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" It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." John 6:63

Saturday 11 May 2019

Dwelling in the Thick Darkness

Darkness is a time, a season for drawing near to our God, of testing trial, grief of heart, ill health and the many varied burdens of the flesh.. 

Perhaps our usual understanding of God is as God is Light. "I am the Light of the world" was one of Jesus’ seven "I am" statements in gospel of John.

John 8:12 
“I am the Light of the World: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life.”
Praying much over this topic, I’ve been seeking where the Lord would have it go.
The following verse in my daily reading was the trigger of the topic. The timeline setting is at the time of building of Solomon's temple..

2 Chronicles 6:1
..." said Solomon, The LORD hath said that he would dwell in the thick darkness."

“Thick darkness” , this seems a contrary description of the LORD God, Who went as a pillar of cloud in the day before His people, and a pillar of fire in the night ... I also immediately thought of a number of references elsewhere of those who “sit in darkness”, some shown below.

Psalm 107:10-11
"Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;
Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High:"

Isaiah 42:6-7
"I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, .... for a light of the Gentiles;
To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house."
Micah 7:8
"Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when sit in darkness,the LORD shall be a light unto me."

Luke 1:76-77,79
(Zachariah, John’s Father, speaking of John, the Baptist.)
"And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways;
To give knowledge of salvation unto His people by the remission of their sins,
To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."
Curiously in these verses there is a real progression.

Psalm 107 speaks of those in darkness as consequence of their (our) sin.

Isaiah 42 presents the hope ... opening of blind eyes (an aside:- this is a good verse to claim for salvation, etc of loved ones).

Micah 7 (a verse I’ve loved for decades) ... when in darkness there’s light! Rejoice not my enemy... I shall arise..  though in darkness, the LORD shall be my light! Joy indeed!

Luke 1 refers to Christ and His work upon salvation, He will guide our feet in peace. Peace brings contentment, contentment leads to joy.

Yet even in a saved, surrendered, rejoicing Christian walk following the One, Who is the Light of the World, there are periods of the darkness of the valleys. 
We can’t always live on the mountaintop, the valleys are needful.

One thing I’ve really realised, God dwelling in darkness does not mean He has darkness in Him. 
God dwelling in deep darkness merely shows God is omnipresent.
And so for us in period of darkness,
there is a purpose in God's plan for us. 
O, may we be teachable in this dark valley. 
There is rich treasure here, spiritually. 
We will never learn this on the mountaintop of good times.

As stated in introduction:
Darkness is a time, a season for drawing near to our God, through the testing trial, grief of heart, ill health and many varied burdens of the flesh..
Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art;
Thou my best thought, by day or by night;
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father and I, Thy true son;

Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.
O King of glory, my victory won;
Rule and reign in me ’til Thy will be done;
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall;
Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.
Drawing near to God ... this is what the valleys are, times of drawing near .. learning afresh to trust, rest in Him ... for the LORD “dwells in deep darkness”. 

He is there in the midst of our heartache, our grief, loss of loved one, health, financial security, etc.
We are not alone.
“Lo, I am with thee alway, even unto the end of the world.”
May we always recall, when in Darkness... deep darkness, that our Lord is our light.
Praying for each of you in your burdens. 
May this bless your heart as it did mine... 
I pray so.

'Draw near to God, and He will draw nigh to you.'
Prayer hugs, Shaz in Oz.x 

PS. If this has blessed you I'd love it if you would join as a wonderful encourager of this blog ...  link HERE.
Thank YOU to those who have done so already. You really encourage me to keep on! 💕
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Thank YOU. 😊


Cheryl said...

Oh, Shaz! I know without a doubt that the Holy Spirit directs your words on this blog and the timing, also. My family and I are walking through such thick darkness on all sides, and we are seeking God's face with our whole hearts. I have pondered the thought of how He dwells in the thick darkness many times, and I have gleaned so many truths and lessons from it. Never before has the darkness felt so thick and so dense and hard to navigate through, but surely God is with us and is leading the way. This is surely a walk by faith and not by sight. We can't see in the dark, but we have to believe that HE is there and just follow as we stay so close to His side. If you think of us, please keep my family and me in your prayers, and I want to thank you from the depths of my heart for being faithful to God and His call upon your life. Your posts are so deep and full of wisdom.

Betsy said...

Shaz, I was so touched by this post. I have tried several times today to answer your email and comment on here, but my internet has been very spotty today and each message to you disappeared before I could send it off. I just read Cheryl's comment and I am so touched by what she wrote and the words of your post. You both have a wonderful way of writing which escapes me completely. Definitely writing wasn't one of the gifts God gave to me.
Your words touched me deep within. I feel sadness and grief at the loss of my physical capabilites. I hope it isn't permanent, but if it is, I need to make peace with it and know that God will walk right beside me through everything I face. Thank you SO much my friend.
Blessings always,

Anne said...

I sense that to acknowledge and embrace God in the dark times of life, even if we feel that He has abandoned us, strengthens our faith and helps defeat the enemy.God is always in control and He is always with us. Thank you for these scripture to meditate upon!

kiwimeskreations said...

Thank you for showing that progression Shaz - it surely is a reason for hope. I have learnt sometimes that I have to "faith facts" as I say - which really is another way of saying that I am clinging to the immutable fact that God is in control, even if I cannot see it at that instant.

Marilyn Mathis said...

For many years Exodus 20:21 has been an encouragement to me. " and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was." Just to know that during the darkest times, He is there helps us through every trial. One of Satan's greatest tools is to make us think that God doesn't care and is unreachable, but He is always there even when we can't see Him. Thank you for this encouraging post. God bless you and hugs.

Brenda said...

Thank you Sharon, as always you let the word inspire and sink into my soul. In our darkest hours, the Lord is always with us to show us the light and I'm so thankful to Him for that! I am also thank to you and your posts. Hugs, Brenda

CherylQuilts said...

Oh, precious Shaz, what a perfect devotional post you've shared with us today, and it's just where I am at this time. Yes, it's in those dark times where and when we find God is with us and where we see how He is guiding us and drawing us to Himself. During the darkest of times, I know He is with me. It's so easy to forget when things are going well, but it's so vital to cling to Him and lean into Him...cling to Him. Praise God, He is always with us. Much love and blessings, precious Shaz! Thank you for sharing with us...always! xoxo

Sunshine Country said...

Was blessed by this post...sometimes it feels like the times of darkness will never end, but another passage that I cling to and plead before the Lord for His pity and mercy, are these ones in James 5: "Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy." And one more that my dad has encouraged me with in times when I've been in dark times, is Isaiah 50:10: "Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God."

Conniecrafter said...

Praise be to God for being with us in the darkness and showing his light in our lives, even if it is just a glimmer as he pulls us out, day by day, teaching to us along the way!
Our Pastor is preaching on each of the I AM's every Sunday.