November 2018   
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Worship In The Darkness

"Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vine, even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation." Habakkuk 3:17-18....."The people who walk in the darkness will see a great light - a light that will shine on all who live in the land where death casts it's shadow." Isaiah 9:2


I was wondering about something the other day. In this sensory centered culture, of which the church itself has entered into, what would happen if all the lights, slides, projector images, even the lighting in the sanctuary itself were to suddenly go dark? Could we still worship with the complete lack of every outward stimulus? Could we worship Him in the dark? Or, in the absence of it all, would most of just go home?


All of the above is highly unlikely to happen, at least to the church in the west. The physical church going dark is not very likely. In the spiritual aspect of the Body, it's not just likely, it's certain. We will, both corporately and individually, enter into periods, sometimes very long ones, where we find ourselves immersed in the darkness of awful circumstances, deep and threatening danger, needs that seem to have no chance of being met, and the abyss of a present and future seemingly without hope. These are the things that scream at us in the darkness. What's more, their threat is real. Dare we believe that He is more real? Can we, even in that abyss, worship Him? Isaiah said we could. Habakkuk said he would, and did. What about you and me?

I think we've become so familiar with Isaiah 9:2 that we don't contemplate what it's really saying. We know Jesus is the Light shining in the darkness unto a world of death. We know He enters into darkness. Do we ever realize that He most effectively does this through His people.....who themselves are living in the midst of that darkness? Do we ever realize that the Light that shines in the darkness is His Life shining through the lives of His people, as they walk through the darkness that has engulfed all those around them as well? Do we realize that what makes His people different is that the darkness can only engulf us outwardly? It cannot do so inwardly. Not when we truly abide in Him. An abiding that allows us to worship, praise, have joy, peace, and a holy confidence in Him....even in the deep darkness. Because His Light shines in the darkness, and when we receive it in its fullness, it shines in and through us. We are not prisoners of the darkness, and because of this, we worship Him even in the midst of it. As we shine in that darkness, those who are it's prisoners have the chance to have His Light shine upon them. Then they're no longer prisoners. The chains of the dark are broken. They're free, and can worship Him....even in the darkness.

The conditions of your life right now may be exactly as were Habakkuk's. Whether it's financial, professional, relational, or ministerial, it is not what is seen, but who and what is unseen that is final and most real. When the eyes of your heart are upon Him, you can see Him even in the deepest abyss. And the darkness, which is not darkness to Him at all, is not to you either. And so, you, we, worship Him.... in the dark....The blackest night cannot extinguish His Light, and we will not fail to see it, be vessels of it, if we'll but dare to worship Him in the midst of it. Do we, do you, dare to? There is no shadow of death for the one who lives in His Light. And that Light in us is a beacon for all those still trapped in that shadow. A beacon of His Life that leads them out....and leads them home. Out of the shadow of death, into the Light of His Life. As we who are His worship Him....even in the darkness.

Pastor O


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