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From Denial to Reality: Darkness to Light
We can only deal with life constructively when we admit to the realities this life involves.

Denial of reality is a fairly common human condition. Sometimes there is a fear of facing the truth, and sometimes there is so much pain involved people simply shut things out. There may be a number of other factors involved in living in such denial.

For me, the existence of God is part of reality. I have lived in relationship with Him for a long time now, and have experienced the reality of a God who is interested in my life. I have always enjoyed discussing proofs for God’s existence— and no doubt one of the biggest proofs of all has to be the very existence of the world and the wider universe (see Romans 1:20). The matter that makes up the universe had to have a cause. Science debates that cause, but it had to come from somewhere, and be caused by something. So a creation is evidence of a creator.

Yet, for me, the strongest proof for God’s existence is my own experience of Him. I find this experience has been guided and defined by the Bible. The God it portrays is the same one I experience.

For me, to deny God would be to deny reality. To live in a state of denial is to be mentally and emotionally unhealthy.

There is no way we can deal with life constructively if we are not prepared to admit to the realities this life involves.

For someone to deny God’s existence is to deny what I am firmly convinced is reality. Though we are all free to live in such a state, it is not a state that allows us to come to terms with the biggest issues of life—what purpose is there for our existence, and what is the goal or outcome for which our lives were designed? How were we meant to live, and how can we know right from wrong, good from evil?

These are the questions that coming to terms with the reality of God has answered. I have been touched by His merciful hand, and He has led me to understand that He wants me to live life both now and on out into eternity as His adopted child (see 1 John 3:1-3). Further, His nature is one of love, and He desires that the loving service He bestows on us define how we should treat one another.

He provides a way—and through the work of the Holy Spirit, the capacity to be different. We are strongly curved inwardly as human beings. We have powerful tendencies turning us inward—and only God can overcome that inherent selfishness. Only He can shed light on the dark corners of our own hearts, with their propensity to selfishness, hypocrisy, judgmentalism and posturing.

The Bible uses the metaphor of light to describe the work of Jesus in our world (see John 1:4,5). We human beings sometimes resist the light because it reveals reality—and we struggle within ourselves because sometimes we honestly prefer to live in denial (see John 3:19). Yet, being in a state of denial is a destructive way to live. We cannot address the realities we face—and the truth about ourselves—living in the blindness of denial (see John 12:35).

The way to move out of denial and spiritual blindness into the reality of the light of God is by faith. Once our relationship with God beings to grow over time, the doubts subside, and we come to experience Him as reality.

But where do we get the faith to move from denial or doubt to faith? The Bible teaches us that God loves all people, and wants to enter into a relationship with each one of us. He will give us the faith we need to take those first steps— and to continue into a rich and full relationship with Him (see Ephesians 2:8). This is what the Bible calls salvation—which can be described as a journey from darkness to light. Another way of putting it would be to say it is God’s mercy at work in drawing us from living in denial, toward living in the true reality.

Once we experience God, doubts about His existence or even about His nature dissipate. We begin to see clearly that He is there, and is really the foundation and sustainer of all reality. Denial and doubt will evaporate, displaced by knowing God, who is the ultimate reality.

Gary Moore is the national director of the Worldwide Church of God, Canada. 

Originally published in Northern Light Magazine, October/November/December 2009.

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