Looking for Light
I got involved in a Facebook thread the other day that quickly turned into an ugly mess. At issue was an article written by a friend who lives her life with Jesus about as far outside the box as you can go. And she’s not trying to hide it. She knows her antics make her appear to be a heretic to most people, which is probably why she chose the name “The Daily Heretic” for her blog. Not surprisingly, when a friend posted an article she wrote, a few people showed up on the thread with torches and pitchforks in hand.
The article was about her experiences on Halloween, where she dressed up in a costume for work and posed as a psychic who gave people their fortune through rolling dice. In reality, she’s a prophetic healer, who does her work to advance God’s kingdom undercover. My friend happens to be on a mission to see if God can redeem some things the enemy has polluted and corrupted. She believes He can do anything He wants. And that includes redeeming things like yoga, tarot cards, Halloween costumes, and I dunno… maybe even Ouija boards. My friend believes that all these things have both the potential to be used for good as well as evil. She thinks it’s a matter of which source you’re operating under, and since her source is Jesus, she goes about it with confidence.
So she wrote this article about her experiences with this stuff. And some of the people who showed up to leave comments had a field day with it. That evening I was reading Blake Healy’s book The Veil when I ran across this little gem:
“Without the Holy Spirit, anything can be perverted. With the Holy Spirit, anything can be redeemed.”
My friend believes that God is in the redemption business and she believes He’s working through her to redeem everything the enemy has perverted.
So here’s what happened next: I left a few comments on the thread supporting my friend’s boldness, her child-like faith, and her trust in God’s ability to lead her – in spite of the fact that a lot of this stuff makes her pretty uncomfortable. Then I received a message from a friend who rebuked me for supporting her. He felt like she was in complete deception, she was listening to demons and needed someone to correct her.
In the opening chapter of Healy’s book, he encourages people to “look for the good” when reading his book. He did so because he reveals a lot about the kingdom of darkness. He knows it’s easy for most of us to see darkness and focus on it. His instruction anticipates the fact that many of us have been trained to look for darkness and deception in the things we read. He knows that we must be intentional if we’re going to see the good in his writings.
The people who criticized my friend were people accustomed to looking for darkness. There was plenty of darkness mentioned in her article. And since they were looking for darkness—that’s what they saw, and they had no trouble chucking a few stones at her. Of course, there was also plenty of light, life, and love in her article. When I read the article, I noticed the darkness that was there, but I didn’t focus on it. I was looking for life and love and that’s what I found. And that’s what left the greatest impression in my spirit.
When we look for the presence of good or evil in something, we are not evaluating it, spiritually. Looking for good or evil is a process that uses the mind and intellect—not the spirit. The standard used by our intellect to judge or evaluate things is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Spiritual discernment uses a different standard— the tree of life. If something produces life or love, it is recognized by our spirit as being from God. The kingdom of darkness cannot produce them. John Paul Jackson said:
“Spiritual insight goes from the eye to the heart without passing through the roadblock of analysis.”
We discern spiritual light from darkness not by the thought it leaves in our head, but the impression it leaves in our spirit.
Every one of us has a mixture of light and dark influences pulling and tugging at us, continually. We are soldiers on a battlefield where evil is trying to steal, kill and destroy us while the hosts of heaven are warring to drag us ever onward into our divine destiny. There is not one of us who is not influenced, oppressed, or tempted by darkness in one way or another. It’s easy to see the effects of darkness in another person’s life if that’s what you’re accustomed to looking for. What is far more difficult to discern is the good in them, in spite of the darkness that is evident all around them. Perhaps it’s time for us to begin seeing people with a different set of eyes.