And a war worth winning. Some guys have been at it for years and are saying, “I doubt it.” I connect with men who have learned as I have that walking in the light liberates. My first experience of this came when I was traveling through Europe after two years of seminary. I connected with an Operation Mobilization Team. The director asked if I wanted to walk in the light with him. Good idea. I just didn’t know what he meant. He said that he gets tempted to take a second look or a third, to focus on body parts, to think about it as he crashes at night. He said, “That’s not what I want,” and I’ll let you know on a daily basis how I am doing. Sounded like a decent idea. I agreed to do the same, because I was facing similar battles. I was amazed at how well it worked–as long as I stayed in the light. When I chose to hide, I had little power to overcome.
Since then I found out why. Jesus said that some “loved the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19). He later announced, “He who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). Paul wrote, “What fellowship does light have with darkness?” (2 Cor. 6:14). And John proclaimed, “God is light, and in him is no darkness” (I John 1:5). We are commanded to “cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:12). Darkness is where things hide–and grow, like mold–and sin. We are told to “have nothing to do with the unfruitful works of darkness” (Eph. 5:11). We are fighting against “the cosmic powers over this present darkness” (Eph. 6:12). For false teachers, the “gloom of utter darkness has been reserved” (2 P. 2:17; Jude 13). So if we choose the darkness, we are camping in Satan’s domain. He rules there. No wonder we can’t win in the dark. Good news–God “has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son” (Col. 1:13). Paul gives us a statement of identity, that we “are not in darkness” (I Thess. 5:4,5). Peter reminds us that God called us “out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 P. 2:9).
However, Satan lies to us and says that if we come into the light, we will receive shame and rejection. John promises just the opposite: “If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another. And the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin” (I John 1:17). Interesting. Instead of shame–forgiveness. Instead of rejection–fellowship, koinonia, the sharing of our lives with one another.
When we learn appropriate vulnerability by walking in the light and confessing our weakness, our struggles, our defeats, we receive just what we need. Satan is a liar and the Father of lies. In other words, lies are born out of connecting with him and walking in his territory. I am delighted to say that men I have been privileged to mentor have been discovering the glorious power of light, just as Scripture promised. Maybe you are next to experience this life-changing truth!