Darkness and Light :: by John Lysaught

“And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! How shall we do? And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha” (2 Kings 6:15-17).

I read this Scripture today and it put me in awe. I’ve read it before but never had the imagery in my mind of this event. Can you imagine, seeing the spiritual world like Elisha. To have enough faith like the Prophet Elisha to see what is really going on in the world seen and unseen.

There he is, Elisha and his servant standing at the battlefield both looking on. The weather is clear and his servant can see the vast army in front him. He feels doomed by their numbers. His servant’s faith is shaken. He asks his master what they should do, his voice shaking and his feet ready to turn and run. Elisha tells him not to worry, that there are “more with them” than with the enemy. His servant does not understand. He only sees their forces outnumbered by the opposing force and his fear is still with him.

Seeing this fear and confusion in his servant’s eyes, Elisha prays that the servant’s eyes be opened to see what he sees. All of sudden the servant’s eyes are opened and he sees the spiritual realm overlaid with the physical world. What an amazing site he must have seen: God’s angels surrounding them. The forces of angels on their side, dressed in white; flaming with fire, ready for battle with their armor glistening in the sun. Their eyes focused on the task ahead with confidence worn on their faces. Spears, arrows, chariots with strong horses, all poised for battle, waiting for their chance to defeat the dark forces opposing them. High on their horses they eagerly await to serve the Lord and protect His people with their numbers far greater than the opposing force’s and the darkness facing them.

This makes me think about today and the battle of light versus darkness going on right now in our time.  The battle must be greater than all the rest because of the times we live in. Prophecy is being fulfilled and the Rapture is certain. We are in the midst of a great battle, but we can’t see the spiritual world fighting with us.

There are forces surrounding and protecting us from the darkness. These forces of light are helping us fight our battles with darkness, day in and day out. Even when we don’t think they are there, they are.  Am I wrong? Based on what happened with Elisha in 2 Kings, I have to believe there are spiritual forces from God working with and for us as we survive in this world fighting Satan.

This brings us back to our current battles with darkness. Darkness is void of light. God is light. Therefore anything not of light is of darkness. We live in a dark world. I’m not referring to nighttime or the cycles of the sun, but of dark forces. This dark force is evil. It is of Satan, his workers, and is of the world. Does the darkness over shadow us at times, otherwise known as sin? Of course it does, but light is stronger than the darkness and can pierce the darkness and envelop us with the love of Christ.

Before each one of us was saved, we were born into darkness. We lived dark lives in a dark world and didn’t know that the darkness was darkness. We just thought it was life. What a change occurred in us when we were saved! We took that leap out of darkness and dove right into the light of the Lord in an instant. What a wonderful image.

Now looking back, I image my past as wearing a dark robe around me, just thinking it was a robe. Little did I know that what I wore was the robe of darkness with sleeves of the world. I did things that I now know were wrong, I did things I became ashamed of when I was wearing the robe of darkness but I didn’t care at that time.

As I look back to when I accepted Christ, I see myself ripping the worldly sleeves off and tearing the robe of darkness off and throwing them on the ground. I jumped head first into the light. No, I didn’t step into the light, but I jumped. Once I did this I was wrapped in the warm arms of Jesus, not having to worry about my past, my shame, my embarrassment, or my regrets that I felt before.

Paint a word picture for yourself of your saving grace and when it happened to you. I think we get caught-up in the world and may forget that day when we ripped off darkness and put on light.  Some have just started this journey and can vividly remember when they crossed over to light. Others have been on this journey for years, and maybe have forgotten that time they tore the darkness away. Remembering the darkness I used to live in and remembering the leap I took away from it makes me kind of giddy right now. I have a smile in my heart and it refreshes me to remind myself of what I’m doing and why I came to Jesus.

I can remember growing up as an angry child due to my circumstances surrounding my childhood. I was mad at my family, at the world, and rebelled in my own special way. Looking back I can see that God still was working on me. In retrospect I can see the many times I should have failed but didn’t and the internal drive given to me to get out of darkness and not repeat the past.

I can still imagine the day I tried to shoot my step dad and how God intervened (remember I had a bad childhood). At the last millisecond the gun went off. The bullet went up instead of strait ahead, when my mom pushed me. I was a good shot and what happened was a miracle. If God hadn’t been watching out for me in my darkness and had not placed His light on me for that moment, I would probably be writing you from jail right now. There are many more stories, but I think you get the point.

As I aged into my late teens, God began working on my heart to pull me out of darkness. I had a seed planted in me earlier by my uncle when he used to drag my sister and me to church with him on Sundays when we were little. As I got older, I drifted, but the seed was planted in my heart and the light began to pierce my heart, though I didn’t know it.

During those fifteen or so years of the seed being planted, it was a long time before germination. I had the pull on my heart but I resisted. I resisted because I liked the darkness because it was, at least at the time—fun. The drinking, the women, the parties; you name it and other than drugs, I did and tried most everything the world offered me. I loved the world and everything in it. Looking back, I can’t imagine the darkness I was wrapped up in, the lack of love I actually felt, and the emptiness I had. I did my best to fill my emptiness in my heart with the world.

In my twenties I began going to church but was still living in darkness though the seed had sprouted and had begun to grow, just a little. It wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I took that plunge from darkness into light and I haven’t looked back since. I look back on my life and can’t even imagine how I survived without Christ. Literally, I mean,

I should have had died a few times, but God was faithful (without my knowing) and He had plans for me. It just took a long time for me to come around. I can remember vividly the time when I looked down the barrel of a shotgun in my teens, or when I was a police officer wrestling with a guy with a gun. God was there to intervene on my behalf, to make sure I was safe.

God doesn’t want you or me to live in the darkness. He wants us all to live in the light. “Why me” I ask myself sometimes? Why did I end up in the light when others did not? The way I grew up and lived almost guaranteed that I was destined for a hard life, jail, or death, but God had plans for me. Look, I know that God uses all things for His good, but I still in the back of my mind I wonder sometimes why I turned out as I have and why others did not.

I’m guessing some of you are thinking, “What is this guy talking about?” I know, I know, it was my choice to jump into the light while others did not choose to do so. Yet there is still a .00001% thought in my mind of why God intervened in my life so much when I was younger that guided me to where I am today. Am I the only one who wonders this?

When I jumped into the light that day a few years ago, it was great. I’m horrible with dates, so I can’t give you a specific day on the calendar, but that moment I accepted Christ I was truly a changed man and felt the light wrap around me. I had accepted Jesus many times, but it wasn’t real. It was not a full commitment to join with Him. But the day I thought I had cancer I accepted Christ: I changed. By doing so I could look back and I could see the darkness in which I lived and was able to see the light I was now walking in.

Everyone has their story of darkness and light. Each one of you has faced darkness at some point in your life, whether you were saved as a child or saved yesterday. There is a sense of peace and joy in knowing that you are not in darkness anymore. You know what I mean.

Just because we live in the light though, doesn’t mean that dark forces are leaving us alone. That is why we fail sometimes. We let our guard down and a piece of the darkness sneaks into us.  Lash out at someone before? That’s the little bit of darkness seeping in: You’ve got to fight it. Commit a sin? (Don’t lie now, we all do it and mess-up.) The thing I find about messing up is that when I look back, I made the conscious choice to do so and immediately regret the action I took or the thing and thoughts I had. God is faithful though, and will still forgive us and we get back onto the path of righteousness.

Put simply, we are fighting a battle but we are not alone. Elisha was surrounded by angels ready to fight and protect him to ensure a successful campaign. We, too, have the light and power of God that he had around him to help us in our fight with darkness.  Darkness is all around us and will never stop poking at us until the end of our lives on this earth. We continue the fight and we endure.

If you are perusing this article and don’t know what I’m talking about, I will tell you that you too can escape the darkness in your life. You don’t have to live in darkness anymore. Do you feel a void or emptiness in your heart? Know that the life your living isn’t up to par with what your heart is telling you?

If so, you can step away from the life you’re living now and step into a life of eternity with Jesus.  Jesus offers you life eternal with Him in heaven. He wants one thing to do this: your heart. If you confess to Him your sins and believe in Him, that He died to atone you of your sins, then pray to Him and accept Him as your Lord and Savior. Your eternity is at stake.