Even as Christians, we have the choice to walk in darkness or in the light of 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.” (1 Jn 1:5-6) Ray Steadman says “walking in darkness” is not a synonym for sinning; we sin because we walk in darkness.
Darkness is the absence of light. To walk in darkness means to walk as though there were no God, for “God is light”. John starts with this problem because it is one of the most widespread and commonplace of problems. To be a child of God and choose to walk in darkness, is trying to sit on the fence. “You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.” (1 Thess 5:5) You can miss the benefits of God’s presence in your heart and life by ignoring the light. “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.” (Eph 5:8)
It is possible to be a Christian and yet walk in darkness by turning God off. How do we turn off the light and walk in darkness? Stop reading God’s Word, fellowship with believers, and going to church. The Word of God is a channel of God’s light. The Word itself is light. It penetrates and searches, it seeks out our inner life and exposes it to our view. If we stop going to church, fellowship with other believers and daily meditating on God’s Word, we escape the light that way; we are no longer convicted by the Word.
When God’s Word penetrates and searches our inner man, it gives us the opportunity to prayerfully examine ourselves. “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Heb 4:12)
If we don’t stop to examine ourselves in the light of God’s Word, we will certainly walk in darkness. We are encouraged over and over again to do so. “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.” (2 Cor 13:5) We must willingly examine ourselves in the light of His Word. “Let us search out and examine our ways, and turn back to the Lord” (Lam 3:40).
Father, grant to me the faith and the grace to come to the light, exposing myself to Your Word and being willing to examine myself.