What does it mean to walk in the light?

What does it mean to walk in the light?

When I walk in the light, life becomes good, and I always have a good conscience. But how do I walk in the light?

04/09/20237 min

By ActiveChristianity

What does it mean to walk in the light?

8 min

But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7.

What is the light? We can find the answer in Psalm 119:105: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

What is the light?

God’s Word is the light. And to walk in the light is to live my life according to the Word of God – then the Word becomes my life. It also means that I do nothing that is against the Word of God.

We read in 1 John 1:5-6 (NLT), “This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth.” 

Sin is darkness. Truth is light. It shines inside me and shows me where there is still sin in my life. When the light shines on my darkness, I should admit the truth - that there is still sin in my life that I need to get rid of. The Word of God shows me how my life should be, and when I am tempted to sin, I can choose to do what God’s Word says instead of what my own desires want. In this way, the Word can become life in me.

The light shows me the truth

Let us explain using an example. Maybe I hear that someone has been speaking badly about me, and I feel hurt, angry, and offended. But then the light (God’s Word) comes and shows me that it is my own pride and ego that are hurt and that it is the real reason that I am feeling angry and offended, whether what they said about me is true or not.

The truth is that my anger comes from the sin in my own human nature, from my pride. But God’s Word says, “Pray for those who hurt you.” Matthew 5:44 (NCV); and, “God is against the proud, but he gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6 (NCV).

Now the light has shown me the darkness that is still in me – my pride, self-righteousness, wanting to be praised by people. If I were completely free from this, then nothing anyone said about me could affect me at all. Now I can choose to obey the light and choose to do what God’s Word says, or I can choose to continue in darkness.

If I choose to do what God’s Word says, then I let the blood of Jesus Christ cleanse me from sin (1 John 1:7). That means that I admit the truth, and I say “no” to the thoughts of anger and self-righteousness that are coming up - I resist them.

This is just one simple example, but when I really want to do what God’s Word says, it shows me many other things that still need to be cleaned up in my life, big or small. Without the light (God’s Word) I am in darkness and can’t see how much sin there is in my human nature or how I need to change. The light judges the sin that lives in me, and when I am willing to be judged by the light, step by step, then I am changed to become more and more like Jesus (Romans 8:29).

Walk in the light – obey the light

Many people prefer the darkness, because that means they don’t have to give up sinning. “This is how the judgment works: the light has come into the world, but people love the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds are evil. Those who do evil things hate the light and will not come to the light, because they do not want their evil deeds to be shown up. But those who do what is true come to the light in order that the light may show that what they did was in obedience to God.” John 3:19-21 (GNT). What is the evil? It is the sin in my own life.

When I walk in the light, life becomes free and good. When I walk in the light, my conscience is always good. When I walk in the light, I have fellowship with others because as soon as I see something that could come between us, I choose to do what God’s Word says and not the evil that my sinful nature wants.

Those who belong to Christ Jesus … have given up their old selfish feelings and the evil things they wanted to do.” Galatians 5:24 (NCV).

When I love the light, I long for it to shine into every part of my life so that I can see the things that are not as God wants them to be. I become a child of the light. Where the light shines, new growth starts. Love, joy, kindness, patience, and all the fruits of the Spirit grow in the light.

In the past you were full of darkness, but now you are full of light in the Lord. So live like children who belong to the light.” Ephesians 5:8 (NCV).

Even if I love God, it doesn’t mean that I have the same amount of light as other believers. God shows me only as much as I am able to bear at a time. So I cannot force the light I have received on anyone else, whether they are disciples themselves or not. The light I have received from God is what is right for me. I cannot judge others according to my own light. Only God knows people’s hearts and can judge righteously.

Those who walk in the light are disciples of Jesus Christ. “Once again Jesus spoke to the people. This time he said, “I am the light for the world! Follow me, and you won't be walking in the dark. You will have the light that gives life.” John 8:12 (CEV).

If we are true disciples who follow Jesus in the light, then 1 John 1:7 (NLT) will be our life: “But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.”

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This article is based on an article by Ann Steiner originally published on https://activechristianity.org/ and has been adapted with permission for use on this website.