Facing Our 'Dark Side,' Part 2

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Saturday, July 22, 2017 0 comments

by Nathan Buck

Please read last week’s post to get the context of this one.

What Paul explains in Romans 7 is something VERY different than the concept of light/dark sides, within our spiritual nature. God expresses that we are spiritual and physical beings, and apart from God we will do whatever seems right to us, which usually is whatever benefits or feels good to us. When we encounter God, He opens our eyes to see what is truly good and what is truly evil. It's a perspective we can only gain from Him, because He is the only one who is eternal and able to know which is which. God gave us His teaching, recorded in the Bible, as the primary way to know right and wrong / good and evil.

The challenge is, once we know right from wrong, it doesn't change our desires for things that benefit us. Even when we know something is wrong according to God, we see a potential advantage for ourselves or a potential pleasure in doing something, and our struggle begins. This is what Paul calls the desires of the "flesh." Our flesh desires personal gain, feeling, advantage, pleasure, avoidance of pain, etc. It is the moment we stop asking God what is right, and chose to do what we feel will improve our situation. This is different than wisdom, although we can use our wisdom to justify making a self-focused decision.

So, do we have a 'dark side'? Not in the way Star Wars presents it. We do not have two impersonal spiritual forces at war within us. We are not freed from the struggle through enlightenment, and we are not able to overcome evil by being good enough, humble enough, and 'zen' enough.

We are beings who are material and spiritual in ONE nature, and we are given to serve ourselves and protect our own interests. Only through God's teaching and perspective can we discern the difference between good and evil, and only by His power are we able to overcome our self-serving nature. The challenge for us is that God is not an impersonal force or a vending machine of 'force powers' that we can just tap into by meditation and self-denial. God is a person, He has a distinct identity, and He exists unto Himself. We are not God. Only through relationship with Him can we access His power and overcome evil with good.

Come back and read next week's blog post to explore more about how that may be possible.

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