When we lived in our other home on the East side of St. Boni, I would work late into the night fixing cars in the garage. Kathi and the kids would be sleeping so I would go in through the side door, down six steps and walk straight over to the sink to wash the grease and oil off my hands.
I have walked through my basement door and upstairs a thousand times so I didn’t bother turning on the light after I washed my hands. I knew where the freezer was and the doorway and the stairs so I just headed in that direction. In total darkness I walked right past the freezer without a hitch. I turned the corner and walked right through the doorway without even bumping the sides. I turned again and started walking and wham! I kicked something in full stride and screamed out in pain, using words that are probably not appropriate to say right here, as I reached for the light switch.
While I danced up and down holding my toe, I realized that someone had pushed an antique wood and metal suit case we use as a coffee table right in my path. This was the case that I kicked with my foot in the dark breaking my second toe. I could have completely avoided breaking my toe if I would have turned on the light to lead me on my journey from the basement to the bedroom. It’s always better to walk in the light.
The bible talks about being in the light and walking in the light and living in the light dozens and dozens of times contrasting it with being in the dark. Usually light is symbolic of positive spiritual traits and characteristics and darkness - negative and evil.
In the Psalms, light is the symbol for Salvation. “The Lord is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1 It is also symbolic for Life (Psalm 36:9), Righteousness (Psalm 37:6), Truth (Psalm 43:3), and The Word of God “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105. Jesus even claims to be the light of the world saying: “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12.
While darkness symbolizes wickedness “The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know over what they stumble.” Proverbs 4:19, Ignorance (Psalm 82:5), and evil “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness” Isaiah 5:20.
There is no doubt that being in the light and walking in the light and with the light is good. When Paul wrote the letter we have in the bible known as Ephesians, the Jewish believer in particular understood the significance of living in the light. They knew it was good. The gentiles figured it out quick too. I’m sure one of them broke a toe trying to walk in from the barn late one night. They got it.
If living in the light is so important and beneficial, then how do we do it? How do we live in the light? Ephesians 4:17-5:14 explain how to live in the light writing: “Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.” Ephesians 4:21-24
Paul says to put on the new nature, created to be like God or to be in harmony with God, truly righteous and holy. Once a person becomes a believer and starts to walk in the light they need to stop walking in darkness. What does this mean? It means now that you know the truth, apply it to your life. Let me give you a couple of examples: If you get married you should not still date your old girlfriend or boyfriend. If you do, you are going to be in trouble with your spouse. If you go to weight watchers you should not end each session with a trip to the all you can eat buffet.
And if you are a new creation in Christ, you should not do the sinful things you used to do. Sinful things - like being selfish, blowing up on people in rage, abusing alcohol. Like treating people like dirt. When I became a Christian I had to replace my entire music library because what I used to listen to was not what I should listen to. I used to listen to music that glorified sex, drugs, and violence. I also had to throw away a whole bunch of movies that were not good. But once I became a Christian I didn’t want to glorify those things and give money to those who glorify them by purchasing their music.
Paul instructs believers to let the Holy Spirit renew their thoughts and attitudes. The biblical word for spiritual progress is sanctification. Progress happens by intention when we dwell on God’s word and figure out how to live it out in our life. You renew your mind by filling it full of good things. If you want to be more spiritual consume more of God’s word and hang around other godly people. You are a new creation in Christ so get rid of the things that remind you of your old way of life. Change the tune. Stop doing what you used to do that was sinful and start acting godly and pursuing a holy life. Because you and I are human, we will never be perfect, but we should be making progress.