And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. (Genesis 1:2-3 KJ2000)
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, Upon them a light has shined. (Isaiah 9:2, NKJV).
O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who has known the mind of the Lord? or who has been his counselor?.. For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11:33-36 KJ2000)
Could it be that God allows us to go into darkness so that He can shine forth His marvelous light from within us so that He can create the greatest contrast possible for all to see? When a jeweler wants to show the brilliance of a diamond, he displays it on a piece of black velvet, not white satin. A dear sister who has gone through many hard trials and hardships in her life recently wrote on her blog, “God’s living flame which had just begun to burn exceedingly high in my heart in the year 2000… At that time I hoped that I had already finished my long way with God, that is, I thought I had reached the goal of perfect unity with Him. But, alas, it was only the beginning of a long, both blissful and painful way that led me closer and closer to Him. During the following years when I often thought that God would be silent and all the darkness inside me deeper than ever, He had been far closer than ever before… God’s indwelling of a human being is indeed a divine mystery.” (To read the rest of what she wrote see: http://enteringthepromisedland.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/the-living-flame-of-love/)
There is a saying around Christendom, “Be careful what you pray for; you might get it!” His answers don’t always come in the manner that we imagine they will. I remember praying in 1979, “Father, make me like your Son, that I would only do the works I see you doing and only speak the words I hear you saying.” I had enough time to think to myself, “Boy! That was sure a righteous prayer!” Then He answered back, “No my son, that is only the starting point!” This is when He, in answer to my prayer, moved my goal post way down the field and took me off the religious Foosball table I was on, spiritually speaking, and put me onto a real spiritual soccer field by comparison.
I soon found myself in total spiritual darkness. Where I once had thought I was God’s rising star in Christendom (See Isaiah 50:11), He pulled the plug on all my aspirations of becoming someone in the church. In fact, He even pulled the plug on all my aspirations and livelihood in the world! For fourteen years He held me in a spiritual state of darkness where my fleshly senses could no longer sense His presence in any form. Where my flesh and pride were once built up by Him speaking to others prophetically and using me through words of knowledge in people’s lives, I found myself in what some call the dark night of the soul or the wilderness of God. I soon became a spiritual zombie. People could be feeling the presence of God all around me, getting blessed, but not me. I was flat line.
After all those years in this state of spiritual suspension, He finally brought me out, but this time it was different. My flesh no longer wanted to surf on the Spirit’s wave or draw attention to myself. I just was just glad to have my first love relationship with Jesus back again. He was enough. I wanted Him, not what He could do for me. Or as one dear old saint solemnly advised me about that same time, “Seek God’s face, not His hands.” In 1994 I heard Him say to me, “You have not been this way before.” I soon was to find out that He was cutting me off from knowing Him after the flesh.
Paul wrote, “Therefore from now on know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet from now on know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:16-17 KJ2000)
Knowing Christ after the Spirit, His Spirit in us, and not after the flesh, merely by what we read about His earthly life in a book. This has made all the difference–knowing Him as the One who said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you even until the end.” Where I once knew Christ by way of my five natural senses that I depended on so much, He was now fine tuning me to know His living presence by His five spiritual senses. Where once darkness was my all consuming enemy, I could now see that He can abide in the deepest of dark places where my old sense of sight was totally worthless. “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, thou art with me.”
If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hides not from you; but the night shines as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to you.(Psalms 139:11-12 KJ2000)
And when Israel was up against the Red Sea and the army of the Egyptians was at their backs we read,
All this time God’s angel had gone ahead of Israel’s army, but now he moved behind them. A large cloud had also gone ahead of them, but now it moved between the Egyptians and the Israelites. The cloud gave light to the Israelites, but made it dark for the Egyptians, and during the night they could not come any closer. (Exodus 14:19-20 CEV)
Light and darkness are the same to Him! When we are being led out of our spiritual Egypt–a land where our god dwelt in niches and temples made by men–the Egypt side of our understanding only sees darkness, but the side facing His kingdom sees His marvelous light! In this sense, light and darkness are the same unto Him; they serve the same purpose to cut us off from our idolatry and turn us toward worshiping the Father in Spirit and in Truth! Isaiah understood this saying,
Behold, the Lord GOD helps me; who will declare me guilty? Behold, all of them will wear out like a garment; the moth will eat them up. Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the voice of his servant, who walks in darkness and has no light, yet trusts in the name of the LORD and relies upon his God? (Isaiah 50:9-10 RSVA)
Those of us who have gone through the dark night of the soul have seen and heard the accuser of the brethren speaking through other Christians. We feared the Lord even more than before because of the darkness we were in. Often our accusers did not survive and their fleshly works were eaten up, but in Christ we were vindicated. In all these trials we learned how to trust in and lean on Him alone until our darkness became His Light!
Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me. Rejoice not against me, O my enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me. (Micah 7:7-8 KJ2000)
If I say, “Let only darkness cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to thee, the night is bright as the day; for darkness is as light with thee. (Psalms 139:11-12 RSVA)
The whole time we were in that darkness we were actually under the shadow of His wings and were never closer to Him! And when we thought He was silent (to our old way of hearing), He was teaching us subliminally so that our flesh could not rise up again with knowledge that puffs up. Remember, when revelations come to us from the Spirit of God, we can expect His humbling hand to also be upon us as it was with Paul. When we are weak, Christ is made perfect within us.
Many of us who have been severely tested under the hand of the Lord have a wonderful promise that we are starting to see unfold even now:
I will go before you, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of bronze, and cut asunder the bars of iron: And I will give you the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the LORD, who call you by your name, am the God of Israel. (Isaiah 45:2-3 KJ2000)