Updated: Jan 11, 2021
So you don’t understand what is going on in your life, possibly even in the world. You say it’s like the lights have gone out and you are in total darkness, and you are wondering what you should do, or what might happen next.
Let me begin with a scripture found in Isaiah 50: 10-11 “Who is among you that fears the LORD, that obeys the voice of his servant, that walks in darkness, and has no light?
Throughout my ministry I have talked with men and women I consider to be very knowledgable. They are men and women who know and love God. Each one of these give testimony to the fact that they have gone through what is often called the dark night of the soul. They each thought they would be exempt from such an experience since they had known and served the Lord for many years. One of them stated that for over six months there had been a darkness upon his soul that he had never before experienced, where he had absolutely no feelings as far as spiritual things were concerned. Neither prayer nor reading the Bible seemed to help whatsoever.
I have talked on many occasions with other men of God concerning this experience. Without exception, there is agreement that this is an inevitable experience in the life of every believer, especially once he or she makes a commitment to the Lordship of Jesus.
That inevitable experience is to go through a dark night of the soul. For so many Christians, it is unexpected and they do not know how to handle it. Therefore, something must be said about what to do when the lights go out, and you walk through your dark night of the soul.
This is an inevitable experience for two reasons:
The Scriptures validates it.
The testimonies of Christians throughout the ages corroborate it.
This is what the prophet Isaiah is talking about, the inevitable experience of a believer walking through a dark night of the soul. As a matter of fact, he says that the way you can tell one who really fears God and really obeys the Lord Jesus is how they act in the darkness—not how he act in the light.
I think it would be good to give a definition of darkness. Darkness is absence of light. The picture in these two verses is of a man on a journey. He is walking, and suddenly the light is withdrawn. Darkness rushes in. The Hebrew says it like this: he walked in deep darkness without even a glimmer of light to guide him.
When there is light, you know where you are. When there is light, you can see where you are going. When there is light, you can read the road signs and see how far it is to the end of your journey. When there is light, you can see if there is an obstacle in the road ahead of you. When there is light, you can distinguish friend from foe. When there is light, there is exposure, knowledge, and assurance.
Darkness is when there is no light, when you aren’t sure where you are, when you are not certain where you are going. May I add, the darkness we are speaking of here has nothing to do with a Christian who is living in sin. This darkness happens to the most dedicated and devoted Christian. So I repeat, this is an inevitable experience every believer will go through at sometime in his or her spiritual journey. There will come a time when it seems as though you are enveloped in absolute pitch black darkness.
What do you do when the lights go out? The first thing I suggest when the lights go out is to…
Keep On Walking… This sounds like bad advise but stay with me. A number of years ago, I was driving at night, and the lights went out on my car. Immediately I did the safe thing, the right thing, and the rational thing. I stopped and pulled over to the side of the road to wait until daylight. That was the smart thing to do.
That was the right thing to do in the physical realm, but it is the wrong thing to do in the spiritual realm. Probably the biggest mistake that most of us make is that when the lights go out and we come into this dark night of the soul, we stop dead still. Yet, the prophet is saying that those who trust the Lord, fear God, and obey the Lord, are those that walk in darkness.
The Hebrew construction of that seems to say this: it is the characteristic of God’s children that they continue to walk in the darkness. When the darkness falls upon him, he doesn’t stop. He keeps on walking. The first thing I would say to you is that when the lights go out, and you find yourself submerged in darkness, don’t stop–keep on walking. Keep on praying even though it feels as though you are not being heard. When the darkness falls upon your prayer life, do you stop praying and simply wait for the light to come back? Don’t do it. You continue to pray.
Yes, you will go through a period of time at some point in your life when it appears that nothing makes sense, that God is a million miles away. What do you do? Keep on walking, keep on praying, and keep on smiling. Keep on being a proper witness and showing trust and confidence in the Lord. Remember we were called to live by faith and not sight.
The light will come back on, but until it does… keep walking in and by faith.