Walking in the Light
Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. John 12:35
In pursuing faith and recovery, I’ve believed in and looked to the Bible for answers. I prefer concrete, explicit instructions, and sometimes, I’m frustrated by all the metaphors about seeds, plants and light. In todays’ passage, Jesus commanded us to walk in the light and believe in the light, so that we may become sons of light. What!? What does that even mean? I need specific instructions.
When I talk with guys in treatment or jail who are getting out soon, they often say something like, “I’m never going back to drugs. I swear, I’m going to live differently.” They may mean it, but when I ask exactly what is going to be different, frequently, I’ll just get blank stares in response. I’ve been there. I’ve declared that I was going to live the new life, walking in the light, without really having much of a plan as to what that looks like.
It’s been my experience that in any struggle, I need to have a specific plan as to what I must do to live differently. First, using my drug addiction as an example, I needed to do whatever it took to abandon my darkness. I couldn’t embrace the dark, while enjoying the light. For me, that meant treatment, meetings, and radical life changes. If my addiction is pornography, I may have to abandon my smart phone or invest in software that blocks inappropriate material. If my addiction is shopping, I may have to surrender access to my credit card.
Second, I must do whatever it takes to turn and follow God – the source of light. Daily, I must read my Bible. It’s simple futility to pretend to pursue God’s way without investing time in his word, yet so many of us fail to ever pick up our Bibles. I must daily pray and meditate, asking God what I need to do, and then I must do it.
It’s a mistake to think that grace means that God transforms us without any participation on our part. He provided us with the light, but walking in it is a conscious choice, not simply a thought in our minds. If we want to know what true life is like, then daily, we must choose to do what it takes to abandon our darkness, walking in the light.