“This is the message we have heard from Him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him while we 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 His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
1 John 1:5-7 ESV

Those verses sound pretty self-explanatory, right? Right. Then why in the world does it seem like in today’s time, these are actually fairly difficult for some Christians to live by? Well, we live in a day and age where it seems as though nothing people do is private. It seems to be so difficult to hide anything, and letting one person know means facing the risk of all of your Facebook friends finding out. Living in the light means everything of our past (and our present) is exposed by the light. Nothing is hidden in darkness. Jesus said it best Himself, “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light” (Luke 11:33).

Let me try to explain this better by sharing a bit of my own story. Before I truly met Christ and really got saved, I was a person that had deceived themselves into thinking that they were walking in the light, but they were actually in darkness. I was a leader in a church, but I felt like I was living two lives: one life in the light, and another in the dark. Of course, that wasn’t the case. I was actually in complete and total darkness and just didn’t realize it. Regardless, I would spend my Friday and Saturday nights drinking and having premarital sex, but I would stand in front of the choir Sunday and act as though I was living the Christian life. Darkness doesn’t just pertain to those “closet sins” people have and are too ashamed to talk to anyone about. It also refers to any hurt, pain, anything that has not been placed in the light and is still a part of you. Living in the light means that everything is in the light—nothing is left in the darkness.

For me, I know that when I really got saved, my entire mentality changed. I went from constantly hiding the things that I was doing or had been through because to telling everyone I met about anything in any area of my life where God has delivered or healed me. That meant everything from the sins I used to commit (sexual immorality, drunkenness, unforgiveness, and others) to the addictions I couldn’t get rid of (pornography, self-mutilation, and more) to the thoughts and emotions I couldn’t control and could be considered mental illnesses (anxiety, depression, suicide) to even the pain from past experiences that I couldn’t get over (sexual harassment/assault, abuse, death of parents, broken homes, isolation) were exposed in the light for all to see. In doing this, I was healed and delivered from all of that. 

Understand this, God is a gentleman, and He won’t force you to do anything but instead gives you the choice to do everything—you choose to follow Him and be in the light or choose to not. The only thing you can’t really do is “straddle the fence” because you’re either in, or you’re out: you can’t be both. I was healed from all of the hurt of my past, delivered from all of those addictions and “mental illnesses”, and no longer have any desire to do any of the things I used to do. Instead, I have a desire to tell everyone about the things God has done for me in order to say, “If He did this for me, how much more will He do for you?” Even now, nothing I do is hidden in the darkness. Even the errors that I make are not hidden but are instead exposed by the Light.

Here’s the thing: God wants you whole. How can you be whole if you are still holding onto things that keep you from doing so? You can’t be whole if you’re half here and half there. Therefore, when things arise, the light exposes it and allows you to be healed or delivered from it. Whatever you have done is cleansed as long as you continue to live in the light. I even had an experience a few weeks ago where I truly realized that as long as I continued to stay on this path with God like I am doing now, there is nothing I can hide. I was hurt by a fellow church member, and instead of doing what the Bible says and going to that person and talking to them about it, I held it in and let it eat away inside of me. From the moment it happened, I felt miserable when that person was around despite the fact that they weren’t even doing anything to hurt me. Eventually, I finally went to that person and talked it out. Once I let go of those emotions and feelings I was hiding, I realized how important it is to allow every aspect of your life shine in the light. When things are left hidden, the enemy can use them to torment you and to play with your mind—trying to get you to turn from the life of righteousness you have chosen to live. He can try to deceive you into believing that you should be ashamed of what has happened or that it’s okay to hide a few things here and there, but it’s not. When I hid the hurt I felt, I immediately stopped feeling whole; and my mind began playing games—twisting and contorting every single thing my dear friend said. Once I talked about that hurt, the healing seemed to be instantaneous; and I was no longer tormented by my own thoughts.

My challenge to you, dear reader, is to ask yourself: Is there anything in your life that is not in the light? If so, how can you get it there? Talking to someone that you trust and can guide you in the way you should go (wise council) can definitely help. For me, anytime I need to talk to someone, I always go to my pastors, for they can give me sound, Biblical advice on what to do next and then hold me accountable and make sure I follow through on what I need to do. If you don’t have someone like that in your life, I would highly recommend it.

Published by Amber Oglesby