Have you ever been in total darkness? And I don't mean walking around outside at night darkness. I mean down in the belly of a cave with no flashlight darkness. This is an eerie feeling. You lose track of where everyone else is. You lose track of where you are. People can move around and you will have no idea that they are doing the chicken dance two feet in front of you (until they start clapping, I suppose). I don't know if this is true, but I have heard that if you spend enough time in absolute darkness you go blind. Your eyes literally just decide to quit their job and retire.
I was thinking about this when I came across 1 John 1:5-10. Verse seven states,"But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin." What is the light? What does it mean to be in the light? Once I'm in the light, what do I do?
All we have to do to find out what the light is is look at the rest of the verses. Verse five says, "Now this is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light, and there is absolutely no darkness in Him." So we know that God is this light. And he is also in it. Which is a bit confusing. Nevertheless, since we know that God is the light, we can presumably substitute "Light" for "God" in these verses, and they will still be truthful. However, I believe we are given this metaphor because it is really a great visual for our walk with God.
Before we know God, we are in absolute darkness. We don't understand what is going on around us. We have no insight on our surroundings. Now of course we are born this way, so people in the dark have no idea they are in the dark. It is just how it has always been, so their other senses take over and try to compensate, and do a decent job at it. Some of them are in the dark so long that their eyes just give up, and even if they are shown the light, their eyes can no longer see it. However, there are some to which a prick of light in the distance is revealed. Their eyes see it, and are drawn to it. Some may be scared of it, and choose to ignore it because they have never experienced it before. Others ignore it because many others that they respect cannot see the light because they are blind and don't believe this unexplainable "light" could exist. Then there are some who decide to go to the light. When they decide to follow the light, the light gets brighter and brighter. Gradually, the darkness becomes gray. This light does not come on all at once, but slowly their eyes begin to adjust and they begin to see all that is around them. The formless shapes begin to take form and people, mountains, dew, sidewalks, buildings, flowers all begin to take shape. They see the world as it really is, not because of anything they have done. Their eyes had the capability to see all the time, but everything they see is only revealed to them by the light. Without the light, their eyes will die.
I believe this is how God chooses to reveal Himself to us. He doesn't just flip on the lights when we've been in absolute darkness. He slowly reveals Himself to us, to let our spiritual eyes adjust to the light. So what does being in the light look like? Well, when you are in darkness, you have no idea about your surroundings, how you look, or how the people around you look. As God begins to reveal Himself to us as a light, those things in our lives that were hidden are now there for all to see. We see how dirty we are, how filthy our houses are, and even the bleak state those around us are in. This is when we see that we must change, and that we must convince others to come into the light.
Once we are in the light, it may be tempting for us to come in and turn all the lights on at once for those still in the darkness. After all, we are just doing it because we are in the light and want others to be as well. However, when we do this, although we may be well meaning, we can seriously damage the spiritual "eyes" of those in the darkness. When lights come on and people are in the dark, what do they do? They shield their eyes, they look away, if the light is bright enough they might even be blinded. We need to realize that it is God's will to reveal light to others, but not all at once.
For those of us in the light, let us have fellowship with one another and remember that those in the darkness need the light. But let's not blind them with it.
Redemption starts with one small point of light.