Day 12

Light Versus Darkness

from the Ephesians reading plan


Ephesians 5:6-14, Psalm 36:9, 1 John 1:5-10

BY Bailey Gillespie

When we were kids, my brother and I often camped out on the front deck of our three-acre yard. In the California foothills, the sky is clear at night. You can see the stars with clarity, without the obstruction of any phone lines or city pollution. We liked to count how many moving objects we could find in a single night, counting everything from comet tails to satellites to bat wings. (Not to boast or anything, but we came out at forty-eight one summer.)

Occasionally, our parents would come outside looking for an answer to a question, flipping on the flood lamp. Whenever this happened, the game was up. The expanse of stars in our sky theater evaporated by the intrusion of the light’s yellow glare. Only on evenings when our parents stayed in the house (where they belonged) could we experience the grandeur of counting stars in middle school.

Unlike flood lamps exposing the enchantment of a night sky, Ephesians urges us to expose real darkness—more specifically, the works of darkness (Ephesians 5:11). The Lord we worship is light. He is untainted by evil, and “there is absolutely no darkness in him” (1John 1:5). As people of the Lord, we are called to live as children of the light (Ephesians 5:8). Scripture says that the fruit of the light “consists of all goodness, righteousness, and truth” (v.9). This begs me to ask the question: What darkness in my own life needs exposing in order to bear this fruit?

Usually, works of darkness in my own life don’t look malicious. I’m not prowling around like a storybook villain, slashing down opera-house chandeliers or injuring my father-in-law. Most days, I look like a pretty decent human. But our external appearance is only the tip of the iceberg, right? We’re called to look inwardly, a little deeper (okay, a lot deeper), and discover what hidden or disguised sin might be harming ourselves and others. Most likely, I’m already aware of certain places where lies have been given a microphone or destructive behavioral patterns have persisted. But there are even deeper shadowlands that disrupt our intimacy with Christ that may not be as evident at first. This is why we must ask the Spirit to convict us. God is always faithful to shed light on the darkness.

“Get up, sleeper,” says the author of Ephesians. “Rise up from the dead, and Christ will shine on you” (Ephesians 5:14). By exposing the darkness, we will experience the fruit of light. Christ and His attributes will shine on and through us. I’ll ask myself the question again, and I encourage you in the same reflective practice: What darkness in my own life needs to be exposed so that I’m free to bear the fruit of goodness, righteousness, and love in Christ?

Post Comments (57)

57 thoughts on "Light Versus Darkness"

  1. Katarina Irwin says:

    I loved this reminder that maybe my sin or my “darkness” is not obvious a

  2. Rebecca W says:

    Praying for you Rachel B. As a mom of 5, you know that this time is only temprorary but it also feels like more than you can take in the same moment. My own experiences with PP depression (one time being quite severe) led me to some very dark places, but I see now that God was leading me closer to him. He is at work always for your good. Look for him in the small moments with your family, he will be there to give you strength. Please also speak with your doctor – medication and/or therapy are also a gift to help us cope.

  3. Tamara Robson says:

    I find my heart is hard, honestly. It’s become numb to the goodness of God and though I know there is sin inside and outside of me I struggle to see it because I struggle to see the light.

    I know I’m saved. It’s grace that saves me. But I’m praying that, like Ezekiel once saw, that God will bring to life my dry bones – wake this sleeper from the dead. Then I’ll see Him once more.

    1. Bee Feltner says:

      I was going through a situation like that not too long ago. I felt distant and numb. I didn’t like it and I didn’t know why I felt that way. I felt like I was being tested, and so I just overloaded myself everyday with sermons. That was my resolution as immature as it may seem, but sometimes if I can hear the word & have it explained to me, I feel like I received the message clearer than deciphering it on my own when I’m already weary. I’m still working everyday in strengthening my faith with constant prayer & still binge watching the Facebook sermons.

  4. Eryn Murray says:

    This has been my favorite devotion. That darkness is my struggle but nothing is hidden from God. Sometimes that struggle will help deliver someone else from their darkness and bring them to light. This was so awesome!

  5. Aleesha Marie says:

    Beautiful reminder to live as children of light! Love 5:8-9 – it was exactly what I needed to hear today, and immediately saved it as the wallpaper on my phone so I can constantly be reminded of it. As a child of Light, let me be good, right and true to myself, my neighbors, and most importantly to my Lord. Have a beautiful, light-filled weekend my sisters!

  6. Taylor says:

    Praising the Lord for a quiet Saturday morning to catch up on today’s reading and feel so much encouragement from everyone here. Rachel Brasington I am praying for you. Becca thank you for so bravely sharing your testimony. God spoke through you to reveal to me that my obsession with seeking validation and acceptance from others is actually a form of idolatry. I am working through my own journey of exposing darkness in my life and this community has been such an encouragement to me in my journey. Two birds landed on my second story windowsill which is uncommon and spent about 20 seconds each just resting on the window sill. Watching their precious little heads flutter about brought tears to my eyes that the Lord cares and provides for the birds, how much more does he love, care, and provide for me <3

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