Last weekend, Lead Pastor Ben Snyder unwrapped for us that without Christ, the true light of the world, we merely live in shadows. We bury our pain, lie about our failing, and/or blame others for them rather than admitting how flawed and unremarkable we are.
I am a sinner saved by faith and grace. Consequently, I accept that the pain, suffering, and death of Jesus Christ was for me. He was sent by the Father to shine a glorious light into the darkness of the unhappy life I was living. Ben talked about how shocking that brightness is after living in shame and hiding in the shadows of self-delusion. I spent my entire life trying to impress and be admired by others, all while hiding shame, self-loathing, and fear.
So what did God do? He used people and situations in my life to open my heart and move me toward him, the only true real light of the world. Unfortunately, my fear and shame kept me on the throne of my own life instead of Jesus. The result was very similar to this story from Matthew:
22 “Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. 23 But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!
And it was, oh so dark.
Thankfully, when I gave up “my throne” in 1984, the Holy Spirit kept teaching me to trust God and seek his ways, through every success and failure. God never left my side no matter how far I tried to wander from his path for me.
Even though I belonged to God, I was still full of guilt and shame. I had a secret sin I didn’t want to confess as it would hurt many people. Unfortunately, this kept me living in the shadows long after I was saved.
Thankfully, God kept leading me to himself and his light. It was a self-inflicted, hard journey, but he loves me so much that he didn’t let go of my hand during the 34 years it took to get me out of darkness and shame. Through Celebrate Recovery, I finally confessed out loud in the presence of a trusted friend the darkness that had held me captive. Ever since my declaration, the light of Christ shines ever brighter in my life—every minute of every day—through danger, sickness, fear, pain, and death.
I cannot fathom the pain and horror Jesus endured on my behalf so that I could confess my sin and truly know freedom. I welcome a life devoted to the glory of God and serving others, in every mundane and exciting moment. I urge you, if you haven’t made a decision yet to stop being the captain of your own ship, please, do so. It’s time to begin a life of grace, peace, and real prosperity in Christ.
What is your secret sin? How has or does it control your behavior?
Are you ready to let go of your imaginary control?
If you are sick of living a lie and hiding in the shadows, tell God you are genuinely sorry and name your sins. Ask for Christ’s sacrifice to be used for your redemption, then seek out one of our loving pastors. They will help lead you to the next step in your new life journey.
My dear, sweet Father God, Creator of all things and lover of my soul. Thank you for your patience and love, and thank you for your forgiveness, if I only ask it of you. Thank you for your salvation and the miraculous life that exists for me and all who turn their journey over to your loving care and guidance. I pray for your help to be brave and humble so that I might commit the rest of my time here on Earth and throughout eternity to you. In Jesus’ powerful, precious name I pray. Amen.
This post was written by Martha Smith, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study. Martha describes herself as a lover of Christ who likes to share faith with others.
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