The blood does not cover what we leave hidden in darkness and refuse to uncover. “If we walk in the light… the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1: 7). We can confess our sin to God, and He forgives us the first time we ask, but we can still carry the shame of our sin because of guilt and the fear of anyone ever finding out about it. This has the power to steal years of intimacy from our life and relationships.
The ability to hear what God is saying, to see what God is doing, and to move in the realm of the miraculous comes as an individual develops the same intimacy with and dependence upon the Father [as Jesus had]. How did Jesus do what he did? The answer is found in his relationship with the Father. How will we do the “greater things than these” which Jesus promised (John 14:12)? By discovering the same relationship of intimacy, simplicity and obedience.
When we have allowed darkness into our lives in any one of the first three areas—unconfessed sin, unresolved conflicts with other people, or with our own masks and pretenses—we can then easily become cut off from our sense of intimacy with God. That lack of intimacy in our most important relationship often leads to problems in other relationships; we may become dissatisfied with our spouse and our minds start to wander, looking for love in all the wrong places. Men may become involved in pornography, struggle with the lust of the eyes, or even fall into an affair. Women may begin to compare their husband to other husbands or even ministers whom they know: “Oh, I wish my husband knew the things that Jack knows.” “I wish my husband would minister to me the way that Jack ministers to his wife.” If you do not think that your spouse is the greatest spouse on the face of the earth, then your marriage may be in trouble. Your spouse probably senses the dissatisfaction, and the lack of unconditional love can drive a wounded spouse even further away into deeper darkness.
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).