"for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light." Ephesians 5:8, NASB
I love light.
To me, a room without windows is a cave. Lamps, candles, mood lighting, natural light.....these are all important elements in any happy place for me.
And don't even get me started on awful, overhead lights. I entertain my family by immediately turning them off and turning on lamps around the periphery every time I walk in a room. I think they secretly take bets on how long it will take me to notice and "fix" the lighting.
It never takes me very long.
Maybe my love of light is why I so identify with Scripture's command that I "walk as children of the Light."
Consequences of Walking in Dark
Lately there has been a flood of sad revelations about people who are supposedly Christ-followers, but who are living decidedly differently in the dark corners of their lives.
It would be hard to NOT know about this if you go to the grocery store and have tabloids staring you in the face. Apparently there is no better news to the world than someone who professes Christ publicly yet participates in shadowy sin privately. No matter the collateral damage, that is a big story.
I grieve for the sinner, but even more for their family and friends who partake in their disgrace.
I also grieve for the church. And for the unsaved. What if the only thing unbelievers see of the church are inconsistent, hypocritical, or lecherous actions? Their claims that Christianity is all a sham would seemingly have merit.
Yes, we are all sinners. We all have secrets of the heart that we would rather not be public. We all need a Savior and grace and forgiveness. Every day. Repeatedly.
The verse: "we all like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way" (Isaiah 53:6, NASB) is still a verse I experience in my own life. I would love to claim that as a believer I don't struggle with turning my own way- but that is just not true. I go astray. I am a permanent part of the flock of God, but boy do I need a shepherd- every day.
Believers can still struggle with sin, even after we are saved.
But this is no excuse because the Bible also says: "For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong." (I Peter 3:17, NASB)
Suffering for your sin is not persecution.
So what is the answer? Ephesians 5:8 is the answer.
Walking in the Light
What does it mean to walk in the light?
The picture at the top of this post is my mental reminder of walking in the light.
Would I want my actions, thoughts, deeds, responses, desires laid out on the table in the light for all to see?
Now let's get personal. Would I want the internet sites I visit, the movies I watch, the books I read, the phone calls I make, the emails I send, the meetings I have, what I drink or what I eat to be laid out on the table for all to see?
Christian, now is not the time to be living a double life. These are days where the reality of your choices matter. The world is watching. The days are short. The time is near.
Here is the challenge: we have the opportunity to secretly dive into sin easier and with less chance of getting caught than ever before. The internet is a gateway to places that used to only be on the seedy part of town. Now you never have to leave your living room.
We have to choose to walk in the Light! Every day. Even every second.
The light of Christ must shine on our actions, on our mouse clicks, on our "secrets", and into our most hidden corners.
- "You are the light of the world." (Matthew 5:14, NASB) How can we be the light of the world when we cover that light with a load of secret sin?
- "The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light." (Matthew 6:22) How can our body be full of light when our eyes long for and watch so much ugly darkness?
- "Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, "I am the Light of the world; he who follow Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of Life." (John 8:12, NASB) How can we be followers of Christ yet walk repeatedly and habitually in sin?
Get to the Light as Soon as Possible
If you are struggling with secret sins then run to the light. Run as fast as you can for as long as it takes. The sooner you are in the light, the quicker healing and restoration can begin.
The church needs to get honest and authentic. We need to confess to each other our deepest struggles. We need to help each other shine light into our deepest corners, the ones with the scariest spider webs, which we have guarded against the light of Christ for years.
Once we start confessing and discussing and getting help it is no longer a secret sin that your enemy can use against you or which will be revealed at the worst possible moment. And let me assure you of two things: we have an enemy and our sins will find us out. (Numbers 32:23)
Lay it on the table. Weep over your sin and the pain it causes to those around you. Choose to walk FROM NOW ON in the light.
Get help if there is something that has such a grasp on you from which you think you can never get free. The longer you keep that addiction in the dark, the tighter its hold on you will become.
Every day, and sometimes it is more like every moment, I have to decide if I will walk in the light. It is not a one time decision. And it is not always easy. But every day it is the best decision I make.
"but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin." I John 1:7, NASB