God placed a key to intimacy in my hand, a key for which I had been searching for many years. It was a defining moment for my family when First John 1: 5-9 exploded in my heart. I could finally see it. Lasting fellowship and intimacy are possible only when I am willing to bring all my sin into the light. I had been trying to cast out darkness through waiting for some great dramatic encounter, when in actuality freedom begins with a simple willingness to walk in the light. That brings us to the first thing that darkness can be.
Because I was so afraid of what others would think if they really knew me, I had kept unconfessed sin in my heart, areas of my thought life that I would not allow my wife or children to see. I’m not speaking of outward immoral sins, but the motives that drove me in my Christian walk—the attitudes of pride, competition, jealousy, and envy—the aggressive striving to be somebody and to be seen and known. The thoughts and intentions of my heart that were all wrapped up in self-love. These were the hidden sins of pride and self-love that I struggled with most. I had a prayer partner I talked many things over with, but I was a closed book at home to my family. My darkness gave the enemy ground to traffic in every area that I chose darkness over light, and thus made it difficult for me to dwell in Father’s loving embrace. The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts (Romans 13: 12-14).