Bible Society of South Africa
Benescke Janse van Rensburg

Fearlessly forward – Day 18

Fearlessly looking forward by facing the past

Bible text(s)

15Catch the foxes, the little foxes,

before they ruin our vineyard in bloom.

Song of Songs 2:15GNBOpen in Bible reader

God is Light

5Now the message that we have heard from his Son and announce is this: God is light, and there is no darkness at all in him. 6If, then, we say that we have fellowship with him, yet at the same time live in the darkness, we are lying both in our words and in our actions. 7But if we live in the light — just as he is in the light — then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from every sin.

8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and there is no truth in us. 9But if we confess our sins to God, he will keep his promise and do what is right: he will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing. 10If we say that we have not sinned, we make God out to be a liar, and his word is not in us.

1 John 1:5-10GNBOpen in Bible reader

Sometimes we learn valuable lessons in the kitchen — even if you are, like me, not an excellent cook. Some time ago I bought a marinated, deboned chicken. It seemed juicy in the package and according to the instructions on the back (very important to me), it sounded as if it would be a delicious meal to prepare for your loved ones in just a few minutes.

I followed the instructions carefully. Everything went according to plan — until I got back into the kitchen ten minutes after I had placed the chicken in the oven. I immediately realised that something was burning. I jerked open the oven door and had to dodge the smoke bubbling out of it. Did I follow the instructions incorrectly? Was the chicken burning? Or was the oven about to explode?

After I had turned off everything and opened the doors and windows for the smoke to escape, I carefully walked back to the oven. Here I discovered the cause of the smoke: Two days prior to this, we roasted a rib in the oven. The marinade dripped onto the bottom of the oven dish. I cleaned it, but failed to clean underneath and around the bowl. I did not feel like the extra effort. The heat of the oven caused the spots of marinade to burn which caused the smoke!

After I cleaned the whole oven again, I placed the chicken on the grill and this time it cooked quickly and easily without any problem.

This event reminded me of the situation in our lives when we confess our sins to God and ask Him to forgive us. If we are too ashamed or embarrassed to discuss certain situations from our past with Him, it becomes like the spots of marinade in the oven. We initially think that we can hide it from the people around us. The problem, however, is that when the pressure in our lives increases, as the oven is heated, the smoke will come bubbling out — visible for everyone to see.

In Song of Songs 2:15 we read that it is the little things in our lives that can sometimes cause the most damage if we fail to pay attention to it: “Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.” And in 1 John 1:5-10 we read: “… God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

What do you keep in the dark in your life? Perhaps it’s something that happened years ago, but still affects you. Remember, as long as we have dark areas in our lives, the enemy can attack us by constantly reminding us of it. It not only makes us feel guilty, but it causes us to live in fear that others will discover our secret and it robs us of our joy. It is only when we confess it to God that we are truly healed and experience freedom from it.

Do not wait for the spots of marinade to start smoking. Let us take it to God, knowing that He can remove our sins as far as the east is from the west and cleanse us as white as snow. You will be surprised at how much better you feel when you stand in the light, with no darkness in your life! God bless.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.14.1
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