A few days ago, I was boldly walking through my living room in the dark, certain that I knew the position of every item of furniture. However, I didn’t consider the possibility that Joshua might have left the vacuum cleaner in the middle of my path. I walked straight into the side of the machine and nearly broke my small toe, severely testing my sanctified vocabulary.
The lesson is obvious, don’t walk in the dark!
The Bible is full of references to darkness and light. But how do we walk in the light? What are some practical applications for the Biblical exhortation to walk in the light?
In Ephesians 5 verses 1 to 6, Paul points out three specific types of darkness, sexual immorality, greed, and foolish talk. These are examples of darkness that we are tempted to walk in and will result in experiencing the wrath of God (Ephesians 5:6).
In the next few verses of Ephesians 5, the Apostle gives four instructions to followers of Jesus to exhibit the fruit of light, by walking in the light.
The clear lesson is that as Christians we must avoid partnering with unbelievers in marriage or in business.
However, as followers of Jesus, those called to be the salt and the light in the world (Matthew 5:13-16), we are to live alongside, to love and to befriend those who are not believers. We are to live where God has placed us, while not participating in the sins of those around us.
- you were once darkness, but now you are light!” Live out, who you are. We are called to reflect the light of Jesus by pursuing holiness and purity to the glory of God who made us new creations.
Paul continues to encourage the readers that by walking in the light, separate from the works of darkness, we will expose the works darkness (Ephesians 5:11). How does this happen? Verse 13 is the key, “But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible.” We as the church, the followers of Jesus are called to expose the works of darkness by shining the light of Jesus as we go about our lives.
The side effect of living as the light is that as we expose the works of darkness, they actually are transformed into light (Ephesians 5:14). This is the miracle of the Gospel being proclaimed and the mission of the church. As the church, we must be careful not to attack and belittle sinners, rather we are called to shine the light of Jesus on the sin and allow the Holy Spirit to bring about the conviction and transformation in the person (John 16:8).
Transformation takes place in the soul of the unbeliever as the Holy Spirit reveals Jesus as the light of life and truth. As we expose darkness, those who practice darkness will wake up to their sins and become followers of Jesus (Ephesians 5:14).
As followers of Jesus, as the reflectors of his light, we are called to expose sin. We are called to shine light on racism, modern slavery, sexual immorality, corruption, and greed.
We do this by living holy lives and standing up against injustice.
Sadly, too many believers have become passive, being too afraid to take a stand because of the anxiety of being “on the wrong side of history”. How tragic it is when the bearers of the light are afraid to shine and expose darkness.
So, what do we do? The wonderful news is that we have the Holy Spirit, the Counsellor and revealer of truth (John 16:13).
We must develop the lifestyle that relies on the Holy Spirit. As we spend time listening to the Lord, he will direct our actions, he is the source of light and he will tell us where to shine the light to expose the works of darkness. Our job is not to pick a battle, our job is to shine the light.
Jesus won the victory.
“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”