In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. – John 1:1
Light does something unique, it eradicates darkness. It is not a gradual thing but an immediate desolation. When you walk in to a room and turn a light switch on the room brightens and everywhere the light reaches darkness cannot overcome. No matter how much it may want to it simply cannot exist at the same time. Light provides assurance that darkness cannot overcome it because it is a fact we can see and observe.
So why is it we let the enemy win and cause doubt when God is the light? The very first words God spoke during creation were “Let there be light…” and then immediately darkness was separated from the work God was doing. His word commands the universe and move things just by that alone. We can see the light He created, the darkness of night, the air and land and sea He spoke in to existence. We have all these awesome tangible proofs that God exists and that God’s word can literally move mountains. Still we question his omnipotence. God is not as simple as a light switch but we get more assurance from a light switch than God and there is something wrong with that.
The first five verses of John 1:1-5 are the introduction of Jesus to the world. God not only gave us the Bible, His word and history put to paper but His Son as well. Jesus was with God from the beginning and through God all things have been made. Jesus is life for the dead souls buried in sin, the light in Him is given to us when we recognize and submit to God’s will for us. Believing in the divinity of Jesus and that His suffering has absolved us of sin on our judgement day is the assurance that God has given us freely.
Christ is Assurance
Sin is equated with darkness because that is where the serpent hides. Salvation through Christ is equated with light because of what light does. It is the simplest way God can show us the change that happens when you are redeemed. Light removes darkness and as such it removes sin. Light can make the serpent slither away because it prefers dark warm places where it can continue it’s work against God. These visualizations help us better understand why Jesus lives in us. He is the light and our hearts are dark and full of sin. The assurance that light eradicates that darkness is why we should be placing more faith in God than a light switch. God is eternal, the switch will eventually wear out or the bulb will blow. Jesus isn’t going anywhere. He is here and always has been.
Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirrorand, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. – James 1:23-24
When we exercise spiritually we are practicing for the potential spiritual threats we may experience in life. I say may because we have been guaranteed to face hardships but I do not wish to come across as a person speaking hopelessness! I speak life! It is why I started this, I want anyone who comes across this to get something spiritually from it. We may be focused on the Christian male but that does not mean we exclude anyone. Spiritual fitness is not like riding a bike you can lose your agility to combat the enemy if you do not keep in touch with God. When we look at ourselves in the mirror do we confront the person we are or do we look and see a person we are pretending to be and live in denial?
Fearing the Mirror
A person who looks in the mirror and sees a person they have fooled themselves in to thinking they are is a person that is spiritually shallow. I in no way mean this to be condemnation because a whole chapter of Romans was dedicated to why we should not condemn anyone (Romans 2:1-29). The first part (Romans 2:1-4) deals with the hypocrisy of the Christians in Rome against the Gentiles. In many ways these Christians were not looking in the mirror because ultimately the saying, “we’re all human” applies to this so much. The new covenant dissolved the idea that only the Israelites were God’s only people. Sometimes, we as Christians get so caught up in the righteousness that we have through Christ that we also forget that the very righteousness we have is given through faith and that it doesn’t matter who you are (Romans 3:22). We should not be hiding ourselves or trying to because fact is, God sees us even in our hidden place.
Owning the Mirror
I can’t even remember this guy right here. Not who he was but that I looked like that.
When I look in the mirror every day, and let’s be honest, I got to keep my hair looking good, I mean look at the brillo pad I have. When I look at myself I want to be happy with the man I see because ultimately I represent my faith. Am I happy spiritually with who I am, with how I lead my life, my family? If I can say yes to that then I am owning the mirror. Whether it is at work or home take a minute to look at yourself. Not your physical shape, you have the ability to change that just as much as you do your spirituality. Can you say you’re leading a life that represents Jesus to the best of your ability? Maybe you don’t realize the full potential you have for being a disciple. Don’t fret, we all don’t know that. Only God does. We can however ask Him to help us understanding or guide our decisions to be His will. That is why praying is important. how can we ask God to help us if we don’t talk to Him? Own the mirror. You’ll see a happier person.
We need to own the mirror every day and we can only do that by diving deep in to the waters of faith. It is a great unknown but He walks beside us. Reading the Bible every day is a great way to start. Do a daily devotional and you’ll start hungering for me. Who was Jesus? Who can I help see Jesus in me? The Bible is God’s word put to ink by men that He breathed words in to. Read, Pray and then get rid of that fear of the mirror and own it. Be what God wants not only in public but in private. He sees it all. Since the beginning he has watched man sin and then try to hide it. Since the beginning He has called man out for those sins and their desire to keep it hidden. When we look in that mirror what do we see? A paper Christian or a man who wears the armor of God and is ready to do battle with hell wherever it is at?
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. – 2 Corinthians 4:6
When talking about Spiritual Fitness there is the need to exercise not your body but your faith. We do that by prayer, worship, devotionals and more importantly service to others. As men of families we are given the precious duty of guiding our family through darkness and troubles. In those times we must keep our family’s gaze on God. This is why service is so important to any Christian and certainly should be a focus for the husband who has a family looking up to him.
If you are a single mother reading this, I’m sorry that you are in that position and I will pray about that but this can be applied to you! As the head of house you are charged with caring for the way your children see God. You have the ability to set the tone that your home experiences. There is a reason the saying, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” exists and that is it.
As a couple, as parents you mutually set the tone for your home. That means being a team. A wife is not a bondmaid but a participant. There is a great difference and for an example of this you can see it in this message from Pastor Kurtis Massey at Harvest Bible Chapel of Hickory
Fill the Darkness
While spiritual fitness will help prepare you for an assault by the enemy it does something else. When we accept Jesus a void is filled immediately. That is the light of the Holy Spirit expanding in you and taking that spiritually dead heart and filling it with life. That’s where the change happens and when we start speaking life because that light, the joy of the Lord fills us. As we become spiritually fit we make more room for that light to expand in us. It is much like losing weight in the sense that you are shedding off fat and that fat leaves space in your physical body where it used to reside. Light fills that darkness and seeks total eradication.
God yearns for a relationship with us but he will not force us in to that. What reward is there in forced submission? Sure you have these souls who must bow to your whim but there is a joy in the willing worship of your children. As parents we see that when our kids look up to us in that wide-eyed wonder and listen to us intently as we converse with them. Some of the most awesome conversations I have are with a six-year old and a three-year old. God wants that with us! We have to make room for it though because only God can bring light in to our hearts. We must make an intentional effort to not only strengthen our relationship with God but to have those awesome conversations with our wives, our children, our family. Don’t just listen to them but hear what they need because if you aren’t making time for God and helping your family make time for God by serving them then no one in your house is growing spiritually. That will cause more strife than if we just take the time that we might think is inconvenient and set it aside purposefully for God.