Let us walk in the light of the LORD
What if you had to find your way alone in a dark forest at night without any light? What would you think of someone who had a light, but failed to use it? In the spiritual realm that is what most people do.
We need the light of Gods word.
Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my pathway (Psalm 119:105 ISV).
Deep darkness covered the earth until God said, Let there be light (Genesis 1:3). The Creator of physical light is also the source of spiritual light. Oh, send out Your light and Your truth! Let them lead me (Psalm 43:3).
We need the light of Gods word to guide our steps along a safe path in a dark and dangerous world. Without this light we cannot find the good way.
Jesus, the Word of God (John 1:14), is the true light, who gives light to everyone (John 1:9 NET). He said: I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life (John 8:12).
Millions walk in spiritual darkness.
It is sad that most people make no use of this light of life. They are like people driving their car at night without turning the headlights on.
And what about someone who goes into a forest at night, takes a light, but without batteries? These are people who have a Bible, but never read it. Of what value is a lamp without oil or a pocket light without batteries?
For a long walk, we need spare batteries!
Jesus told about ten virgins who took their lamps to meet the bridegroom (Matthew 25:1-13). Five were wise. They had extra oil. Five were foolish. They had oil in their lamps, but no reserves. As the bridegroom approached, their lamps started flickering out. These people have some light from Gods word but not enough.
The light of life must enlighten our heart.
The word of God must dwell in us richly (Colossians 3:16).
Before the word can reside in our heart it must enter our mind through our eyes and ears. We do not have a slot for a Bible memory card on the top of our head. To have Gods word in our heart we must listen to the word being preached, participate in Bible studies, and read the Scriptures. Human memory must be refreshed and strengthened by repetition.
We must know what the Bible says, but that is not sufficient. We must also understand the word of God. His word must enlighten the eyes of our understanding (Ephesians 1:17, 18).
We must walk in the light (1 John 1:6, 7).
This spiritual enlightenment must guide our lives: Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him (Colossians 3:16, 17).
When we walk in the light we do everything in the name of the Lord which means under His authority.
Some people misuse this passage. They think they can do whatever they want as long as they say they are doing it in the name of the Lord! But Jesus warned: Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven (Matthew 7:21).
To be done in the name of the Lord, our words and deeds must be based on the word of God! That is why His word must dwell in us richly, so we can know what to do and what to say! Only then can we walk in the light and do all in the name of the Lord.
To walk in the light, we need a good supply of extra oil! Gods word must dwell in us richly and that word must guide our lives.
We also have the prophetic word made more sure, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts (2Peter 1:19).
By heeding this word, we follow Christ the Bright and Morning Star (Revelation 22:16). He went about doing good (Acts 10:38). We follow His example by patient continuance in doing good (Romans 2:7).
When we walk in the light we follow Gods pattern for our lives. Paul charged Timothy: Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me (2 Timothy 1:13).
A pattern is a binding example. What happens if a pattern is not followed carefully? If someone cuts out a dress haphazardly, without closely following the pattern, it will not be a presentable dress.
In explaining salvation by grace to the saints at Rome, Paul said: But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered (Romans 6:17).
The word translated form has the basic meaning of mould and refers to the prescribed form or pattern of something.
Thus, God has subjected us to a prescribed form of doctrine that we must gladly obey.
To walk in the light we must follow Gods pattern for our lives. The light does not follow us, we must follow the light. We must walk in the light!
We must avoid darkness.
To walk in the light we must refrain from walking where there is no light! What if we leave the well-lit pathway and wander off in the dark?
To walk in the light we must enter the small gate and stay on the narrow path: Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it (Matthew 7:13, 14 NASB).
Avoiding darkness involves the daily choices of our lives. It is not stepping into the darkness of sinful ways, being careful what we allow our eyes to see, what TV shows we watch, what websites we visit, what books we read, what words we speak, what thoughts we nourish. Such choices determine whether we are walking in the light where God is or in the darkness where Satan is.
Avoiding darkness also requires the avoidance of religious practices that God has not prescribed.
Paul wanted the Corinthians to learn not to go beyond what is written (1 Corinthians 4:6 NET). Any one who goes ahead and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God (2 John 9 RSV). In Isaiah 8:20 we read: To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. Peter commanded: If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God (1 Peter 4:11).
What we do and say, both religiously and in our daily lives, must be based on the word of God. Otherwise we are walking where the light is not shining.
The blind cannot see the light.
Light has no value for someone who is blind. He cannot recognize light and he does not benefit from light.
This also applies to the spiritually blind. Jesus said of the hypocritical religious leaders of His time: Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch (Matthew 15:14).
The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! (words of Jesus in Matthew 6:22, 23).
Rather than having the eyes of their understanding enlightened (Ephesians 1:18), the spiritually blind have their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart (Ephesians 4:17, 18).
Spiritual blindness can result from hatred. John warns: But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes (1 John 2:11). Eyes that lack love are blind to the light of Gods word.
Spiritual blindness can result from rebelliousness. Ezekiel was told: Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, which has eyes to see but does not see, and ears to hear but does not hear; for they are a rebellious house (Ezekiel 12:2).
The eyes of the rebellious are blind to the light of Gods word. Rebellious people do not want to submit to the authority of God.
Rebellion is a fundamental cause of the apostasy of Christendom. Denominations are rebellious. They walk in darkness because they do not submit to Gods word. They do many things that are not prescribed in the New Testament - even things that are specifically forbidden, and they neglect to do what is prescribed. They just do what they want to do, or follow their own traditions.
People who do not want to practice the truth shun the light: And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God (John 3:19-21).
They who are spiritually blind because of hatred, rebelliousness, or rejection of the truth cannot see the light.
What have we learned?
We need the light of Gods word. His word is a lamp for our feet and a light for our path. Millions walk in spiritual darkness. The light of life must enlighten our heart. To walk in the light, we must know the Scriptures, understand the word, and do the will of God. We follow Jesus Christ, the light of the world. We do not walk where there is no light. The spiritually blind cannot see the light.
They who walk in the light have fellowship with God.
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice 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 Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:5-7).
Let us walk in the light of the Lord! (Isaiah 2:5). Amen.
The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982,
Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers unless indicated otherwise.
Permission for reference use has been granted.
Published in The Old Paths Archive