If you have ever groped around in a dark room, trying to get a sure footing and not stumble into the furniture, then you know the value of having even the slightest light to guide your progress. The dim light of a lamp in the living room or the soft glow of a clock’s dial in the bedroom, allow you just enough illumination to see. Without it the darkness is, well, dark!
Don’t let the bright sunny days fool you. Though the sun shines brightly, the world in which we live is a dark place. Just a few moments of concentrated time with a hurting friend or family member will quickly reveal that there are a lot of murky moments in people’s lives. For many shame haunts with an incessant whine that simply refuses to cease. For others temptation regarding this sin or that sin is an unwelcome though regular companion. Others wrestle with grief or fear or loneliness. And still others are held captive to a critical demeanor that declines to let up. This list goes on, but you probably get the point that this is a dark world in which we live.
That is why John 8:12 is so helpful. It demonstrates a clear-cut alternative to living in darkness. It gives us permission to know that darkness is not the only option. Read carefully the following, simple sentence for proof: Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness. Of course it was Jesus who said this. He makes it plain that following Him prevents one from being influenced by the darkness of this decrepit world. But why is this so? Because the first part of the verse tells us that Jesus is the light in the darkness. “I am the Light of the World,” Jesus says. And then Jesus adds, “Whoever follows me . . . will have the light of life.”
If you are stumbling around in spiritual darkness then you should consider two purposeful things that might help you remain in the Light of Christ. First, understand that the key to enjoying the sunshine of Christ’s life is to bathe in the Word of God. It is uncanny what number of troubled people there are who simply do not spend time in the Scriptures. Remember the psalmist’s words in Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
Secondly, place everything in your life under the Father’s scrutiny and authority. This means that you choose to give all of your affection and anxiety and ambition to Him alone. What peace we can have when we let Him be in charge of our whole person.
A additional thought would be to believe that as His child you are secure in His light. Darkness can never best God or God’s people. The Word of God and surrender to Him give us the confidence that this is true. After all, as the great hymn says, “Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer, than all the angels heaven can boast.”