I am the father of three small children. Among other things, this means that when I attempt to navigate my house in the darkness of night it is inevitable that I will step on a doll, a ball, or one of those tortuous devices often referred to as building blocks. We’ve lived in this house for years. I know every room and every hallway from experience. But in the darkness, I cannot always anticipate what waits in my path to trip me up. If you are a parent, I imagine you can relate to this. This common experience is also a great metaphor for the spiritual life of a Christian.
In Ephesians 5, Paul reminds believers of how far Christ has brought them, saying, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8). In the light, you don’t stumble. In the light, you know what is ahead. In the light, unforeseen obstacles do not trip you up. As Christians, God has saved us from the blindness of sin and the consequences of giving in to the temptations of this dark world. God has saved us from the darkness, but the command to live as children of the light calls us to shine the light of Christ in a dark world.
God is light, “and there is absolutely no darkness in Him” (1John 1:5). We might ask, “How are we to reflect His light in the world?” Darkness can still creep into our hearts, and the temptations of this world can pull our gaze toward things that are not of God. And so He sent His Son to be the light of the world, and then gave us His Spirit, to open our eyes to see the light of Christ’s glory.
As Christian men, we must be diligent to shine the light of the Word on our hearts. In our weakness, we must depend on the light of Christ, and walk in the light of the Spirit. The good news of the gospel is that God “has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son he loves” (Colossians 1:13).
Consider again my opening illustration. You might ask, “Why don’t you turn the light on instead of walking through a dark house where obstacles await to take you out?” The same question can be asked of each of us spiritually. Why attempt to walk through a dark world without the light of God’s Word to show us the way? Why try to fight the darkness by any other means than walking in the light of the Spirit? In our own strength we cannot, and so we must remind one another that the Lord, our light, goes before us and will show us the way.
Written by Matt Capps