“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.”
Darkness, which in essence is the absence of visible light, has some value, especially as a vital means of regulating our bodies and boosting our immune system through proper sleep. But darkness must be compartmentalized, because we were not created to live in darkness, but in light.
So why is it that so many of us – at least figuratively speaking – spend our days in shadows, in darkness? Could it be that we’re hiding from God, and from one another?
It’s telling that the Apostle Paul instructed the Ephesian believers – just as God instructs us – to have nothing to do with the deeds of darkness, but instead to expose them. But whose deeds are we to expose? The truth is that most of us are comfortable pointing out other people’s sin, but not so quick to expose our own sin. Yet that’s exactly what God calls us to do. And it can only happen if we step out of darkness and into light.
Think of it this way: If you were having some sort of surgical procedure done, would you ask the surgeon to perform it in the dark? Probably not! Why then should we expect God to free us from our areas of struggle if we are unwilling to step into the light so that our sin is fully exposed?
Perhaps more than anything, living in the light means that we need to become unflinchingly honest with God, with one other, and with ourselves. After all, God has commanded us to love God with every fiber of our being, and to love others as we ourselves want to be loved, but in the absence of honesty our love is incomplete and insufficient. In the absence of honesty we remain in the shadows, hiding from God (as if!) and each other. And so living in the light starts with honesty.
How is your prayer life? Do you pray in a manner that is heartfelt rather than scripted or mundane?
How are your relationships? Are they healthy and vibrant, flavored with both grace and truth?
Who in your life are you able to share openly with about your areas of struggle? I certainly don’t recommend telling everyone you meet about your areas of struggle, but I do recommend that you find at least a few people you can do this with.
May the Lord bless you as you step out of darkness and into light.