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Light versus DarknessOctober 24, 2022
When I was younger I didn’t think much about getting up in the middle of the night to go take care of something and doing it in the dark. Turning on the lights would wake up others, so I just didn’t do it. Occasionally, I would step on something or hit something and it might cause a momentary pain, but I would gracefully catch myself and continue on. A few years ago I hit something in the dark hard. I fell forward hard and slammed into the wall hard. I realized that age had brought with it some painful realities, all of which are worse when your balance, strength, and recovery time are worse than younger days. I don’t walk around in the dark anymore. It is too dangerous.
We read in I John 1:5-6 why walking in the darkness is not only a bad idea literally but also metaphorically. John writes, “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.” John challenges us to ask an important question about the way we live our lives, “Do you walk in the darkness or do you walk in the light?” What are light and darkness? From a scientific point of view light is electromagnetic radiation in the range of violet (.4 microns) to red (.7 microns) and is perceived by the unaided human eye. Darkness is the absence of light. It isn’t really anything. That is why we think of life, hope, bright, positive, love, and forgiveness when we think of light. When we think of darkness we think of death, depression, gloom, fear, and sin.
Do you walk in the darkness or do you walk in the light? In reflection, I realized that when I was younger I was more comfortable walking in the metaphorical darkness as well, as I would try to manage my sin life. Fortunately, with age I also gained the wisdom to realize that managing sin was a bad thing. Sin is always bad, even in small increments. We don’t want to be content with little bits of enjoyable sin here and there, and blind to the consequences that sin always brings.
Today, I don’t like to wake my wife up in the night by turning on all the lights, so I have strategic small lights available to make sure the path is clear. This is true of my desire to no longer walk in the darkness of sin, death, and evil. The first step is to come closer to Christ Jesus, the light of the world, that His light will shine in my life.
John illustrates in the Gospel of John 3:19, “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” We all struggle with sin and so we will all find ourselves walking in the darkness. Jesus spoke these words to the Pharisee Nicodemus when he couldn’t understand Jesus’ words about being born again. He couldn’t understand the light that Jesus represented. Even as a spiritual leader of the Jewish faith he was walking in the darkness.
This shows us that to begin walking in the light we must believe in Jesus Christ and be born again into a new life of meaning and purpose confessing Jesus as our Lord and Savior. When we walk without Jesus we don’t know what we don’t know. By that I mean we are easily deceived into thinking we have life together and know what is meaningful and important. It is like trying to walk in a dark house. We think we are doing just fine until we smash our head on something we couldn’t see. As we let Christ be Lord of our lives and Savior of our souls we will want to live our lives like Him, get to know who He is, and let Him shatter the darkness in our lives with His light.
When do you walk in the darkness and when do you walk in the light? Have you given your life to Jesus Christ? Have you recommitted your life to Him as your Lord and Savior lately? Are you trying to get to know Jesus better so you can be more like Him? What are the disciplines you practice regularly to help you grow as a disciple of Jesus? I hope you will answer these questions to help you from walking in the darkness. I wouldn’t want you to hurt yourself. (To find out more about Al Earley or read previous articles, see www.lagrangepres.org).