Tag Archives: walking in the light

Numbers 31, Psalms 75 & 76, Isaiah 23, 1 John 1

One of my favorite songs circa 1995 starts off with some hard to swallow truth. “I keep trying to find a life, on my own, apart from you.” Independence instead of dependence. Pride instead of humility. John begins the chapter  sharing the importance of fellowship with the One True God. From the beginning, it’s always been about relationship with Him and yet our human nature so frequently wants independence.

We focus on ourselves. Day in and day out we deceive ourselves. Our minds and hearts are put to ease when we compare to ourselves others and think, “I’m doing better at ________ than _________”. I have read the following passage probably one hundred times in my life but there are always new little pieces that stick out with each reading.

Deception. Selfishness. Pride. Forgiveness. Redemption.

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we 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 his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. John 1

 

Simply put, this passage reminds me of my incredible need for a Savior! As much as a I want to walk in the light at all times, there moments, days or even seasons when the lights are dim. As I was sitting here this morning reflecting on this passage, the Holy Spirit brought a few questions to my mind.

  1. Is there any area where I am walking in darkness opposite from fellowship with the Lord?
  2. In what ways am I lying to or deceiving myself and not practicing truth?
  3. Are there areas of deception that I need to confess to the Lord?

Confession of sins not only leads to restoration of fellowship with the Lord but also one another. It’s Jesus’ blood that cleanses us from our sin and wanderings in the dark. Each and every day I must ask the  Holy Spirit to reveal those areas of sin that are not acceptable and spend time in self reflection and repentance. Naturally, on my own, I may not see my sin but the Spirit will reveal it.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for creating us with a desire for relationship. Thank your for making a way through Jesus Christ to be in fellowship with you forever. Holy Spirit, would you reveal to me those areas where I may be walking in darkness and help me to turn and run to your light! Amen. 

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Isaiah 49-52; Psalm 69; I Corinthians 14

Sleepless these days? Wrestling with ghosts or having nightmares of lonely struggles? From all the turmoil in our personal, national, and worldly concerns, we have become a people dependent on medication, meditation, sleep contraptions, and sound reducing earbuds to insulate ourselves from the escaping shards of rest and peace. Yet, trying to drown out the sounds of cacophony can lead to self-reliance. Isaiah 50:10 says, “Who walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely upon his God.” The next verse expresses this thought negatively, again reinforcing the admonition to rely on God. “Look, all you who kindle a fire, who encircle yourselves with sparks: Walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks you have kindled –This you shall have from My hand: You shall lie down in torment” (v 11).

Recently I watched a movie, The Road, based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy which won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The setting is post-apocalyptic, and the two main characters, a father and his young son, are on a journey south to escape the encroaching cold while avoiding cannibalistic remnants of society. The horrific and heartbreaking scenes are precariously balanced by the father’s assurance to his son that they are the “good guys” who are “carrying the fire.” As I heard the repeated assertion by father and son, I could not help but wonder how the heaviness of self-reliance can eclipse the only true Light of the World. When all we have left is ourselves to look to, we will (like this father and son) certainly lie down in torment. Yet, we who believe, how can we forget what Jesus Christ said? “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest,” (Matthew 11:28).

And how does reliance on God help others? It begins with a simple supplication as in Psalm 69:16. “Hear me, O Lord, for Your lovingkindness is good; Turn to me according to the multitude of Your tender mercies.”  To testify that God is good and that He is merciful establishes trust that he will intervene on our behalf. Maybe nothing dramatic happens, and maybe this act of reliance will take the shape of patient waiting. There is a change, however, to the troubled mind and restful sleep comes. Sleep rejuvenates the spirit and energizes our praise to God. Regardless of how or when God answers prayer, our steadfast hope in God’s lovingkindess encourages others who also are ‘poor in spirit.’ Psalm 69:32 says, “The humble shall see this and be glad; And you who seek God, your hearts shall live.” Yet, it is not our actions that bring down the peace that passes all understanding. To believe that is to again become self-reliant. Rather, our help comes from the God who asks, “Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you [my italics]. The verb used implies that God is saying, “As for Me, I am unable to forget you!” (commentary; New King James Version). So let us pass on to our children and our Christian brothers and sisters the assurance that the God who never sleeps (He doesn’t need to in order to have perfect peace!) is our help in troubled times. Let us seek to lift each other up by coming together, each “…has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.” Instead of teaching each other to depend on self; we must encourage one another to rely on God if we are to enjoy peace and rest in our Lord.

We thank You, Lord, for You are the Light of the World and the burning flame that we carry to others. Light the way, we ask You, Lord Jesus, and please give the weary soul rest, if even for a night.

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2 Chron.1; 1 John 1; Micah 7; Luke 16

Solomon could ask for anything. He chose to ask for wisdom to lead. God said he knew Solomon’s heart and greatest desire.

In Luke, the Pharisees scoffing. Indignant. Mocking.

“You like to appear righteous in public, but God knows your hearts. What the world honors is detestable in the sight of God,” Jesus said. Luke 15:16 (NLT), emphasis mine.

1 John 1:8,  If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth.

In my twenties, it was my defense, “I’m a good person.” I know a lot of good people, Christian or not. But while I thought of myself as good, I think I would be surprised to know what others thought of me. Especially the ones who didn’t think much of me. Didn’t I want to appear righteous in public? My identity defined by the whim of another’s thought.

These years, God has shown me glimpses of this heart–held it out for me to see, told me to look even when it was painful. So I could repent, so I could walk with him. When an enemy would flame with words, criticism, condemnation–the Lord corrects in love, stands with me in my retching admission, forgives.

18 Where is another God like you,
who pardons the guilt of the remnant,
overlooking the sins of his special people?
You will not stay angry with your people forever,
because you delight in showing unfailing love.
19 Once again you will have compassion on us.
You will trample our sins under your feet
and throw them into the depths of the ocean! Micah 7:18-19

Man would say, “Please me. Answer to me. Conform to me and gain my approval.” All at his whim.

God the eternal wants fellowship, relationship, and my very heart.

Father, it’s comforting and frightening that you know me so well (and that you love me anyway). I’ve been forgiven by you, grace poured down, soul set free … I am grateful to receive–a quenching, satisfying delight. You know my prayer; you know my struggle; you know my heart.

Courtney (66books365)

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Numbers 31, Psalm 75 & 76, Isaiah 23, 1 John 1

“This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by 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, His Son, purifies us from all sin.”

1 John 1:5 – 7 NIV

_________

Normally, when I read this verse, I start singing DC Talk’s song “In the Light” in my head.  But the past couple weeks as I’ve been reading & meditating on my assigned chapters, I’ve felt more conviction than normal as I read.

You see, I feel like I have my “outside my home” self that I want everyone else to see. You know, the “perfect” mother-of-five side, where I am loving and caring at all times. Always encouraging, never demeaning. Then there’s the “at home with my hair down” self, where the stress of everyday life seems to get to me more, causing a lash out at whichever child is currently in my radar. Words that do not encourage, words that focus on negativity.

During those times that I lose my patience, I feel guilt about what I’ve said, and how it has impacted my child, but sadly, I have to say, I usually do not think about how it has impacted my relationship with God. I do not acknowledge it as a sin.

As I was reading another book last week, be last, by Jeremy Kingsley, I came across a statement that caused me to do some deep thinking. “When you sin, are you torn up or unsettled until you get things ironed out with God? Are you sad that you have hurt the One you love? If so, that reaction is a sign of  healthy relationship with Christ.” pg. 146

That statement combined with 1 John 1 really got me thinking. In my “outside my home” self it seems to others that I am “walking in the light”, but would they think the same if they saw me in the midst of a crazy homeschooling week. Also, when I strike out in anger with my words, not only am I impacting my child, but also my Lord. My sinful words were part of the lashes on His back that He endured at Calvary.

Thankfully the chapter goes on and I come to a verse I’ve known since childhood. 1 John 1:9

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

_________

Thank you Father for being my Light. Thank you for your endless forgiveness to me, the sinner. Help me to walk in the light with You, to rely on You to help me through those tough parenting moments and to make things right with You ASAP when I do fall prey to this sinful nature inside me.

– Beckie (look2thehills)

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