Did you get to see it? Everyone was talking about watching the total solar eclipse. It was such a rare occurrence. I had to pick up my grandson from school right at 2:30pm which was the time of the eclipse in my area. So, I missed it. I did notice it got darker, but not as dark as I had expected. But in Indiana where I live, we only had about an 85% eclipse.
The refrain “total eclipse of the heart”, from the song by Bonnie Tyler with that same title, kept running through my mind. I thought about our relationship with Jesus and our heart. I realized that we can experience an eclipse of the heart in our relationship with the Son. What do I mean by eclipse? When our relationship with Christ is blocked. We stop up his ability to pour himself into us. In that case ,depending on the degree of the eclipse, we do not experience a sense of freedom, we do not exhibit the fruit of the Spirit and we do not reflect his light to others. Evidence of the darkness or sin in our lives depends on whether the eclipse is just covering the edge of the Son or completely covering him.
What blocks our relationship with Christ? When pondering this question, my first thought was that it is the world’s influence on us that eclipses the Son. But what is truly at the core is unbelief. We only adopt the values of the world when we aren’t believing something about the Son/Father or who we are in Christ. Today let’s look at just one of these.
If we don’t believe Christ is who he says he is, and that he can do what he says he can do, we will lack trust in him. A lack of trust averts our dependence on Christ to dependence on ourselves or others. For example, if we doubt Christ’s sovereignty, then we will worry and be fearful of the future. We will run through the all “what ifs?” in our mind. Fear tempts us to take control and do everything in our power to prevent the “what ifs?” from happening. Fear of the future can direct us into putting our security in people or circumstances. When we attempt to control people or circumstances, we are essentially putting up our hand and saying “stop!” to Christ because “we’ve got this”. That attitude prevents the filling of the Holy Spirit who is there to guide and help us. Unbelief opens us up to believing Satan and his lies. When we believe Satan’s lies we are aligning with him against Christ!
When we believe that Christ is completely sovereign and in control of all things, we have no reason to fear. But believing he is good must go hand in hand with that. If we believe he is sovereign but not good, we will most definitely be fearful. When we are convinced of both, we can face the future with hope. People who believe in Christ’s sovereignty and goodness are like those mentioned in Psalm 112:7-8, “They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the LORD to care for them. They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly.” (NLT) Those who are confident in the LORD experience freedom from fear, the filling of the Holy Spirit and shine a bright light to others who don’t understand their peace in uncertain times.
I could use other attributes of God/Christ and how unbelief in those characteristics cause an eclipse in our relationship. For Christians, we usually have partial eclipses because we do believe in some of who God/Christ say they are and what they can do. For some of us, it may be the second point only, not believing who we are in Christ. We’ll talk about that in part 2.
Next time you experience fear, ask Christ what you are not believing about him. The Holy Spirit would love to enlighten those areas where you are lacking faith. Once you understand what you aren’t believing, ask the Holy Spirit to strengthen your faith. It would be good to find a few verses that speak to that area of unbelief on which to renew your mind. Don’t let unbelief eclipse your relationship with the Son.