Coming Out Of Darkness
"The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned." Matthew 4:16 Many people who come to the Lord later in life can tell you the difference it has made in their lives before and after. It is wonderful to listen to testimonies of such, they just SO glorify the Lord and leave one in awe. Many will describe to you the picture of what they were, and then go on to tell you the impact the born-again experience had upon their lives. Alcoholics, drug addicts, prostitutes, homosexuals, adulterers, liars - healed and set free. The born-again experience changes things - in a big way. Every believer has a testimony, the story of what God did in their lives when they surrendered their lives to him. And for anyone who does not have a story, I would suspect that they may not have truly been born again, because the very essence of the born-again experience is the change it makes in a person, because the Gospel is the Gospel of the POWER of God, delivering one from darkness and birthing him into light. "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the POWER of God to salvation for everyone who believes…" Romans 1:16 We are born into a fallen human nature, into a fallen world, to fallen parents, educated by fallen teachers, and we have grown up with all the effects that the fallen world has had upon us. We are born sinners, every last one of us. As it is written: "There is not one righteous, no not one." Romans 3:10 When a person is born again, he is taken out of the darkness of the world and transferred into the Kingdom of God. His spirit which was dead because of the fall of mankind, is suddenly infused with light and life. It changes everything. He begins to notice that he no longer thinks the way he thought before, and there is a change in what interests him. He receives a totally new worldview because now he recognizes the darkness as darkness, and he can never again look at things from that perspective. The greatest change, though, is the power that the Word of God has upon him as he picks up the Bible and begins to read it daily. A person who is not born again cannot "see." “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he CANNOT SEE the kingdom of God.” Jesus -John 3:3 A person who is not born again may read the Word of God as literature or as history. He might even quote passages from the Bible as he might have quoted from any other book. But he remains in darkness, unable to "see." Some say they don't read the Bible because they don't understand it - and that proves this point. You will find that this is the way it is in many churches today. That's why people in that kind of church can call evil good and good evil. For example, they call perversion "love," but that kind of love is only soulish, it has nothing to do with the Spirit of God, it is flesh. And it's corrupt. But they are not able to "see" that. With the born-again experience on the other hand, the Word of God becomes life to him, changing him, guiding him, and affecting every area of his life. The Word of God will change the way a person thinks, the way a person perceives. It changes everything. It's not something a person conjures up. It's not that he makes the changes himself. No, it is the Spirit of God changing him. Many are truly shocked when they realize the changes that have been made inside them. How can you tell whether a person is born again? It will be obvious in that person's view of the Word of God, because the Word of God becomes life to one who is born again. The Spirit of God now dwelling in that person "convicts" him of the deception he lived in and shows him the truth. He will lose the old way of looking at things which was in conformity with the world's views, and will realize he was wrong as he sees everything in a totally new light. If you have not been born again, or worse - if you're religious but suspect you have not been born again, then pray with me: Father, I have thought all along that I have believed in you, but I realize that I see everything from the world's point of view. My mind, my soul, has not been changed. I've agreed with those who justify their sin even using your Word to justify it. What I'm asking you Lord, is that if I've been deceived and have not truly been born again, please come into my life and change me through this life-giving experience. I realize it will change everything for me and that scares me, but it's too important, how can anything be more important? I'm willing to give up and surrender my life to you. Please become my Savior, and yes, please become my Lord. I relinquish to you all my old way of thinking, all my wrong attitudes, every deception I have fallen for, all religious practices that I do and have trusted in, and ask to see everything in the light of the truth. I surrender all Lord, please take me and make me yours. "All to Jesus, I surrender, all to thee I freely give; I will ever love and trust you, in your presence daily live. I surrender all, I surrender all, all to thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all." More: What did Jesus mean when he said, "You MUST be born again?"