Today, we’re going to talk about how to “Walk in the Light.” Would you rather take a walk outside at noon or at midnight without a light? We’d all rather take a walk in the light, then in total darkness for obvious reasons. In darkness, you can’t see anything, including things you may stumble over or evil hidden in the shadows.
The Bible speaks of light and darkness as representing two kingdoms in the world. The domain of darkness is ruled by the Satan, the prince of darkness. The kingdom of light is ruled by God who dwells in inapproachable light. These two realms are in war with one another, but the final outcome has been already determined. When light meets darkness, which one always wins? Light always wins, light dispels the darkness. Every person on earth is walking in either spiritual light or spiritual darkness.
Colossians 1:12-13 (ESV) … the Father … has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
The inheritance of saints or believers is in God’s kingdom of light. Once we were all living in the domain of darkness because of sin. But God has delivered us from that dark domain and transferred us to the kingdom of Jesus which is full of light. When people are separated from God, who dwells in light, they live in spiritual darkness. Darkness is a place of sin, danger, deception, sorrow and sadness.
John 8:12 (ESV) Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
The light of Jesus pierced our dark world. When a person chooses to follow Jesus, He gives them the light of life. But those in darkness spread darkness by their very nature, they can’t see the light.
2 Corinthians 4:4 (ESV) … the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Those who are unbelievers, cannot see the light, even when it is right in front of them, because Satan has blinded their spiritual eyes. It’s only by the power of the Holy Spirit that their eyes can be healed so that they can see the light of Jesus.
Today, we’re going talk about how we can walk in the light and push back the darkness that is all around us. We’re going to learn to push back the darkness in our culture, in our lives and in our relationships. Not only are we to walk in the light, God will help us to become the light of the world. So, let’ see how we can …
Ephesians 5:8-9 (ESV) for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true),
The letter of Ephesians was written to the believers at the church in Ephesus. It’s interesting that these verses begin by saying, not at one time you walked in darkness, but at one time you were darkness. Unbelievers, not only walk in darkness, but they are darkness and spread darkness. On the other hand, believers are light in the Lord and so should walk as children of light. The evidence that a person is light is that their actions are good, right and true.
Is it possible for a believer in the light to slip back into the darkness? Absolutely, that why this Scripture commands believers to walk in the light.
Ephesians 5:11 (ESV) Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.
Believers are not to have anything to do with the works of darkness. What are the works of darkness? They are simply sinful actions and attitudes. When we walk in the light, we sow seeds of godly fruit. Yet, if we fall back into works of darkness, it bears no fruit for God.
Rather then taking part in the sins of darkness, we are to expose them. How do we expose the works of darkness? The sad fact is that many people do not even realize that what they are doing is wrong. In Jesus’ preaching and the preaching of the early church, the first instruction was to repent. In order to repent, to turn away from sin, you must understand what is sin in your life. The purpose of exposing sin is to allow the Spirit to convict of sin and for repentance to follow.
Exposing sin is not judging, but simply communicating what God’s Word says. The next verses tell us what happens when the works of darkness are exposed.
Ephesians 5:13-14a (ESV) But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light.”
Darkness is exposed by shining the light of God’s Word on it. Those who are darkness have two possible responses. The first is that they will run away from the light, to seek to coverup their dark deeds. The second is that they will allow their darkness to be exposes, repent and be transformed into light as a believer. The light of God has the power to overcome darkness.
We live in a dark society, that I believe isn’t as dark as we may think. The problem is that a lot of believers are hiding their lights, rather than letting them shine forth and expose the darkness. We must remember that God’s light is more powerful than any darkness. We must stand for the light of God’s Word, when the darkness says otherwise.
We simply do that in our relationships with others in every area of our lives. Wrong actions are always based on wrong, dark thoughts. When we talk to someone or hear someone saying something that is contrary to God’s Word, we first must understand that that is darkness. Then we must ask for the Spirit’s help to shine the light and truth of God’s Word into the other person’s heart.
Of course, it’s easier to simply hide our light and to say nothing. Yet, we are light and we must choose to let our lights shine. We let our light shine because we love God and we love the people we are relating to. We let our lights shine into the lives of people who are unbelievers and those who are believers, but are slipping into dark thoughts or actions.
When more and more believers let their lights shine in our city and country, the darkness will be exposed. When the darkness is exposed, the stage is set for revival to happen. In individuals lives, in our city and in our country. Overcome darkness with light.
Ephesians 5:15-16 (ESV) Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
We are to walk in the light, but what does that mean? We are to walk with wisdom, making wise use of our time. One of the biggest temptations today is to simply waste time on things of no value. The days are evil, the times are dark, so we must use our time to let our lights shine. If we simply waste time doing the things we want to do, we are not walking wisely.
God desires for us to use our time on earth to shine our lights in the darkness. We are to understand what God’s will for our lives is. Paul gives us an example in the next verse.
Ephesians 5:18 (ESV) And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,
When a person is drunk, they are not in complete control of their actions. Debauchery is extreme indulgence in bodily pleasure. God desires for us to not be filled with any intoxicating substance. Rather we are to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
The two are mutually exclusive. If you are drunk with wine, you won’t be filled with the Spirit and vice versa. To be filled with the Spirit will allow us to walk wisely. To be filled with the Spirit, will help us to make the best use of our time. To be filled with the Spirit will show us how to walk in the light.
How can we be filled with the Spirit? First of all, the Greek language here is not speaking of a one-time event, but of continually being filled with the Spirit. To be filled with one thing, means we have to emptied of everything else. In this verse, we must be emptied of drunkenness in order to be Spirit filled. In order to be continually Spirit filled, we must turn away from every dark sin in our lives and replace them with God’s Spirit. The next verse speaks of singing to the Lord in worship as one way to be filled.
Ephesians 5:20 (ESV) giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
This verse shows both a cause and an effect of being Spirit-filled. As we learn to give thanks in every circumstance and on every occasion, we open the door for the Spirit to fill us. What’s the opposite of giving thanks? Grumbling, complaining, worrying, being fearful, being angry and the list of sins could go on and on. When we fill our hearts, minds and mouths with thanksgiving, we make no room for those other dark thoughts and words to fill us. Walk in the Spirit.
In order to overcome darkness with light, we must learn to walk in the Spirit, which means to be filled with the Spirit. Let’s think about this concept a little more deeply. If you have a glass filled with water, you can’t fill it with milk, unless you first pour out the water. Some things, we know we need to stay away from, like the drunkenness that was spoken of in the verses we looked at. But drunkenness was just an example and point to anything other than the Spirit that we could be filled with.
The first instruction in this section is to make the best use of our time. You see being filled with the Spirit has to do with how we use our time. How we use our time is how we fill our days and our lives. To be filled with the Spirit is to use our time to do the things the Spirit is telling us to do. Not just on Sundays or in our quiet time, but every day of our lives.
Are we desiring to use every hour to seek God’s kingdom? As we eliminate empty use of our time, God will show us how to use our time for Him. The Spirit can fill us to do our jobs for Him, to enjoy our families for Him, to serve others for Him, to pray continually, to give thanks always and on and on. As we do that, we’re going to grow in walking in the Spirit and letting our lights shine. In the next section, we’re going to learn how to walk in the light as we …
Ephesians 5:22-23 (ESV) Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.
The section shows us how walking in the light will impact our marriages specifically, and our relationships in general. God’s Word teaches that marriage is between one man and one woman and is meant to be for life. A godly marriage is a marriage between two believers in Jesus Christ. According to God’s Word, sex is designed to be used only within a marriage.
Now, let’s look at how a godly marriage can be cultivated to achieve God’s purpose. Wives are to submit to their husbands as the spiritual leader of the marriage and family. In this whole section, a godly marriage is to be modeled after Christ’s love for the church. Christ represents the husband and the church represents the wife. We must note that in verse 21, all believers are to submit to one another. To submit means to yield one’s own rights for the sake of another.
Next we see how the husbands are to cultivate a godly marriage.
Ephesians 5:25 (ESV) Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,
Husbands are to love their wives, as Jesus loved the church by dying on the cross. So, a husband is to show his love for his wife in way that involves dying to his own desires to bring his wife into God’s purpose. A godly marriage is cultivated by each spouse walking in the Spirit and showing God’s love to one another. The Greek word used for love in this verse about the husband is agape. Agape love is God’s unconditional love, as opposed to other forms of conditional love. Jesus died for the church when we were His enemies, showing agape love.
So, a husband is to lay his life down with agape love for his wife. In the same way, the wife is to submit to her husband’s spiritual direction with agape love.
Ephesians 5:33 (ESV) However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
A godly marriage is summarized in this verse. The husband is to love his wife as himself. That means that he doesn’t seek to please himself over her, but seeks to please her first and foremost. The wife must respect her husband’s role in the family as the spiritual leader. And of course, the husband must be the godly spiritual leader of the family. Walking in the light is showing love in a godly marriage.
Living in agape love in a godly marriage is vitally important. First of all, the marriage itself is a demonstration and example of God’s love. A couple that cultivates a godly marriage will have a life-long marriage, which is God’s will. A life long godly marriage will raise godly children who will in turn cultivate godly marriages.
A godly marriage seeking to fulfill God’s purpose will be a godly influence in the church and in the world. Marriage is one of the essential building blocks of a stable God-fearing nation. That is one of the reasons that marriage is under attack in so many ways. If Satan can cause the destruction of godly marriages, it will bring increasing darkness into our country. A godly marriage is one of the best ways to let our lights shine in a dark world.
Jesus is the light of the world and He came to bring light into our lives. As believers, His light shines within us. As we walk in the light, God helps us to overcome darkness with His light. We are not to hide our lights, but to expose the darkness to light. Light will always dispel the darkness. We need not fear the darkness.
To walk in the light is to walk in the Spirit. As we empty our selves of any darkness, we prepare ourselves to be filled with the Spirit continuously. God desires us to walk in the light in all our relationships. Ask God to help you cultivate a godly marriage with His love. Don’t hide your light because of the darkness around. Let your light shine for all to see as you walk in the light.