Currently Sonja and I are residing in a temporary parsonage that is nestled back in a wooded area. Because no one had been living in the home for awhile all the curtains were pulled shut and the shades were pulled down. Bottom line, while we are thankful for a place to stay, the house was a little depressing.
After several days of this it occurred to me one day to change things (I’m a slow learner). I went to the front door and flung it open, allowing the light to shine in through the glass door. I made my way through the house pulling curtains apart and opening blinds.
Soon the whole atmosphere changed. A little light shining in made things so much more cheerful and homey.
The same is true for the soul.
The reason so many people walk through life with a case of low-grade depression is because they have the shades pull down in their soul.
Their minds are darkened with bitterness and jealously. They feed on all the things that are wrong with their life and the world. They fill their mind with empty calories (Really, how productive and edifying are game shows, ESPN, and the nightly news?). Instead of focusing on wholesome love and affection they fill their minds with crude vulgarities and lewdness; no wonder the passion has gone out of their marriage.
And when it comes to “practicing” their faith, they feed their minds on a little night light of second-hand truth from the minds of secular and shallow teachers and singers and wonder why they have no power in their lives.
Am I describing you?
Dear friend, let the shades up! It is more important to clean your mind than clean your house. It is more important to shine the pure, true light of Jesus Christ into your life than having a hundred “night lights” to help you stumble along through the darkness.
Follow the example of our Lord and fast. If you want a change, if you want new power, if you want a new life—fast.
For forty days stop binging on Netflix and feed your soul on the word of God (you can do this). For forty days listen only to Christian music (you will live). For forty days let your entertainment be centered around your church (if you don’t have a church find the most fired-up Christian you know and go to their church and if your church doesn’t have anything happening you change that). For forty days make a daily journey to your “War Room” and if you don’t know what I mean by that go watch the movie (that would be a good “opening-the-curtains-and-letting-the-light-in” thing to do.)
Go forty days without Facebook or its cousins (yes, you can do this—Mr./Mrs. Noah did it on the Ark), go forty days without saying one negative thing about yourself and/or others, go forty days without gossiping (and every time you slip up and do so put an extra dollar in the plate at your church; you’ll quit soon! And if you don’t, at least your pastor will like you better.)
Bottom line, darkness has never produced anything. There are no darkness-run power plants. There’s nobody out there hoping to improve the world by making it a darker place (only the devil and his crowd love darkness). There’s no matching funds to endow research on how to make more darkness. Darkness is nothing; darkness only hides, hinders, and causes people to stumble.
So here’s the game plan…
- The ONE THING for today: Let the shades up! Fill your mind and life with good, pure, and wholesome light…better yet, fill your mind and life with The Light. (John 8:12)
Meditate on These Bright Things
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)