Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12
It’s really hard to grasp the practical truth of the above scripture, especially when we’re in the midst of a life change and it’s so dark we cannot see the way ahead of us. At times the road can be so obscured we can’t even see the next step in front of us, let alone the upcoming intersections that will call for some choices and decisions on our part. Nevertheless, we have the promise that we will not stumble about in the darkness IF we follow Him. So let’s start with the question—“How do we follow Him?”
It appears that many of us have had our heads down for a long time pursuing a line of work or life path diligently and with all we’ve got. Now suddenly we find ourselves at the end of that pursuit and looking up, we find that we are lost. Or at least it feels that way to us. God, on the other hand, is not surprised or dismayed at where we have landed. He may even be rejoicing because now maybe, just maybe, we will put our focused attention on Him as we try to figure out where we are and what to do next. You see, here’s the revelation that came to me as I was contemplating the idea of providing a resource for believers in transition. God is first and foremost interested in each one of us individually and in His relationship with us. Any time we get to a place where we realize our need for guidance and perhaps, for Him, He will be found just outside the door waiting to be invited in for a chat! We may perceive that we have arrived at the end of one season in our work-life or family-life and that we need to figure out what we are going to DO next. God stands beside us desiring an opportunity to talk to us about who we are going to BE next…and more importantly who we are going to allow Him to be for us!
So in answering the question, and at the risk of sounding cliché, the answer has to be “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) Many believers read the “be still” part but fail to notice the rest. “Know that I am God” is the ultimate purpose of becoming still. If your windshield is so dirty that you can’t see Him, now is the time to take care of that! Focus on Him and see that He is wonderful, amazing, all-loving, all-merciful, everything you will ever need and so much more. We have lost sight of the majesty and wonder of God. He has been so diminished in power that we imagine He can’t possible keep track of all of us even if He cared to do so. In your time of transition, sit still and contemplate the Almighty, miracle-working, covenant God of the Old Testament and the resurrected Savior King of the New Testament. Take your eyes off yourself, your past experiences, hurts, failures and disappointments. You will never come out into the light if you continue to face backwards, peering into the darkness for answers and understanding! The past is gone and your Good Shepherd is in front of you—turn around and face your future. That’s what you’re really interested in, right?
But what if you’ are facing forward and you have given your next steps a lot of thought only to come up empty and confused? Read this scripture carefully. There are clues in it that will bring us into the light: “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. 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 1:5-7)
Like it or not, the message is clear. If we are in darkness, we are not in fellowship with God. If we are in fellowship with Him, we are not in darkness. This doesn’t mean we will have all the answers. If we did we probably wouldn’t stay in fellowship with God for long. Most of us would shout our thanks and be on our merry way! No, this time and this transition, God just might be calling each of us into relationship with Him for the rest of our lives.
Our Creator has assignments for us but we have to spend enough time with Him to allow the Holy Spirit inside us to do whatever work might be required to get us ready to go out into that puzzling world of darkness and show others the way to the light. That’s what we’re here for; that’s our destiny in Christ. Time is short and the sons of God have a big job ahead of us. We are called to be so filled with God’s love and so clothed in His glory that the whole world will want what we have! It’s time to stop thinking little, self-oriented thoughts about how we want to spend our time and talents and find out what God has in mind.
Let’s make it our top priority to get into His presence and soak up His word and His love. There’s nothing stopping us from imitating Christ in every little thing we do as we’re seeking Him. We can practice walking in the light by listening for His voice; stepping out in faith as He leads. And we can give thanks to the One who will never allow us to wander far off the path if we keep our eyes on Him! He has ordered our steps (1), set our boundaries in pleasant places (2), and prepared good works for us to walk in them (3). He will never leave us (4) and He has promised to complete the work He has begun in us (5). We may be in a transition but we aren’t lost! As long as we stay close to Him, this is our truth: “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:8-10) The best is yet to come!
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