The Healing Power of the LightPastor Lutzer | November 19, 2000
Selected highlights from this sermon
Throughout the Bible we see the contrast of darkness and light—darkness is sin, and light is God.
Those who walk in darkness rationalize their sin, learn to manage their guilt, and even believe that they’re walking in the light. They not only lie to others, they are deceiving themselves and even lying to God.
And that’s where the problem is: if you don’t see yourself as a sinner, you don’t see a need for redemption.
But if you want to walk in the true light, you have to agree with God on everything. You have to come clean not just with God, but with others. Confession and restoration must be as wide as the offense.
Are you going to receive God’s full blessing or not?
There is a story about a woman whose husband she suspected was having an affair with a woman at work, but he was the kind of a man who never admitted to anything. He was always defensive, always right – one of those controllers that we spoke about in the last message in this series. And so she knew that it was not going to be a happy experience. He was not going to just quickly say, “Yes, I’m guilty,” so she set up a series of opportunities for him to confess to the truth.
First of all she said to him, “I want you to know that I suspect you in this regard,” and he became defensive and angry and said, “Why don’t you trust me? You are always too suspicious.” Plan number two was she took a member of the church who had seen him downtown with this woman and the church member confronted him and he gave some very convincing alibi and so he didn’t admit it. Number three was she confronted him with the ex-husband of the woman with whom he was suspected to be and who said that he saw them in the apartment together, but this man stared him down and told him he was a liar, and that was the end of that. Finally, plan number four was videotapes. She had hired an investigator who videotaped some experiences and scenes, which nailed it. Now here’s what I want you to understand. His response was this. “Okay, I’m having an affair but what’s the big deal?”
The human heart, revealed for what it is! First of all, we deny our sin. That’s step number one, and after we have been found out and have to confess, step number two is minimize it. What’s the big deal?
Why is it that the truth has to be extracted from us sometimes like one might use tweezers to extract a splinter? Why is it that we aren’t more open and more truthful? You know the Bible says “The human heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” One time I had the unhappy responsibility of confronting a man with what we suspected was an adulterous relationship and he said, “If I am lying may God strike me down dead.” Mercifully God did not strike him down dead, but God did eventually reveal that the man had been lying to me.
Yesterday I looked at the book The Day Americans Told the Truth. And I read it years ago, or parts of it, and frankly I couldn’t take too much of it because it is so depressing. You look into the human heart and you realize that (what is it?) 92% of people say that they lie at least every week, and then you get beneath that and you discover that there are those who are willing to turn away from their families and abandon them forever for ten million dollars, and you are scratching your head and saying, “Are we really that evil? Are we really that bad?” And the answer unfortunately is, “Yes, we are.”
There are so many different kinds of lies, aren’t there? There is the lie that people sometimes tell to protect others. Sometimes they are little innocuous lies. We say to somebody, “You know, you are really looking good in that suit,” and it’s the kind of lie they love to hear, by the way, and yet in our hearts we are saying, “You look good in that suit but I want to know what street corner you found it on.” Sometimes we lie though to protect ourselves. We may shape the truth and then we may even lie about others, as we talked about evil in the last message.
Sometimes there are people who live a lie. They don’t say a word. They just live a lie. Many years ago a woman came to me with a very interesting story. She was at work and she decided to go home in the middle of the day to pick something up, and she discovered her husband in ladies’ clothes prancing around the living room. I often thought to myself it would have been interesting to have a tape recorder there to tape the discussion that took place at that particular incident. She really did not know this man though they had been married together for fifteen years.
This is a series of messages entitled Why Good People Do Bad Things and what we are discovering is that there are really two parts of it, and we’ll see this again in the next message. There seems to be two parts. There’s that part of us that wants to be noble and good and helpful, and then there’s that other part that is very deceitful and can be very, very difficult to pin down.
This message is not going to be an easy one to hear. It’s not an easy one to preach because today we’re really going to probe right down and shine the light of God’s word deeply into our souls, and for some of you it is going to be painful, but I want you to know that the purpose for pain is healing. In no sense is it my intention to simply increase your guilt. Sometimes people complain. They say, “You know we go to church and all that we do is come back guilty.” That’s not my intention at all.
My intention is to take a good look at what is in the human heart, and I don’t want you to leave with guilt. I want you to leave with God. That’s the intention. That’s where we are going in this message. What you find in the Bible is that the motif of darkness and light is used throughout, the darkness representing sin, and the light representing God – his word, truth and honesty. And there are going to be two passages we are going to look at. The first is in John 3 where Jesus is talking actually to Nicodemus. And then the second passage will be in 1 John 1.
I’m picking up the text for lack of time right smack in the middle of the discussion at verse 19 of John 3 where Jesus said, “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.”
Let’s talk first about some of the characteristics of those who walk in darkness. Jesus said the verdict is that light has come and men love the darkness rather than light. Left to ourselves, without the intervention of God’s grace, without the intrusion of His light, we are lovers of darkness, and the reason that we love the darkness is that the darkness is more consistent with our desires. We do what we want to do and darkness enables us to do that. And then we learn to manage any guilt, and of course, in today’s society what you have is people who believe that guilt is simply a feeling that has to be unlearned, and so they think of ways to unlearn it, to lessen the pain of the guilt, and then you have the opportunity of doing what you want to do.
And the way in which we rationalize is first of all we find someone who is worse than we are. You know, in talking with people I seldom meet a person who does not say, “Well, you know of course I’ve made some mistakes but I’m not a bad person.” And so we put the best face on ourselves because there are people who are worse than we are, and so that makes us feel pretty good. And then the other thing that we do is we do good deeds so that we can point to good things we’ve done. I remember a friend of mine said that as a teenager one day he came home from school and he mowed the lawn without being told he had to, and his mother said, “Well, what have you been up to now?” So what we do is we use good deeds to cover and balance off some of the not-so-good deeds.
So men love the darkness, the Bible says. And secondly I want you to notice that they hate the light. That’s what the text says here expressly in verse 20. “Everyone who does evil hates the light.” We don’t like to be exposed. We don’t like God coming and showing us our sin. We don’t like the Bible. By nature we want to turn from it if we are lovers of darkness. Now those of us who are lovers of light, of course we love the Word, but what you find today is that people disparage the Bible so that it gives them the freedom to do what they want to do and there is hatred toward that book. Men hate the light.
I remember on the farm we had a musty old basement and we didn’t have electricity in my early years so I guess that dates me a little bit, but then we’re talking about Canada where they were not quite up on all the modern things like here. And we used to go downstairs either with a lantern or a candle or a lamp and it was incredible just to see all those bugs scurry. I mean all these little furry things were heading for somewhere. And that is the way we are. That is the imagery of the light coming to shine. It is a painful light. It is a painful experience to finally reach an objective standard that is holiness. It is very painful. So the Bible says that men who love the darkness hate the light.
The third experience, and this gets trickier now, is they think that they are walking in light. They confuse light with darkness. Now I’m going to invite you to turn to 1 John 1 (and we’re going to be in there for the rest of this message) where we have this amazing motif of light-darkness continuing with all kinds of insights.
John says in 1 John 1:5, “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.” Wow! Just uninterrupted, beautiful, holy light! “If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” Now that’s verse 6.
The first thing that we do is lie, and he is writing to people who are Gnostics. Maybe you are not acquainted with that word. Gnosticism believed in enlightenment, that there was a feeling of enlightenment that one could have, so Gnostics were into light too. The problem was their light was actually darkness. The Bible says, “Woe to those who call light darkness, and darkness light and good evil, and evil good.” These Gnostics were the New Agers of the day. In fact books have been written to show that the modern New Age Movement is nothing but a revival of ancient Gnosticism.
So you have people say, “Okay, I’ve got all this sin in my life. I’m walking in what is disobedience to the Scriptures, but I’m having fellowship with God too. My god is accepting me.” And notice what the text says. First of all we lie to others. That’s in verse 6, but then we lie to ourselves. Let’s glance down to verse 8. It says, “If we say we have no sin….” And many Gnostics said that, just as there are people today who say, “Well, I haven’t sinned.” You meet people like that who say, “Well, I may not be as good as I could be but I haven’t sinned.”
Notice it says, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves.” First of all, we lie to others, and then we deceive ourselves. You’ll never understand the true nature of evil unless you understand the deception. People who walk in darkness call it light. They are the enlightened ones. They are the modern ones. I mean we who believe in the Bible, that’s going backwards and not forwards, you understand.
And then if that isn’t enough, they eventually make God a liar. Verse 10 says, “If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” So notice the progression. We lie to others. We deceive ourselves, and at the end of the day, because the Bible says that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, now we actually are lying to God too. So the deception has come full circle. It is very complete.
You know there are some animals whose means of defense is to emit an odor that is so strong that all who are near that particular animal must flee. There is one that comes immediately to mind, and it’s black with some white stripes. Some of you who are city dwellers have perhaps never encountered that particular aroma. I want you to know that it is powerful, and quite debilitating, but you know, so far as the skunk is concerned we have no evidence that he is troubled by it. To him it might smell like Chanel No. 5. Right?
And there are some people who are destroying their families. They are really doing evil. They have become so selfishly focused. They are crude. They cannot see beyond their own immediate needs and you try to get through to them, and I’ve had wives say, for example, “Well, doesn’t he get it? Can’t he see it?” Well, the answer is “No, dear. I’m sorry. He doesn’t see it."
And there are two kinds of deceptions. One is a moral kind of deception. The other is a deception regarding teachings like the Gnostics who actually believed that they were walking in light, and that they were okay. You know, the reason that some of you find a real struggle, and you say, “What’s all this bit about Jesus dying on the cross? Why have that in Christianity? Why drag that in?” is because you don’t see your sin. If you saw your sin you’d say, “Oh how marvelous that Jesus died,” but if you don’t see yourself as a sinner, you don’t need any redemption, do you? And the text says you deceive yourself.
Martin Buber speaks about “the uncanny game of hide and seek in the obscurity of the soul in which it, the single human soul, evades itself, avoids itself and hides from itself.”
Now I think we’ve gotten to the bottom of how deceptive we can be. The Scripture says in the book of Proverbs that the way of the wicked is like deep darkness. I love this – how vividly it is described. It says, “They do not know what makes them stumble.” You just look at people going from pillar to post. They have no idea what makes them stumble. They are walking in darkness and they think that they are walking in the light and they can’t understand why they are tripping all over themselves every time they turn a corner. That’s the characteristics of those who walk in darkness.
Well, thankfully, we also have the characteristics of those who love the light and who walk in the light. What does light do? First of all, light reveals who we are. The Scripture says in 1 John 1:7, “But if we walk in the light as God is in the light (Remember now, God is the one who is light), we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, purifies us from all sin.” Paul says in the book of Ephesians, “Now you were darkness (that was in your past) but now you are light in the Lord. Walk” he says, “as children of light.”
Now our self-image, as we learned in a previous message, is first of all made up by every comment that people make, what our parents think of us, what our teachers think of us, what our coaches think of us, what our peers think of us, and so forth, but it’s a very confusing mixture. And if you don’t really know who you are and you have no standard by which to judge yourself, no wonder people are so desperately confused. Calvin was absolutely right when he said, “We can never know who we are unless we first know who God is because in the presence of God we see the depths of our sin.” Oh but God does not leave us there. And be assured that I do not want to leave you there. There is forgiveness. There is cleansing. There is healing. It is there in the presence of God, you see, that finally we know who we are with that solid reality of the light, and it is there that we find healing. And our sins become big that God might cleanse us and forgive us.
You’ve heard the story about the man who was doubled over, over his desk, and called a pastor friend of mine and said, “Come over.” And he came over and here’s the man lying flat across the desk. And the pastor thinks for sure that the man has discovered that his wife died or a child died, or something. And the man said, “I was thinking here about the business dealings that I have and how I have padded my expense accounts, and God has shown me how sinful it is and I am looking into hell.”
And that, by the way, is what hell is. It is the white light of God’s holiness with no remedy and with no relief. You say, “Well, you know, the guy is exaggerating. Most businessmen, many businessmen pad their expense accounts. It’s done all the time. It’s a little infraction.” But it’s little until you see God, and when God begins to shine His light on it, suddenly it’s a mighty big deal because now finally you have a standard by which it can be judged. Light reveals who we are. But God doesn’t leave us there. He pours grace and cleansing into our hearts, as we shall see.
Secondly, light reveals where we are going. The Scripture is very clear that “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Look at the text that I just read a moment ago. “But if we walk in the light as God is in the light we have fellowship one with another.” Notice the imagery of walking and you’re not stumbling. Sometimes you are stubbing your toe but you are not stumbling because you are walking in the light as God is in the light. Finally reality, finally wholeness! We have fellowship one with another. That can mean that we have fellowship with God, which is most assuredly true, but we have fellowship with fellow travelers. I have fellowship with you. You have fellowship with me. It’s that common bond because we know what the light is and we know where we are going and sometimes we blow it, to be sure, but we at least know where the light is. It’s in God’s word, and so it tells us where we are going, and we end up having fellowship with one another.
Light also reveals our destination. You know it’s interesting that the Bible talks about those who do not know Christ as Savior who are trying to save themselves as walking in darkness because they don’t have a Savior, they don’t see their sins clearly, and they keep stumbling and not knowing why they are tripping over themselves. But it’s interesting what happens when they die. The Scripture says that they are in outer darkness. I am reminded of the miser who was dying, who would not respond to the Gospel, and he said to his daughter, “Blow out the candle.” They were in a little room and the candle was burning, and he said, “I can die in the dark.” So here’s a man who lives in the dark. He dies in the dark, and he ends up in the dark. You live in the dark here and you live in the dark there.
But what about believers who love the light? Why, indeed, we walk in the light. God is in the light, and what does it say in the book of Revelation? “There is no need of the light, neither of the sun, nor of the moon to shine upon it, for God Himself is the light thereof, and they shall walk with Him in light.” The Bible speaks about God dwelling in unapproachable light, but we will approach Him through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Light, reality, truth! What an experience!
Now what I’d like to do is to go to a third point as we move through this. We’ve talked about characteristics of walking in darkness and characteristics of walking in light. The question is what is the cost of coming to the light? How much is it going to charge you? Verse 9 is a very important verse. It says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to purify us from all unrighteousness.” Now the cost of walking in light is to confess, and the Greek word to confess means to say the same thing. It means agreement. So if we are going to walk in the light, and this is for believers now, we have to just agree with God. There can be no point at which we have a disagreement with God. If God says that something is sin, we call it sin. If God says that this part of our life has to be yielded to Him, this part of our life we yield. In other words, we are so open to God that we agree with Him regarding everything, and then we are walking in honesty and we are walking in the light.
Now, sometimes it says that the truth hurts and that is true but I want you to know that lies hurt even more. Truth hurts, and from now on in this message, for the next few moments just before we close, it is going to be a painful time, because I am going to explain to you the cost that some of you might have to pay to actually walk in the light and to agree with God. It can be very, very costly.
By the way, when we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us. He pays the debt to cleanse us. He has to take away the stain and He does both. What a wonderful Savior we have, but how much does it cost? You remember that David committed adultery and wanted to get by with it so desperately that he killed a man in order to cover up his sin, and eventually the story came unraveled, and so forth, and word got out and he couldn’t deny it anymore. How much was he paying before those days when he came clean with God? Well, he knew what he had done. In Psalm 32 he details how difficult it was. He said, “For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.” In contemporary terms we could say, “Oh God, every time the telephone rings I wonder if somebody knows. Every time a visitor comes to the door I wonder if he knows. Every time I meet somebody at church I say to myself, ‘Does he know?’” God’s hand was heavy upon David. David knew and Bathsheba knew, and that was all manageable. What made it so difficult was that God knew. And that’s the sticky point. God knows, God knows, God knows.
How much will it cost you to come to the light? For some of you it is true it may cost some shame. I’ll comment on that in just a moment as to how much it really costs. For some of you it may costs thousands and thousands of dollars. I remember when the Holy Spirit was working mightily up north in Canada in the early seventies, and I was doing some interviews. I met a man who said that being fully right with God cost him thousands of dollars. I forget how much it was but he had to go to the bank and went into debt. Why did it cost him so much? He was a builder, a contractor, and what he had done was he had cheated people by telling them that they were going to have one kind of material in their houses and then actually putting in an inferior and cheaper quality of material. Now suddenly he wanted to be right with God. He wanted to be able to say, “Lord, I want to walk in the light no matter what it costs me. I want your full blessing.” And the Holy Spirit was saying, “Wait a moment. You’ve got sin in your life that you need to take care of. You have chiseled other people out of their money and you had better pay back what you owe if you want to totally agree with Me, because you do want God’s blessing, don’t you?” So he went to the bank, and took out thousands of dollars. It cost him a lot.
Listen, there are some of you listening who are getting money dishonestly and if you really walked in the light, I mean really walked in the light, God is going to put His finger on that and say, “Wait a moment. You can’t walk in the light and be doing that because you know that that is dishonest.”
There are some of you who perhaps are going to have to break up relationships because you are in sinful relationships. You know it. Your partner knows it. Maybe nobody else knows it but you suspect everybody around you does, and there’s that sticky point again, the one you can’t rationalize away. God knows it, so it is going to cause you some heartbreak to be fully in the light.
There are some of you who are going to be in the light and you are going to have to pay the price of vulnerability. You are going to have to go to somebody and say, “I was wrong.” You are going to have to get rid of that anger and hostility because you have built up anger towards other Christians, and maybe they know about it or maybe they don’t know about it. Who knows what it is? But you want to come to the light, and you want to say, “God, I want Your full blessing,” and God says, “Wait a moment. What is this that’s back here that you keep nursing, that anger? You’d better forgive and you’d better lay it down?” And you say, “Lord, it costs too much,” and God says, “Well, how badly do you want to walk in the light? How badly do you want the light, or do want to just kind of walk in the light on Sunday and then slip back into darkness Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and kind of manage the situation?”
Oh, I could go on as to what the cost is, but the best example I have is of a man by the name of John Claypool, and I don’t think there’s anyone listening to me probably who has had to pay as much as he did. Back in 1975, as a 14-year old boy, John Claypool murdered some people – his neighbors, a husband and wife, just to see what it was like to see people die. The boy was drunk when he did it. The police questioned him and they didn’t have hard evidence and he got by. He married. He fathered two daughters, and he could not get away from this sin, and now he met some Christians whom he always disliked because he thought that they were a bunch of self-righteous judgmental people. He said, “I always considered Christians to be hypocrites but these people were genuine in living what they professed. Their witness to the love of Christ created a glowing spiritual hunger within me.”
Well, he bought a Bible. He read it and he accepted Christ as Savior, as I urge all of you who are listening to me to do if you have not done that. But now the Holy Spirit of God was within him because now he was a believer and he had to walk in the light. The Holy Spirit persistently said in effect, “My child, you must obey me by confessing your crime or you will never know my full blessing in your life.”
See, that’s the thing. You can live with a conscience – even with murder – and you can manage. Just take enough various things that will calm you down, that will enable you to sleep, and you can get by. That’s all rationalization, and it may be worth it to stay out of jail. But the one thing though that you cannot rationalize, that just stands there, is this business of God. Are you going to receive His full blessing, or are you not? That’s the $64,000 question. Does He mean that much to you?
Well, you can imagine how John felt. He went on to say that his heart absolutely pounded with fear, but twenty years later on November 27, 1995 he went with his pastor and an attorney and turned himself in to the authorities with the movie cameras on him because it was national news.
John said, “At the moment of truth, though I was now a prisoner of the law, I was set free before God for the first time in my life. I cannot describe the feeling of that burden being completely lifted. The Lord now held His once disobedient child in His loving arms and true to His promise He did not let me fall. A wonderful peace came over my soul such as I have never known.”
You say, “Is it worth it to go to prison?” He’s now in a maximum-security prison. In fact, I continue to read. “I am now confined in a maximum security prison, serving time for second degree murder, but (notice) I am more free and more at peace than at any other time in my life.” He talks about the fact that what he did to that family still bothers him because the consequences continue. He wonders what kind of a testimony he’s going to be to his children now that he’s in prison, but he ends by saying, “If God can redeem the soul of one who had murdered his innocent neighbors, then God can redeem anyone.” And He can.
And He can redeem you because if the truth were known, there are some of you here who have done some very terrible things. Maybe it isn’t murder but maybe it is, and you are saying to yourself, “Can God even redeem somebody like me? Will I ever be able to say like David did in Psalm 51, ‘Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation?’ Lord, here I am. I’ve committed adultery. I’ve murdered a man, but give me your joy back.”
And you remember what else it says in that Psalm. “You delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.” That’s why you can take all of your rationalizations, all your reasons, and for some of you (and I even hate to say this and I wasn’t even sure if I should) total honesty before God may mean that you have to go back to your country of origin because perhaps you lied. Perhaps you falsified things, and you say, “Well, it’s not worth it. I’m going to stick it out.” Well, notice what John Claypool said. He said, “The Holy Spirit was ministering to me and saying, ‘If you really want the full blessing of God on your life, you have to walk in the light, and walking in the light can be tremendously costly.’”
Some of you have addictions and the reason that you have those addictions is because there’s a part of you that just kept walking in that hiding darkness and God wants to come and just shine a light on everything and it’s painful. I’m not saying that it doesn’t hurt. I’m not saying it won’t cost. I’m saying, “Do you or do you not want God’s blessing upon your life completely and totally?”
Well, I conclude with a few observations. First of all, what you hide hurts. Someone has said that you are only as sick as your darkest secrets. That may be an exaggeration but I think it certainly is close to the truth. You say, “Well, how many people do I have to confess to?” Well, you have to confess to those whom you have wronged. If it’s one person then it’s one person. If it’s ten people then it’s ten people. The confession and the restoration have to be as broad as the offense. That’s the answer. Private sin does not have to be paraded in front of other people, though sometimes we like to hear testimonies about how God worked in people’s lives, but it has to be obedience to the amount of offense.
Secondly, what you hide grieves God. I’ve emphasized that but that’s the one non-negotiable. There in the presence of the Almighty the years of rationalizations and ruts of behavior that have been so carefully dug and hidden and covered suddenly all are blasted away because we have God to deal with.
And finally, light and darkness really can’t co-exist. In other words, as a result of this message, all of us, including myself, are either going to walk more in the light and ask God for even more light, or else some are going to retreat into a deeper darkness with further hardness of heart and further rationalizations. Somehow it’s difficult to find that median where you say, “Well, I want part of my life in the light and part of it in darkness.”
John Claypool had that experience for a time. Part of it was in the light. He accepted Christ. Part of it was in darkness. What an unhappy combination until finally he said, “Lord, I give it all to You.”
David said in Psalm 139:1, “Search me, oh God.” He gets to the end of the chapter and he says, “Oh God, search me and know my heart.” Verse 1: Oh Lord, Thou has searched me and known me. It’s a done deal. You know all about me and it’s the one thing I cannot rationalize away. He goes to the end of the chapter and he says, “Now search me, oh God.” Is it contradictory that in verse 1 he says, “You have searched me,” and in verse 23 he says, “Search me?” No! What David is saying is, “I know you know all about me. All that I am asking You for now is that You might show me what You see.”
And I have to tell you that unless the Holy Spirit shows you what’s there, I can’t. I feel very helpless preaching this message because there are some things that I can do that are very limited, but there is something that only the Holy Spirit can do, and that’s His business that I can’t even begin to encroach upon.
Do you remember Robert Fulghum who wrote that book All That I Ever Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten? He talked about the fact that in October the kids would gather together and play Hide and Seek and some kids hid so well that nobody could find them. He says, “As I write, the neighborhood game goes on, and there’s a kid under the pile of leaves in the yard just under my window. He’s been there a long time and everybody else is found and they are about to give up on him over at the base. I considered going out to the base and telling them where he was hiding and then I thought about setting the leaves on fire to dry them out. Finally I just yelled, ‘Get found, kid,’ through the window and it scared him so bad he probably started crying and ran home to tell his mother. It’s hard to know how to be helpful sometimes.”
Some of you are playing adult hide and seek. You are under a pile of leaves. You’ve got things that have never been exposed to the light in God’s presence, and you think that you can walk in both darkness and light, but God sees to it that our cubbyhole turns into a very private hell until we are willing to say, “Lord, whatever it is I want to walk in the light.”
This comes from me as your pastor to you today, to those of you in the balcony, to those of you downstairs, to those listening by whatever means. Get found! Get found because there is healing when you come to the light. There is cleansing. There is forgiveness. There is a sense of freedom. There is wholeness that is brought about to our conflicting struggles when we come to the light, “for if we walk in the light as God is in the light, we have fellowship one with another,” and all of those animosities are broken down, and “the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanses us from all the stains.” Get found!
Oh blessed Holy Spirit, who can do Thy work? We cannot. We cry to Thee and ask that in this moment of revelation You shall give to Your people the grace to get found. Give them, oh God, the ability to say, “Yes, I want to walk in the light and have God’s full blessing no matter the cost, oh Father.”
Why don’t you talk to God now? Talk to Him about whatever He has talked to you about.
How many of you today say, “Pastor Lutzer, at all costs I want to get found?” Would you raise your hands please? Hands are raised all throughout the auditorium, all throughout the balcony. Those of you in the balcony, do you want to get found today no matter the cost?
Father, I ask today that You might grant grace to those who have raised their hands and to those who should have. We pray that the teeter-totter might go to the side of the light, even as You pursue us and You say to us lovingly (because You want to heal us and cleanse us and forgive us), “Get found.” Oh Father, we all know what darkness is. We all know what light is, and we ask today that Your Spirit will do a work that only You can do. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.