As I was talking with Jesus, I heard him say this…
Everything will always come into the light because that’s where I am, and that’s who I am. This is the only place you find real freedom and the only place I can heal you. Walk in the light as I am in the light.
There had been a recent scandal with a prominent church leader’s bad behavior “coming to light” in the news but I knew that Jesus was talking about more than just a cultural moment. His words pointed me to this scripture:
“This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:5-7).
The best place you could ever be is in God’s light. It’s this place where there is no darkness, where we don’t have to hide, where our mistakes are forgiven, where our brokenness is restored, and where there is no lie that can’t be torn down. It’s where “the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.” No darkness, just light.
As worshippers we are given this amazing opportunity to inspire, to influence, and to lead people into a real and tangible encounter with God. What an honor! And with that honor comes a radical invitation to live in the light with God Himself, where there is no darkness. But sometimes we find ourselves living two lives, where we show people what we think we should be like, but we’re actually living something totally different. We make decisions that lead to spiritual darkness; we stop practicing the truth. Sometimes this is obvious, but most of the time it’s more subtle.
This happened to me a lot in my first years following Jesus. I would come home from parties, having drunk way too much. I remember laying on my bed, crying out to Jesus: “I’m so sorry, Jesus. This is not me! Why do I keep doing this?” What I didn’t realize was this act, crying out to Jesus, was exactly what opened me up to be healed from the loneliness I was trying to fill with drinking. I was letting His Light shine into my darkness. You see, living in the light is not about living a perfect life and never messing up. It’s about being honest and open with Jesus and letting his light push the darkness out. When the Light turns on, the darkness is gone.
But there’s something else that is revealed in this place. John writes, “But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other…” Living in the light actually opens the door to real fellowship, to family. The word fellowship (koinonia) means intimacy, closeness, joint participation, sharer in anything.
Family isn’t just people that like each other and try to get along. Family means both sides are participating, intimate, close, vulnerable, transparent, forgiving, walking in the light, as God is in the light, together. It enables us to be ourselves and not try to hide our failures, but get help through them. And the amazing things is, it doesn’t start with our commitment to each other, but God’s commitment to us. His light and His love never fails, never gives up, doesn’t remember mistakes…there’s no darkness in Him at all.
John writes, “…then we will have fellowship with each other and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.” For me, when I let my friends into what was going on, how I was living a double life, it brought me to the next level of freedom. They had wisdom and insights that I didn’t have, and they spurred me on toward Jesus when I wanted to give up.
Could it be that walking in the reality of being cleansed from all sin involves fellowship with each other? James writes, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person [someone walking in the light] has great power and produces wonderful results” (James 5:16). Powerful! There is an intimate connection between fellowship and our freedom. Maybe this is the kind of fellowship that was missing from that prominent pastor’s life.
We are living in amazing times where God is moving powerfully throughout the world. Miraculous healings, freedom, and salvations are breaking out. It’s exciting! And there’s a radical invitation from the Father to “get ready,” to live in the Light, as He is in the light, to no longer live double lives, but walk as the saints Jesus paid for us to be.
Right now, we are being tested, like a velociraptor tests for weaknesses in a fence. Yes, I went there. 🙂 They methodically try every angle, every corner for weaknesses. The enemy is looking for weaknesses so he can tear down what God is trying to build.
But what the enemy uses to destroy us, God can use to empower us. How amazing is that! We don’t have be afraid, wondering what will happen next or whether we’ll make a mistake. We don’t have to second guess our motives or worry about a double life. We walk in the light as He is in the light, letting people into our lives and reaching out to them. We trust that’s God’s Light and the family he’s placed around us is enough. It’s in this place where the unshakable Kingdom in us advances through us without measure.
Are you ready? I am.