"For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said:
'Wake up, O sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.'" NIV
I have a confession....I like watching the CSI shows, much to my husband's boredom. You see, I actually have a scientist's heart. When I was in 8th grade, I wanted to be a research scientist in space and aeronautics. (I'm sure some of you are having a really good laugh over that one right now.) Anyway, when I first started watching CSI, I was always befuddled by the fact that they'd walk into a crime scene with the lights off and use only little flashlights. For Pete's sake, turn on the lights so you can see what happened. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that they would be able to see more detail if they only focused on one spot at a time. With the contrast of the darkness, the light would be even more effective in spotlighting the evidence. Even traces of evidence would pop out in the single beam.
In the same way, Christ came to earth not only to illuminate the evidence -- the truth of our sinful state -- but to cleanse us so we can become light in a dark world. And our lives, then, become the truth revealers. That's why He needs our fruit to shine in righteousness, goodness, and truth. We are His light in a world living in shadows. They can't see their way, and it is our job to illuminate the path with our lives.
That's why we must put away the immorality, impurity, or greed spoken of in verses 3-7. Those are the things of the darkness, and we can't live in darkness and light at the same time. Those things are not what "pleases the Lord." We must live a life of love as Christ loves, choosing His ways and avoiding the ways of darkness. He wants us to shine with His brightness, to take His light into a world that is blinded by the enemy and wandering aimlessly in the dark.
But we must choose to be His light and live in that power. The darkness can have no power over us unless we give in to it. Live in His power; walk in His light. Never forget, darkness cannot penetrate light, but light always dispels the darkness.
- Why is our human nature drawn to the darkness? Support with Scripture.
- In a concordance, look up Scriptures on "light." There are many of them. Read some from the Old and New Testaments. Let them wash over you in remembrance of where God has brought you from and thanksgiving for the illuminated life He has given you.
- Augustine said that the conflicting pull of our will "...is a disease of the mind which does not wholly rise to the heights where it is lifted by the truth, because it is weighed down by habit." Are there habits you've maintained in your life that are keeping you from shining in full fruit? What needs to change?
- Are there dark areas of your life you need to let the light penetrate? Ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate them now.