Night Vision by Phil Ware


I could ask the darkness to hide me
     and the light around me to become night —
     but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.

To you the night shines as bright as day.
     Darkness and light are both alike to you. 
(Psalm 139:11-12)

The recent verbal battle over night vision goggles reminds us of 
the importance of being prepared to wage war in the darkness. 
For Christians, this isn’t a physical war, but a spiritual one. 
The apostle Paul puts it this way:

For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.

(Ephesians 6:12)

Winning the battle in the darkness, and 
against the forces of darkness, is crucial to victory.

For those who know the all-knowing and Almighty God as Abba Father, 
          there are several profound truths worth remembering 
in times of stress, trouble, temptation,
and struggle with the darkness. 
These truths are both warnings and promises for those times when 
          the darkness seems to gather us into its seductive, deadly embrace 
          and threaten to squeeze the life out of us. 
They give us night vision as we battle in the darkness 
          against the forces of darkness.
First, we cannot hide in the darkness
Darkness is not a cover for our sinful and destructive actions. 
The darkness gives us no surreptitious advantage. 
God sees and knows what we do in the darkness. 
“Even in darkness I cannot hide from you!” David proclaims to God. 
“To you the night shines as bright as day!” (Psalm 139)
Darkness will not overwhelm us.

Second, darkness will not overwhelm us or claim us. 
While we will stumble in the darkness if we lose sight of our Savior, 
          God knows us and loves us. 
He will seeks us in the darkness and call us to his light. 
He keeps track of our comings and goings, 
          not with intent to punish, but with a passion to save. 
The coming of Jesus is the great reminder that God will not 
          abandon his children to the darkness. (Jn 1:8-9; 3:16-21; 1 Jn 1:5-7)

Third, God can turn our darkness into dawn
When the darkness seems to overwhelm, surround, and engulf us, 
          God can find us and bring the dawning of his great light and 
          chase away the darkness in our hearts through Jesus. (2 Cor. 4:6) 
We can seek after Jesus as our light, and as we come to Jesus 
          we will find in him the light of life. (Jn 3:16-21;Jn 8:12)

Fourth, God longs to use us as lights in the darkness 
          to help others find their way to his grace, mercy and light. 
In fact, we are put in the world to shine as stars of light to show 
          the hope of God in a world of darkness. (Mt 5:13-16; Phil 2:14-15)

Fifth, walking in the light makes us ready for God’s work 
          and Jesus’ coming
to our world in grace and glory. 
We don’t have to worry about our future reunion 
          with him and with our fellow believers and 
          we go about our lives with a readiness and sense of expectation 
          that those in darkness do not have. 
We shouldn’t be surprised or afraid of the future; 
          darkness and all its forces will be banished and we will share 
          in the celebration when the glory of Jesus is fully revealed. (1 Th 4:13-5:11)

Don’t let the darkness and its evil powers scare you. 
The One in you is greater than these powers of darkness. 
God has brought life and immortality to life for us in the Gospel of Jesus! 
At the same time, don’t play with the darkness or minimize its power or intent. 
As a child of God, however, you have the assurance of victory. 
You have a loving Father who has the power 
          to see you and help you out of the darkness. 
You have the light of life in you that will help you 
          bring light to others trapped in darkness. 
You don’t fear the future for you know it brings the day of Jesus’ victory, 
when darkness is banished away and you share forever in his glorious light.
More than night vision goggles, 
          you have the Savior who is victorious over the night.

[Phil Ware is minister of the Word at Southern Hills Church of Christ in Abilene, Texas. For the past 10+ years, he has also been co-editor of HEARTLIGHT Magazine.   Heartlight  provides  positive  resources  for  daily  Christian  Living, 
like this article.   LINK TO HEARTLIGHT:

[PHOTO by beccalee29730 on] 



About Paul Wharton

I am a cradle Catholic, a native West Virginian, and a priest since April 24, 1982. Spiritual Direction has made a tremendous difference in my life and I encourage people to try it out. My motto is "Progress not perfection." I am grateful that God has done for me what I could not do for myself.
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