“If we could comprehend the value of Light to give life and health, we would cry out for its brightness.”
Martha Kilpatrick, “Light and Repentance”
I’ve talked about strange fire and I’ve talked about the power of the Light, and now I’d like to give a specific example of the uncompromising nature of Light, as well as the reward for receiving it.
I was born again on a weekend, and it was the worst and best weekend of my life. I’ve told about begging God for a scripture, a word that would tell me what to do in the most practical way so that I would not be lost again. He gave me Joel 2:12-13 in the Amplified Bible, and I cried because it spoke so specifically to my need that I knew beyond any doubt that I was His. I went to bed that Sunday night excited about the next day in a way I hadn’t been since I was a child.
On Monday, the Spirit led me to read a few things written expressly for new believers. Among them was Watchman Nee’s New Believer Series. I can’t say that every lesson spoke to me, but two went deep: “Confession with the Mouth” and “Confession and Recompense.” They seemed to be written in neon, and I couldn’t escape what they said. The Light was shining.
Now please understand, I was a woman finally under authority, and I had received the forgiveness and blessing of Martha, my spiritual authority. I had also been forgiven by John, my other authority, and we were on the path to reconciliation. For the first time in my life, I actually felt forgiven and clean. It was beginning to sink in that this new life was real, and the relief and gratitude rushing through me was overwhelming. And then the Light came again and illuminated more darkness.
A few months prior to that terrible, glorious weekend, I called in sick to work. And by work, I mean Shulamite Ministries. I wasn’t sick. I just plain didn’t want to work that day, so I lied to John and said I was sick. This wasn’t the first time I’d ever told that particular lie to get out of work at previous jobs, but it was the only time I’d done it at Shulamite. The guilt hit me almost immediately, and by the afternoon, I’d actually made myself sick. I ended up being out of the office the rest of the week with one hellacious intestinal issue after another. It was ugly. And I had never admitted what I’d done.
When it was clear that God was telling me to come clean to John about what I’d done, I fell apart. I couldn’t bear the thought of confessing it all and having him hate me, but I also couldn’t bear the thought of leaving God. I couldn’t go back to being unclean, but I couldn’t see any way that this confession wouldn’t result in me being gone from the ministry for good. I understood that the Light would not be compromised, but I didn’t know anything about the depth of love and compassion that burned within it just as brightly.
For those of you who may be thinking, “Hey drama queen, it’s one lie, not a mutilated corpse!” That’s true, but it felt like the straw that broke the camel’s back. It’s not the size or intensity of the sin; it’s the fact that sometimes even one more hits like a locomotive. The last straw isn’t just a cliché – it’s a reality. And that’s what this felt like.
Well, I confessed to John, and I was forgiven. I also made restitution to the ministry for the money I’d taken and time I’d stolen. And such is the unfathomable forgiveness and love of God that in return for my obedience, and a seemingly paltry one at that, He gave me months of bliss and peace and joy. There is nothing stingy about the Light. It shines unrelentingly bright, but when we receive it, the reward is outlandish in comparison to the cost.
This may seem a silly confession and a paltry obedience, but I’ve come to see that it is not. The Light doesn’t shine arbitrarily or with caprice. No, what the Spirit illumines has purpose and meaning, sometimes beyond what we can see. My life pivoted on that obedience. I was forgiven much, and that’s where I met the heart of the Father. I gave him my shame, and He gave me love. That’s the mercy and wonder of the Light.
For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light do we see light.
Psalm 36:9 AMP