Sunday nights typically inspire my blog post on Monday mornings. As I’ve mentioned in the past, some of the best people I know gather together on Sunday nights over food and God’s Word, and we do our best to “do life together.” Life Group, Small Group, Community Group…whatever you want to call it, we are in it together. For the past several months and for the next several, we’ve been and will be in the book of John.
Our conversation this Sunday night led to talk of light and darkness.
Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.” (John 12:35-36a)
Then Jesus cried out, “Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me. I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” (John 12:44-46)
We spent a lot of time right here in these five verses, and I want to invite you right now to do the same. Looking at these verses in their context, it is clear that the “light” is referring to Jesus Christ. As He spoke these words, I wonder what thoughts were racing through the minds of those listening. If I were there hearing these words first hand, what would I have thought?
Speculation aside, there is a phrase in verse 35 that I just cannot miss.
“before darkness overtakes you.”
The way this is worded speaks to the inevitable. Darkness is here. Darkness exists all around us. Darkness will seek to overcome us. What are we going to do about it?
We’ve got to have a game plan. As I type these words and even as I discussed these very things with my friends, the intention was not to induce fear, but rather awareness. Do I live with an acute awareness to the enemy’s attempts at overtaking me with his darkness? Or do I live oblivious? I suppose it’s one or the other, right? I’m either living out a 1 Peter 5:8-9 life, or I’m not. I’m alert and aware of the fact that I’m engaged in a battle, or I’m not. I’m standing firm, fully armed with the armor of God, or I’m easy, delicious prey for my very real enemy.
Which is it? Which is it for you? If you are in Christ, you are in the light. That’s made clear in God’s Word. The real question is then, “How bright are you shining?” Is your light dim because you’ve allowed the darkness of this world to cloud the visible light of Christ that could shine so brightly through you? Or are you walking in the light, thus bringing that light to every place of darkness that your feet tread?
If we’re living unaware, we are more than likely inviting the darkness into our lives, whether we realize it or not. How? The small, subtle ways in which we lower our standards, engage in less than godly behaviors or speech, and silence our convictions are just a few of the ways that we do this. 2 Corinthians 11:14 tells us that Satan masquerades as an angel of light—MEANING, the darkness doesn’t always look dark. Nope. In fact, it will often look good, enticing even. That’s how he traps us in it.
It is time for the body of Christ to step out of darkness and into Christ’s light. It is time to stop having one foot in the world and the other in the church. It is time to cease being lukewarm. It is time, church, to be the light in the darkness.