I JOHN 1:5-6: “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” NKJV
OBSERVATION: Why do I struggle with walking in the light? What is it about light that is both inviting and intimidating at the same time? Why do I find myself facing my greatest battles in the shadows? I confess – it is a constant battle to keep walking in the light!
Why is this? John’s first statement is both profound and intimidating at the same time.
- “…God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”
When I read this statement I am undone. Does walking in the light mean walking in perfection? I know that there is no darkness or shadow of turning in God. Yet, I see within my life a constant struggle between light and darkness. I feel the battle that Paul so eloquently outlines in the book of Romans.
- “For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.” Romans 7:15-19 NKJV
What is Paul saying? He is saying exactly what John says after he proclaims God’s nature.
- “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”
Therein lies the problem with light. We know that God is light. We know that we are to be children of the light. We know that we are to let our light shine. Yet – we see the reality of darkness in our lives. We want to live in the light, and we want to practice the truth, yet we continue to struggle with the darkness in our lives. What is the answer to this great internal struggle?
We have two real choices before us. The first choice is to hide from the light. This is the natural choice of our old sinful nature. It misunderstands God’s nature and His call to be in the light. This misconception focuses on the fear of punishment and the exposure of our sin. Jesus speaks about this in John’s Gospel.
- “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.” John 3:19-20 NKJV
The second choice is to walk into the light! God’s light is not a celestial spotlight that is searching for our weaknesses and failures. Rather, it is God’s love that is calling us to His healing, forgiveness, and restoration. When we try to hide our darkness from God the only person we are fooling is ourselves. God sees our struggle. He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, to die in our place, to break the power of sin and death so that we could come into His light. And, His light is not to destroy us – His light is to cleanse us!
- “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:17 NKJV
- “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:7-9 NKJV
God’s light is not to condemn us. God’s light comes to show us what is keeping us from life. It reveals the darkness so that we can be cleansed and forgiven. As we walk in the light we will constantly be dealing with darkness and sin. This is the process of sanctification. And, as this sin is revealed in our lives God’s provision is with us. The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
Sometimes I forget the fact that this is a struggle that I will face until I step into Jesus’ presence. I beat myself up saying – “Surely you should be better than this by now!” Why are you tempted by the same things? Am I a hypocrite? Is God disappointed with me? What if others knew what I was thinking and struggling with?
God’s Word comes to assure me once more. “If we (I) say that we (I) have no sin, we (I) deceive ourselves (myself), and the truth is not in us (me).” I am a sinner saved by grace. My old man is dead in Christ but he still tries to get up every morning. When the enemy comes with his condemnation I have learned to agree with him. I don’t agree that I am worthless. I agree that I am a sinner. And, I gladly step into the wonderful provision that I have in Jesus Christ my Lord.
- “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
This does not mean I am free to sin, do what I want to, and simply ask God for forgiveness. This is not the reality of a born-again believer. I cannot live a sinful and destructive lifestyle and proclaim to be a Christ follower. Yet, I will still battle with temptations in my life. I will still face thoughts and feelings that I know are not of the light. And, when I do, I know that as I run to the light I will be met with the wonderful provision of God through Jesus Christ my Lord!
- “But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” John 3:21 NKJV
- “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” I John 1:7 NKJV
Lord, this morning, I run to Your light. Expose any darkness within me. Cleanse me by the blood of Jesus Christ. Guard my heart against both spiritual pride and hypocrisy. Keep me humble, kneeling at the foot of Your cross, walking in the fullness of Your forgiveness and cleansing – so that I can live fully in Your light!
In Jesus’ Name!