God’s Sunshine Illuminates Our Path

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The Bible is full of rich revelations just waiting for our discovery. One day, I realized that I had overlooked the power in Psalm 84:11, which says, “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold form those who walk uprightly.” While the entire verse is amazing, one phrase jumped out to me: “the Lord is a sun”. It is so easy to speed read over this powerful phrase, but when we stop to meditate, we realize the importance it can hold in our lives. After all, the sun holds many different aspects that we often take for granted….   

Guidance 

My least favorite part of the day is when my alarm clock goes off before the sun is up. It’s not so much the getting up that stinks, but rather stumbling around in the dark trying to find the light switch. We realize how much we need light in our daily lives when we try to function without it for a few minutes. Thankfully, God’s light prevents us from stumbling around in life. When we seek His direction, He shows us where to go and what to do. According to Psalm 119:105, God shows us the way through the light of His Word, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

Protection 

We live in an undeniably dark world. But because the sun constantly resides within us, we do not have to be afraid. In fact, the light that we carry can make the world a little less dark. Because God’s light surrounds us, we do not ever have to be afraid. As Psalm 27:1 says, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Light protects us from danger. It gives us guidance in life, showing us which decisions may lead to danger in the future. In Proverbs 4:18-19 God promises to guide the righteous, but hinder the wicked, saying, “but the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto perfect day. The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know what makes them stumble.”  

Clarity 

God’s light not only protects us from dangerous situations; it also clarifies confusing issues. God’s light dispels the murkiness of confusion in both our personal lives and the church. This clarity provides clarity amid a confusing world. As 1 Corinthians 14:33 says, “For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.” In John 11:9-10, Jesus tells His disciples that if they walk in the light, then they will not stumble around in the murkiness. When we do not know what to do or what to think, we can depend on God’s peace to give us clarity in the confusion.   

Best of all, we can share these attributes of the sun with the people around us! The sun in us is bright and noticeable. It is our testimony of what God has done and is doing in our lives. Jesus says in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” It is impossible to hide the physical sun; thus we should never cover up the sun in ourselves. We did not light ourselves. Rather, God sparked our candle so that we might reflect Him in the world. As we follow God’s light on our path, we can lead others in the way of life.  

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Rebirthing – Precisely What We Need

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Oftentimes psychology perceives man’s deepest needs but fails to provide sufficient solutions to the problems. I discovered an example of this last year during my college psychology course. As I was reading the textbook, I stumbled upon a fascinating, yet troubling, psychotherapy treatment called “rebirthing”. My textbook briefly defined the steps of rebirthing as, “Reenacting your own birth, screaming, having body parts manipulated” (1). Supposedly, this treatment is supposed to, “promote attachment and reduce traumas remaining from birth,” (1). The textbook also mentioned that this treatment is not considered to be scientifically sound.  

Although very controversial, rebirthing is common enough to gain the attention of large organizations like the National Center for Biotechnology Information and WebMD.  

At its best, rebirthing seems strange and nonsensical. At its worse, it is deadly. A ten year old girl died of asphyxiation after a 70 minute brutal session of rebirthing therapy where her therapists tried to simulate the birth experience. (2)  

While this treatment seems to be causing more harm than good, it is attempting to address a fundamental human need. We all need a fresh start.  

While reenacting one’s own birth is completely ineffective, there is a way to become completely brand new, irrespective of age. But this solution is not mental – it is spiritual. God recognized our need to be made new when He sent His Son Jesus to die for our sins.  

In the Gospels, Jesus even uses the terminology “born again” to describe the drastic transformation He offers all people. In John chapter three, Jesus is approached by a leader of the Jews named Nicodemus. Nicodemus wants to know more about Jesus and the way to salvation. Jesus tells Nicodemus in John 3:3 that, “unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus, startled, argues that no one can literally be born again. Jesus responds in John 3:5, saying, “unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” Jesus was obviously not talking about physical rebirth, but a spiritual renewal. 

Rebirthing treatment is addressing one of the most fundamental needs of human beings – the need to be made new. In a way, psychotherapists have realized a fundamental truth that we have known for thousands of years. We really do need to be born again. We need to completely eradicate the scum of our old man and become a new creation as 1 Corinthians 5:17 says. While psychology may have recognized the issue, only Jesus can give people the chance to be born again. Psychology was on track in theory but mistaken in method. Nothing in this natural world can bring about a new start. Only spiritual transformation through Jesus can make people new.  

 

References  

1) Grison, S., Heatherton, T., & Gazzaniga, M. (2017). Psychology in your life (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Norton Publishing. 

2) Josefson, D. (2001). Rebirthing therapy banned after girl died in 70 minute struggle. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1174742/