There is an aspect of the Christian life that I have missed out on for many years. My failure to cultivate this area of my life has robbed me of supernatural freedom. Sadly, I believe and see that many other Christians are being robbed of this freedom as well. God calls us to walk in the light. Sometimes we act as if we are scared of the light, but the light is where we find freedom. The light is what causes the darkness to flee.
So, what do we mean by walking in the light? John gives us a clear answer. Examine these words slowly, because I believe they have the power to change your life.
“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. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” (1 John 1:5-7)
First, John tells us that God is light. In God, there is no darkness at all. There is not even a small sliver of darkness in God. This is why He wants us in the light. We should want this for ourselves as well! The desire of the Christian should be God. If we want God more than anything, and He is light, then we should crave light. This will probably take a mindset change for many of us.
Before we look at how to walk in the light, I want to highlight the importance of it. John says in verse six that if we claim to have fellowship with God and yet walk in darkness, we are liars who fail to live out the truth. These are heavy words. We cannot have fellowship with God in the darkness because He is not there. In Him there is no darkness at all. If we walk in darkness, we do not walk with God. We must, therefore, rid ourselves of all darkness.
How do we get there? What does it look like to walk in the light? The answer is simple. It will be uncomfortable for many. It will be foreign to most. However, if we are to walk in the light, we must confess our sins and pray for each other.
Do you cringe at the thought of people knowing your dirt? Is your past so full of baggage that you dare not open the suitcase? Let me tell you in love: that is no way to live. I lived that way for far too many years. The fear of being found out will keep you paralyzed in darkness. There is no freedom there. Bring the junk to the light. Bring the small and the large. Bring it all. The light will displace the darkness.
Our sin needs certain conditions to grow. It is a weed that flourishes in the dark places. If kept inside, in darkness, it will grow with no hindrances. The larger it gets, the more it will choke out the good fruit within us. If brought to the light, however, our sin will shrivel up like an uprooted weed baking in the blazing sun. It will die there. This is the freedom that many of us are looking for!
You can look for weeks and weeks and find it hard to discover a Christian who is open about his or her struggles with sin. Somewhere along the way, we have taken this Biblical command of walking in the light to be a sign of “weakness.” We think that being vulnerable with other people ruins our image. However, our vulnerability would actually improve our image because we would become clean! Look at what John says two verses later.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
There is power here. When we confess our sins, not only does God forgive us, but He also purifies us from future unrighteousness. The weed of sin is being baked in the sun! You cannot take a weed that is shriveled up after being cooked in the heat and put it back in the ground. It will not regrow. The light has already killed it. This is the Biblical picture of bringing sin to the light. God forgives the sin, and the light kills the roots of the sin. The weed that was growing rampant for years can no longer haunt you.
Some might be thinking, “Well, I will only confess to God. That is much easier and will not ruin my reputation.” You are missing out on your freedom if this is your mindset. Of course, confessing to God is always step number one. Every sin you commit is against God. You must take your confession to Him. However, finding a person or group of people to be open with about your struggles would open you up to a freedom that you never dreamed possible. This is what James stresses.
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16)
James tells us to confess to each other. There is no way to turn this into a command of only confessing to God. Confess and pray for each other. Why? “So that you may be healed.” Do you want freedom from a sin that won’t seem to leave? Confess and ask for prayer. Do not give it the darkness that it so desperately needs. Walk in the light.
Sadly, it can be hard to find trustworthy people who care enough about your soul not to put judgement on you or turn your confession into gossip. Our sad game of charades in church has left us in a state of judging others. I believe this has hindered our openness. However, if your desire is to walk in the light, God will provide the person, or people, to enable you to do just that. Not just anybody can take your confession with a pure heart, but God will give you the discernment to know who can.
I am praying for your freedom as I write this. Walking in the light will bring you to a place in your faith that you have never been. You will cherish the cross of Christ more. You will honor the grace of God more. You will be empowered against future sin. You will glorify God like never before. You will become a light to others. Do not take the previous sentence lightly. Your illumination does not stop with you.
“But everything exposed by the light becomes visible – and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.” (Ephesians 5:13)
Light exposes things and makes them visible. Everything that is visible and illuminated, according to Paul, becomes a light. Not only is it brought to the light, but it then becomes a light. This is mind blowing to me. Darkness inside of me, when brought to the light, then becomes a light to help illuminate others. What once haunted me can become the thing that helps someone else. This is power. This is the good design of God. He wants to heal you, empower you, and use you.
Therefore, let us run to the light today. God is there. You can have fellowship with Him. He will forgive you of all sin. He will purify you of unrighteousness. He will turn your darkness into a light for others. This is the beauty of Christian confession and vulnerability. It is a lost art these days. I have seen the freedom and power that it brings and I am desperately praying for you to experience the same. Walk in the light. Live in the light. Then, go and be a light.