Spiritual Darkness


Isaiah 9:2

  The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness—
on them light has shined.


God’s people allowed the darkness of the world to cloud their spiritual lives. By worshipping other gods, succumbing to the practices of the world and allowing their hearts to be turned toward evil, the darkness had engulfed them. Spiritual blindness resulted from such a prolonged period of time in darkness. 

The words of the prophet are a promise of what is to come. Those who have suffered from spiritual darkness will experience great light. Not a blinding light that leaves them crippled, but instead a wonderful counselor or guide who will gently walk them back out into the light. Those who have lived in deep darkness will be drawn out into the light for the light will seek them out. The light will shine on those in the darkness and suddenly the spiritual life will have an opportunity to flourish. In the beauty of daylight will reveal the corruption of spirituality that existed in darkness. New life will be the result of living in the light. 


When we live in darkness, we’re not really sure what it is that has its hold on us. We can’t see it and therefore we may only be touched by a small portion of something that is attached to a larger evil. It’s only in the light of day that we can see the whole truth. There are so many things that can hold us captive and keep us from receiving all the light that we need in our lives. Holding onto bad attitudes, speaking negatively about others, refusing to forgive, excusing self-gratification, becoming overly concerned about material things and more can keep us in the grip of spiritual darkness. 

The people living in spiritual darkness were God’s people. They had the scriptures, and they had priests and rituals and traditions, and yet, they allowed the darkness of the world to grip them. I believe that we are continually tempted to be held in the grip of spiritual darkness. 

Darkness is the opposite of the light. Christ is the light and he came to bring us new life. When we participate with him, the light begins to shine in upon us. It’s then that we see with clarity what we have really been doing, and we may find it terrifying. Things that we thought were good, may be attached to bad, and could bring destruction to our lives. 

In this season of advent we have been considering the arrival of the light. Christ, who came to bring beautiful light into the world. First a little light burns, then more and more until eventually our spiritual lives may be lit up by the presence of Christ. The more that we participate with Christ, the more his light shines into our lives and is reflected out into the lives of others. We have hope for our own spiritual darkness because of the presence of Christ. However, we must be willing to embrace the light and be willing to change the ways in which we have been living. The exciting news is that when this happens, the reflection of Christ’s light in our life becomes so intense that we participate with Christ in bringing his light into the world. Our lives are to mirror Christ, reflecting his light so that we help to dispel the darkness. Spiritual darkness has always been destructive and only by embracing the light of Christ can we be transformed. It’s time for the darkness to be dispelled, and to walk day by day in the beauty of Christ’s light. 


Lord, please help me not to fall into the temptation of the darkness. Amen. 


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