Walk in the light as he is in the light (1 John 1:7). What is the light? The life that the Lord Jesus Christ has opened to us through his redeeming grace. Grace has been defined as unmerited favor, and eternal life is the quintessential unmerited favor given to us through the life, death, and resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ. We have access to our Father in heaven to experience his love, his peace, and his joy. His kingdom becomes increasingly more real to us as we walk in his light.
Yet, we live in a fallen world, and even if we aren’t doing anything wrong, sin acts on us and in us to create problems, wants, and needs. We have an enemy that wants to pull us into the darkness of rebellion against God, to walk in a way that seems good to us but not necessarily God’s plan. That enemy isn’t neutral. He won’t let us take a step on his territory and then step out untouched. No, he exerts a pull on us to not only step in but stay in. God calls us out of that darkness and into His glorious light to free us from the snare of sin. Grace moves us into greater freedom. Not just economic freedom, or social freedom, or relational freedom but by far the greatest freedom which is freedom from sin.
God wants us to depend on Him to meet our needs instead of trying to depend on our own solutions. Jesus assures us we are his children, so we should ask and ask we do for many things. I need a better job; I want your favor on this situation; I need to lose weight for my 20-year reunion; and so on. Grace is given, but God is not a genie in a bottle that we can call out anytime we need something.
Romans 5:20 -Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.
That is not an invitation to keep asking for grace without looking at ourselves. Grace changes the situation, but it also acts on us.
Our needs and wants can be caused by sinful desires we don’t want to address. I want to lose 10 pounds, so I ask for grace, but I don’t necessarily want to look at my relationship with food. Do I use food to give me what God wants to give me? Do I use it to comfort me when God wants to comfort me? These are real issues as we move into the light. Is grace simply a magic wand to remove the weight, or is it a means by which the Lord continuously moves me away from sin?
Romans 6:14 (ESV) — 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
Graces pushes away sin.
1 John 2:8 …the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.
Knowing that grace is the strength given to us to turn away from sin and turn to the Lord, we can now ask for forgiveness and grace.
Experiencing this power in grace is the hope of moving even further into the light and a life of joy and peace.