Last year, one evening, Grant and I were wanting to watch a movie. We had our typical conversation:
What do you want to watch?
I don't know, what do YOU want to watch?
Finally, we settled on a "scary movie." Now, to begin, I will say that we have some strict rules in our home. There are no R-rated movies in our house. And we are watchful of the PG-13 movies as well. This movie was a PG-13 "thriller" and we were in the mood to be "thrilled," I suppose. So we settled down on the couch, turned the lights off, and started the movie.
I have never watched a horror movie in my life. The movie "Jaws" makes me jump clear out of my skin and is what I call, a scary "jumping" movie. So I assumed that this "thriller" would be much like that. There was no language to worry about. It had no Voodoo or anything evil that it glorified. It was harmless....or so I thought. However, by the movie's end that night, I was shaking with fear. The movie wasn't about anything spiritual. The whole scenario was unrealistic and, if you truly think about it, maybe a bit lame. It wasn't classified as a horror movie. Just a thriller. Just a little fear....right?
Once the movie was over, I jumped up and turned on all the lights in our house. Being late at night, Grant and I headed to bed, but I found myself unable to immediately hop into bed and fall asleep. I had the lights bright and tried to clear my mind. That night I dreamed about the movie. Anytime Grant or I discussed the movie, I would usually have have trouble sleeping or end up having some sort of nightmare. I didn't understand it. I didn't watch horror movies, I never tampered with anything spiritual or "evil." I wasn't a fraidy cat, scared of my own shadow. I could pretty much handle my own.... So, what was wrong??
Suffice it to say, it didn't take long for me to realize that I had justified that movie because it wasn't a "real" scary movie. I justified it because it was PG-13 for "thematic elements and disturbing images." I justified a lot....but I ended up being so terrified that when Grant would mention anything associated with the movie, I couldn't handle it. There had to be something more that I wasn't seeing.
So I did some serious soul searching and I allowed God to shine a light on a seemingly small area of my life.
Up until then, I would never have entertained the possibility that there could be an area of darkness in my life. But I realized then that there was! I had pursued a movie that was saturated in darkness and that played on my nerves, driving me to fear. I had found nothing wrong with it because it was "tame" and "harmless" yet overlooked and forgotten the fact that the standards of God are FAR different from the standards of this world. Hollywood said that it was "innocent." I know now that the Lord put it in a totally opposite category. There was nothing innocent or harmless about it. That is always one of the first things we forget - that God thinks very differently than the way we think. His standards are higher. His definitions, different. His love, greater. His judgement, more sure. His truth, absolute. And I have no doubt that if we had prayerfully consulted Him that night in our movie-dicision, we would have never lowered the bar.
Our society glorifies the darkness. Have you noticed how incredibly dark and sinister the horror movies are getting? The previews are enough to make you scream! Have you seen how much money movies that glorify evil are making? Have you counted how many TV shows are about witches, vampires, wizards, and ghosts? Even the Disney channel and the Cartoon network is filled with them! Wonder why that is? Simple. Our world is growing increasingly sinful and as a result, it is becoming increasingly filled with darkness. John 3:19-21 puts it perfectly....
"And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God."
We are naturally drawn to darkness because we are sinful creatures. As long as sin is in this world, we will wrestle against our flesh and against the darkness of sin. It makes sense....
However, as the redeemed of God, we are no longer children of the darkness, but of the light! As Paul said in Ephesians 5:8, "For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light." Since we are no longer in darkness, we should endeavor to walk in the glorious light of Christ, leaving the works of darkness behind. It all goes back to separation. From the very beginning, God separated light from darkness.
Genesis 1:4 - "And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness."
Why should we think that there shouldn't be a separation between the people of God and the things of this world when God divided the night from the light at the beginning of creation? Clearly, it is an important division! And spiritually speaking, since we have the God of light living in our hearts, there should be no smidgen of darkness in us at all! No sin, for He is holy. No darkness, for He is light. No night, for He is day. No dirt, for He is clean and righteous. It is easy to forget, yes. It is easy to slip back into a justification mode, yes. It is very easy to grow lazy and slack. But over and over again in Scripture, God reminds us (because we definitely need reminding!) that we should follow in His footsteps; walking in the light, showcasing light in our lives, spreading light, shining the light, running to the light!....etc. etc. etc.
I definitely learned my lesson last year on that night. Since then, I haven't watched any "scary/thriller/spooky/jumping" movie. I was greatly convicted that evening and resolved to never again play with something that can cause me to be afraid or that is filled with or glorifies darkness.
Why? Many reasons; the main reason being that I serve a Holy God who has no darkness in Him whatsoever. And if I am to be His hands, His feet, His mouthpiece - His vessel - I need to be as much like Him as I can be. And that means ridding myself of darkness as well.
Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.
I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.
The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
2 Corinthians 6:14
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
1 Thessalonians 5:5
Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
1 Peter 2:9
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;
I challenge you to let the light of God shine upon your life and your heart and, like David said to God, "see if there be any wicked place in me." I have to do this every day or I will stumble back into the darkness. Let us resolve to step out of the darkness and walk as children of Light.
1 John 1:5
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.