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Are You Living In The Light?


Hearing God in the Garden: A summer blog series


If you were to take a peek at the back row of my garden, you would see a beautiful orange cherry tomato plant. When the garden planting plan was made, I may have underestimated the size that this little plant would grow to. The positive is that it is double the size I had expected it to be, and it produces little tomatoes in abundance. The negative is that right beside this tomato plant is a pepper plant that unfortunately is not thriving as well. Even with all this Georgia heat, there have been no peppers ready to pick from this plant. How can you have two plants, one right next to the other, and only one is producing fruit?


For all of you beginner gardeners, here are a few lessons that I learned about pepper plants along the way. They love the heat and require a great deal of direct sunlight. This pepper plant may have been getting all the necessary heat, but it was lacking what it needed the most –direct sunlight. This plentiful tomato plant that resided in the space next to it was a giant in comparison. It was towering over the little deprived pepper plant and spreading its vines in every direction possible. The result was that it was preventing the sunlight from getting to the little plant below. Without the light, not only will it not thrive and produce fruit, but it will most certainly die. The demise is the result of one specific reason –it is living in the darkness instead of the light.


And just like that little unfruitful pepper plant, we were not designed to live in darkness. We need the light and without it, death is inevitable. Obviously, I am not speaking of the literal dark, but more so spiritual darkness. Lives lived in the dark do not bear fruit for God’s Kingdom. Why? Because put simply, living in the dark means that we are living a life in opposition to the life that produces a harvest for Christ.


“The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble.” Proverbs 4:19

Typically, when the Bible refers to darkness, it is referring to a life lived in rebellious sin. Walking in darkness is when a person foregoes the nice clean path to God and instead follows the road of the sinful world that surrounds them. Quite frankly, they have turned away from the Lord to feed their fleshly sin nature. In this place, sin feels normal, natural, and acceptable. In this darkness we are blinded to the truth of Christ and what He wants for our lives. In this place, one will find an overwhelming amount of confusion and an unending lacking clarity. When one is in the dark, they do not stand out amongst the crowd because they are surrounded by nothing but darkness.


Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus,” Acts 3:19-20

Do we all sin and miss the mark? Absolutely! Sinning is a part of living in a broken world, but it is what comes after the sin that determines the path. As believers, when we fall into sin, we will feel that little tug from the Holy Spirit. This tug –or conviction should cause us to recognize, flee and repent. When we choose to live in our sin instead of repenting, we are willingly making the choice to walk in darkness. But what a joyous gift it is that when we turn away from our sin and ask Christ to forgive us, He does just that.


“But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” John 3:21

How would you define what it means to walk in the light? I want to begin by saying that we live in a world that is trying to define and change daily what constitutes light versus dark. The current state of our world has attempted to relocate the boundary lines to fit its own comfort and needs and, truth is weighed on an uncalibrated scale. Because of this, the world that surrounds us is terribly out of balance. But the good news is that God’s standard of light has remained the same from the beginning.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that] they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16

The absolute opposite of living in darkness is thriving in the light. Light produces life, plain and simple. Our lives were created to bear fruit through the light that is freely offered to us when we turn to Jesus Christ in full surrender. Walking in the light means that we live a life dedicated to pleasing God over our flesh. We seek Him each day and trust His plan for our lives. And when we mess up (and we will), we recognize the sin, run away, and repent to a Holy God who is willing to forgive. What a comfort that is to me. A life lived in the light will bring to you love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness & self-control. These fruits of the spirit are only possible with the power of Christ in our lives and never attainable in darkness.


“For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So, live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.” Ephesian 5:8-9

You will never be able to keep up with the world’s definitions, lines, and expectations because from age to age they are constantly changing. But you can always trust in the solid unchanging foundation of God. When we walk closer to the light, we relinquish any sin that resides in our lives. We live a life of transparency and truth instead of a life hidden in the dark wallowing in a nature that will never honor God. For just a moment, think about a room filled with darkness. You feel lost, you cannot see, and you stumble and trip over every unseen object that is in your path. But once the light is flipped on, there is freedom. You see the hazards and the light gives you the ability to avoid the object you would have otherwise face-planted over. The interesting part of this is that you cannot walk halfway in the dark and the remainder in the light. It does not work that way. Christ does accept our compromise –He instead wants our complete obedience.


1. Are you living boldly in a way that your light shines before others around you?

2. Are you living in rebellious sin and hiding in the dark?


If today, you find yourself in the dark and you feel comfortable in your hiding place; be reminded that your sins are not hidden from your Creator. He sees and knows all your struggles, fears, and failures. This darkness leads to death and separation from a Holy God. You have never hidden too far into the dark that you cannot turn to Him and trust Him as Lord over your life. He is waiting to show you the immense freedom that comes from resting in His presence and walking in the light.

And as you go through your week, remember that with DISCIPLINE comes KNOWLEDGE, with KNOWLEDGE comes TRUTH, with TRUTH comes GROWTH, WITH GROWTH comes SURRENDER, with SURRENDER comes FRUIT, and with FRUIT comes the TRUE JOY FROM CHRIST!


 

This week, the daily readings will focus on what it means to live in the light versus living in the darkness.

This week's Bible Study:


-MONDAY: Proverbs 4

-Tuesday: Matthew 5

-WEDNESDAY: John 3

-THURSDAY: John 8

-FRIDAY: Ephesians 5

-SATURDAY: 1 john 2

-SUNDAY: 1 Corinthians 4




 

This week's verse to memorize and meditate on:

“For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So, live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.” Ephesian 5:8-9

 


Tips and challenges this week:

  1. If you have not already, begin implementing spiritual disciplines into your daily walk with God.

  2. Some like to begin by adding one at a time.

  3. Dig deeper and gain a better understanding of the meaning and purpose behind each discipline.

  4. Find an accountability partner that can encourage you in your time spent with the Lord. (For help with this, check out our accountability groups. Scan the QR code at the bottom of this page for more information.)



 

Private Facebook Discussion Group

Would you like to dig a little deeper into your weekly reading and spiritual disciplines? Join our Facebook group where we learn, grow and encourage one another.



 
Questions?

If you have questions or things that you don't understand, please email them to me and I will add them to the Q&A section. I can't promise you that I will have all of the answers, but I can promise I will do my best to find them if I don't have them.


 

Growing in God

Would you like a tool to encourage your growth in God? Check out my newly released 12-month spiritual disciplines book/journal. This journal will give you a brief understanding of 8 tangible spiritual disciplines as well as give you a space to implement these disciplines into your daily walk with God.


 











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