Saturday, January 3, 2015

Wake Up!

Have you ever been in a dark room, sleeping peacefully, completely unaware of anything and someone comes into the room and flips the light on? You wake up, completely offended. You want to punch whoever turn on the lights right in the face. How rude! You were perfectly fine in your darkness! You were sleeping, completely unaware of anything and oblivious to the world around you.  

When I share the truth about Jesus Christ with someone who has spent their life in the darkness, I get the same reaction sometimes. They can be completely offended. How rude! They were perfectly fine in the darkness! They were sleeping, completely unaware of anything and very satisfied. Now that the light is flipped on, they have to deal with reality. Reality can be hard to deal with, especially when you’ve been in the "comfortable darkness" for so long.

I was reading about Saul (who later became Paul) this morning in Acts, chapter 9. When he met Jesus on the road to Damascus, he was literally, physically blinded by His Light. It had been days and he was still blind. His spiritual eyes were now open, yet he couldn’t physically see yet. A man named Ananias was told by God to find Saul and pray for his sight to be restored. He obeyed and as he prayed for Saul, the Bible says that “at once something like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight.” Interesting.

In the Bible, Satan is often referred to as the serpent. The deceiver. Here’s another description of him:

“Satan has blinded the minds of those who don't believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don't understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:4

We are also told, in 2 Corinthians 11:14 that Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. That means, he comes in an pretty package. He comes as an angel, as one telling the “truth”. He makes sense. His words add up and satisfy our desire to turn the lights out again and go back to sleep. 

It never occurred to me until this morning that the “scales” that fell off Saul’s eyes could represent the serpent himself.  Satan blinded Saul to the truth for so many years.  Saul was a killer of Christians. He persecuted them. He hated them. But now Saul met Jesus and things were very different. He was no longer blind to the Truth, but was finally able to see reality as Satan’s lies fell from his eyes. And he embraced the reality of Jesus.

John 3:19-21 says, “….God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.” 

Basically, when we realize we are sinners, we have a choice to make. We can turn the lights off and go back to sleep (the comfortable choice, obviously) or we can deal with reality and admit that we are in desperate need of a Savior. Our sin has completely taken us over and the only Hope we have is Christ. Sin is what separates us from God. Sin is what keeps us from seeing the Truth that God doesn’t want us to be separated from Him. The Bible says “All have sinned and fall short of God’s standard.” But it also says, “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Christ came and lived a sinless life because He knew we couldn’t do it. And when we put our faith in what He did for us, asking forgiveness for our sin, we are given full access to that relationship with God!

My friend, don’t be naive. Don’t fall for Satan’s schemes. He is not a little demon-looking, pitch forked, red, horned creature. He disguises himself as an angel of light. He will tell you to deal with it later and just push the snooze button, it's not that important. He makes sense. He is real. He is fighting for your soul. There is an invisible battle going on for you. You can only see this when you allow the lights to come on in your life.

You need to know this: God is fighting for your soul, too. What He did does not make sense. Max Lucado says it best:

It is inexplicable. It doesn't have a drop of logic nor a thread of rationality...

Bloodstained royalty. A God with tears. A creator with a heart. God became earth's mockery to save His children.

How absurd to think that such nobility would go to such poverty to share such a treasure with such thankless souls.

But He did.

And the only thing more absurd than this gift is our stubborn unwillingness to receive it. 

God sent Christ to rescue you from the darkness. Don’t turn the light back off. You are more than a victim of Satan’s schemes. You are loved and there really is a fight going on for your very soul. Please…allow those scales to fall from your eyes and embrace the reality of Jesus. 

Isaiah 9:2  The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.

Ephesians 5:14  Wake up, O sleeper! Rise up from the dead and Christ will give you Light.

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