I imagine you read part 1 and maybe considered your own life, your own mistakes. That’s a good thing.
I know, I know, most of the time you don’t like to “go there.” To think about those dark days. I didn’t either, but the truth is those things often aren’t far from us.? We try to forget our past mistakes, but they are right below the surface of our consciousness. One mess-up today and one hundred mess-ups from our yesterdays come to mind. We try to forget, but unless we could erase our memories forgetting is impossible.
A few years ago, I was having trouble forgetting. It started with reading Psalm 139:23-24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” After reading it, I’d prayed it. And within a day of praying, God resurrected someone from my past who brought everything to the surface again. God had showed me what was in my heart alright, and He pointed out places where residue still clung.
It was then God reminded me that although I’d been groping in the darkness, He’d been right there with me. At any time I could have turned to Him—He’d given me many opportunities to do so—but I had stubbornly continued in the dark. And as I realized that, I understood God’s love even more. Jesus knew all those mistakes, saw me do them, and yet He still forgave me. He still loved me.
That night when I went to bed, I let my mind go back to those places. Yet as I watched myself making bad choices, and I also pictured Jesus by my side with his arms outstretched wishing I’d come to Him instead. It was hard to picture Him there.
Tears streaked down my cheeks, and at that moment I understood His love greater than I ever had before. I also understood that even though I’d 1) asked forgiveness from Him, and 2) I saw myself in darkness and had forgiven myself, there was another layer healing needed. This was 3) asking God to clean out the last bit of residue from my heart, understanding Jesus knew all and still loved me. He saw all my offensive ways and realized anxiousness comes by trying to hide. Instead of hiding, God reminded me that nothing I did was ever hidden. He knew all, and His loved hadn’t changed. It would never change.
This was a moment of humbling and a moment of freedom. It was understanding who I was, why I did what I did, mixed with a knowing that I don’t have to go back there. I don’t even have to deal with the residue. Jesus wants to take that, too.
Jesus is light. And light flooding a soul brings lightness. It’s amazing how that works, but I’m forever grateful that is does.
Take Time for This:
1. Think back to times in your life when you’ve made huge mistakes. Picture yourself in a dark room, groping for happiness. What were some of the obstacles you crashed into? What were some of the emotions you felt?
2. Remember the day you accepted Christ. Picture Jesus entering your room flooding it with light. How did your life change?
3. Pray Psalm 139:23-24. What “anxious thoughts” and “offensive ways” come to mind? Write them down. Ask Jesus to take away the reside left over by past sins … whether they are from ten years ago or ten minutes ago.
4. Read the following Scripture verses and personalize them to your situation. Imagine Light seeping into every cell of your body. How do these verses apply to your life at this moment?
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
For [God] has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13-14
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10
5. Thank God for being His Light. Pray, sing or kneel. Express your thankfulness as one who now understands lightness.
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