Turn the Light On!
Someone once asked me following their ministry session, “What do I need to do to make sure the lie I believed doesn’t return?” My response was, “Nothing!”
By definition, darkness is simply the absence of light. Based upon this definition, darkness does not even technically exist apart from light. So then, all that is needed to keep the darkness out, is for there to be light present. Since it was the Spirit that provided the light, then there is nothing we need to do to maintain it. Someone might ask, “What if we choose to stop believing?” This sounds reasonable until we actually try doing it. Think of anything that you presently truly believe, and then talk yourself out of believing it. This is impossible to do.
There is a principle we use in TPM we call the “Trust and Authority” principle. Simply put, it says, “Before we can stop believing one thing and start believing something different, two criteria must be met.
First, the new information must come from a trusted source. Secondly, the source must hold a higher level of authority of knowledge than we hold ourselves. This is why it is impossible to talk a person out of the lies they hold even though they may know the truth intellectually. Changing belief requires someone (or source of knowledge) to persuade us of the truth of the new belief. If both of these criteria are not met, we cannot stop believing what we believe.
Since we have trusted the Spirit and since He holds a higher authority of knowledge than we hold, He is able to persuade us to believe the truth. When the Lord through the Spirit persuades us of the truth, our lie-based belief will be instantly cast off. The only way we could ever stop believing the truth in our heart would be for someone whom we trusted, who held a higher authority of knowledge than the Lord Himself, to persuade us out of it. Once God through His Spirit has shone the light of the truth within our hearts, the darkness cannot return. Once the light is turned on the darkness has to flee.
Darkness and Deception
The Bible refers to darkness in many different ways: separation from God, sinfulness, hardness of heart and more. A common understanding is the equating of darkness to lies and deception. A person walking in darkness is said to be walking in falsehood or the absence of light. Once the light is present the person is said to be dwelling in the light or believing the truth.
Here is a simply yet profound principle: We can bring light into a dark room, but we cannot bring darkness into the light. Once a room has light, darkness cannot pervade it. This reminds us of the words of John the Apostle who wrote, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it” (Jo. 1:5 NLT). Once we know the truth in our hearts, we cannot ever believe the lie again. Once I believe I cannot unbelieve.
We see this principle played out each time a person exposes their lie-based thinking (their darkness) to the light (truth) of Christ. The truth each person receives from the Spirit in that moment dispels the darkness and it CANNOT ever return. Once light is in the room, nothing can drive it out. Once the light of Christ is shone in our hearts, we cannot ever believe the lie again. His persuasion of truth is permanent and fixed and no one, not ever ourselves can talk us out of it. Can you convince yourself that 2+2 does not equal 4? If you cannot talk yourself out of such a rudimentary truth, how can we talk ourselves out of the truth that God Himself has persuaded us of in our hearts? Of course if we only believe the truth intellectually and have not been personally persuaded by God in our hearts, then it is merely a matter of time that we become as “…children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming” (Eph. 4:14).
Heart Belief and Faith
When God shines His light of the truth into our hearts, the darkness that pervaded our thinking has to depart. When we have been persuaded in our hearts by the Spirit of the truth— again, there remains no room for negotiation, compromise or variation. No one can talk us out of the truth we believe with our hearts, not even ourselves.
When we believe His truth with our hearts it becomes our faith. This heart belief brings us the “assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). It is not something hoped for or that we wished to be true; it actually is! It is this heart belief/faith that transform us effortlessly, resulting in the expected natural outflow of the fruit of the Holy Spirit.