary for our internal progress.  Do not particularly try to seek a way out of darkness and most of all do not stop coming before the Lord as in our most faithful times and in those times when spiritual riches and blessing were at their highest. We must not try to look for some emotion or even a tender devotion towards God.  We must only express our desire to do His will and to be His pleasure.  Otherwise we will simply go in circles throughout our lives and take not even one step towards our inward goal.  An emotional experience with the Lord must not be our goal for it is not His goal.  In the other vein of darkness I spoke of is what I would like to talk about now.  Jesus spoke with authority when He said men are by nature dark and in darkness the light will not always shine. Jesus taught the light will not always shine and that it is possible to reject the light and shut it out. Now there are two degrees of darkness according to our LORD.  First is the darkness that is absolute where there has never been any light. That is the darkness of the heathen, but God has made a way to deal with this darkness through the death, burial, and resurrection (the Gospel) of Jesus Christ.  But the second is another degree of darkness and more intense — the darkness that follows rejected light. The darkness that Jesus spoke of was not the darkness of man in the night who was waiting for the sunrise, but was the darkness of the man who has fled from the light of righteousness and truth. Once knowing the  light now turns and walks in darkness.  Where does Christianity destroy itself in any given generation?  It destroys itself by not living in the light by  professing a truth it does not obey. It destroys itself by ignoring the connection between coming to know God and the volitional (act or power of using one’s own will in deciding or making a choice) life for the Christian believer.  What the combined forces of hell could not do the church can do.  Love of money power, influence, love of this world, unconfessed iniquity, these and more are destroying the Church of today. Jesus said, “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single (focused and clear) , thy whole body shall be full of light. 23But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness (unstable and double minded). If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”  (Matthew 6:22-24)  In other words Jesus was saying if we are walking in darkness we are unstable and double minded.  James tells us, “For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. 8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”  (James 1:7-8) A man that is going in two directions of thought or deed is deceived and will receive nothing from God. And is unstable in ALL of their ways.  The man has rejected the light of the truth and now walks in darkness.  And, “how great is that darkness!”  Now that is a question. Well, this darkness can be measured. The longer one walks in darkness the darker the darkness becomes.  I hear people say, “who would have believed (say) Jim Jones told the people (and drank it himself) to drink the poison laced cool-aid, they did, and ALL who drank died?  Jim Jones did not start off that way (nobody does), but the longer he walked in the darkness of deception to the truth the darker he got and the things he did until it ended in loss and death.  We can even measure the darkness in years.  In 1962 the light of the word of God was snuffed out in public school and today we have mass murders, rapes, and so much more heartache.  For 54 years our kids have walked in darkness in the public school system in America.  In the early 1970s the homosexuals in America started coming out (and the church went in) of the closet.  For 46 years America has walked in ungodly acts of sodomy, lesbianism, and utter depravity.  In 1973 the Supreme Court of America said it was legal to slaughter innocent life in the womb of mothers. For 43 years America has murdered over 52,000,000 babies and we think God will turn His head to this?  Oh no our sin and the darkness we walk in can be measured and God is keeping record. As evil as these darkness’s are there is even a greater darkness and that is the willful turning away from the truth of the word of God a darkness God’s remedy for man cannot make whole unless they turn from their wicked, deceived ways. Sadly today in the church many Christians have rejected the light for other things (power, money influence, etc.) they think are far more important at this time, but have failed to realize the central truth that the failure of the church to walk in the light of the Gospel message is far greater than sin and it has affected billions of people on this earth.  Folks (I have a hard time calling them Christians) that walk this way are unstable and double minded, “let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.” Where is the balm of healing for the soul?  Oh how the church needs to get back to the old-time message of  Jesus being the light of world, but sadly in this technological driven age this message does not fill offering plates, pews (hard to find today) and seats (more modern).  I wonder why we started counting how many people come to church? Does it really matter how many people come if they leave unchanged and in dire need of salvation? Does not God own the cattle on a 1,000 hills and even the hills?  Does God not take care of His children?  If so then why are we so concerned about such things?  If God is behind something do not worry about the number of people, the money they bring, or what to do.  If you build God a temple He will fill it.  Now please notice I did not say a church.  If you build a chapel, church, or even a denomination God is not obligated to fill it.  Are we (as Christians) not the church, but the temple created in Christ Jesus?  Friend if we become the temple of the Holy Spirit God will get involved beyond our abilities, finances. and whatsoever we put our hands to He will bless.  When I think of darkness it shakes me to the core of my soul. Oh how I do not want to walk in deception and presumption (presuming to know right, but in reality not knowing the truth and doing wrong), but then I remember all I have to do is “looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of my faith”  there is no evil darkness there just the treasures, “hidden riches of secret places.”