“’Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.’” ~ John 3:20 NIV
The last couple of months, my church has been doing a sermon series on freedom. Throughout the Sundays, we have had people come up and share a short testimony about how the Lord has set them free from their sins. At first, it was really inspiring to hear the stories of people from the congregation. Lately, the testimonies have been more openly honest. The deep dark secrets of people have been coming out. Not only have they been hard to hear and sad, but I have grown to love them even more.
As a sinner, I hate knowing and revealing my sin. It is so shameful and crude knowing I am such a sinner. When I was a child, I was innocent when I sinned because I did not know what I was doing wrong. And now, I do things that I know are wrong. I still do them. But when I hear of the testimonies of the people from my church, I see such joy, peace, and confidence. They shine! And they declare their freedom.
Being in the dark is convenient. No one knows of our dark secrets and sometimes it’s nice because no one will treat us differently if they knew. However, one can only dwell in the darkness for so long. It is not only wrong to be in darkness but it is also not healthy emotionally, spiritually, and even physically. When Jesus came to earth, He saw the people suffering, and He did not hesitate to bring people and sin out of the darkness. He brought hope.
Ephesians 5:8-14 says, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteous and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible” (NIV). So much information is packed in these verses. But they speak truth. If we can dwell in our sin for as long as we want but it will never last. Eventually, it will become visible.
The verses above encourage us that we don’t have to stay in darkness all our lives. Either way, the Lord will expose all evil. And even if we feel ashamed, that is why God sent His son to die for us. He came to bring light and to bring us out of our hiding place. This does not mean we will never sin; we need to remind ourselves that we are not perfect. But we should not be slaves to sin either. Through the power of God, we are free because we can overcome!