In studying this verse, I have found that it captures the very essence of what it means to live in the light. We become radiant, like The Bright and Shining One, just by being in His presence. I love the definition of the word radiant. It means: 1) emitting rays of light, shining bright; 2) bright with joy, hope, etc.
I used to battle shame, guilt, fear and condemnation constantly. They had become so much the fabric of my being, that I couldn’t discern that they weren’t truth, and I couldn’t see a way out from under them. I would read verses like 1 John 1.5-6 “God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth” and feel utterly hopeless. Walking in the light seemed to be something I had to muster up, and felt completely impossible. The shame and fear had started to define me, and my identity was becoming rooted in them. Shame (as defined by Brené Brown) is the fear of disconnection. In its truest sense, for me, it was the fear of disconnection from God as well as those I loved. Would He disown me for what I’d done? Would He stop loving me? How could those that were precious to me still love me if they knew the real me? The only answer seemed to be to hide, and isolate myself from being seen or known by anyone. My pain and brokenness had become the loudest voices, and I yielded only to them. The thing about pain and brokenness is that they will always eventually bubble up to the surface because we were not destined to be under their rule.
Eventually I faced my pain, and God mended my brokenness as I began to walk into wholeness. The journey has taught me much, with one of the truest lessons being that I can do nothing to earn God’s love for me (or take it away). He loves me simply because of who He is, and the fact that I am His. He paid a very costly price for me to live with Him in the light, and that price wiped clean my past (even as recent as yesterday). What is required of me is for me to receive Him, and open my heart up to all that He has for me.
The truth is that living in the light is not always easy, convenient or popular. It takes diligence, commitment to living by your values, and living authentically from a place of vulnerability. You see, we cannot live in the light if we remain hidden. We are unable to be fully known, loved and celebrated for who we are until we emerge from the shadows. The light casts out the darkness, and it makes all things beautiful. We may think that there is power in remaining hidden, in keeping secrets, even in telling lies to control our world, and even what others think of us. The darkness keeps us in chains, and it is costly, exhausting and isolating to maintain this façade. We were never intended to live this way.
The reward of intentionally living in the light, or living by the Spirit is every good thing. It is freedom, truth, joy, love, peace, abundance, purity and power. It is living a life without regret, freedom from shame and guilt, being governed by love and not fear, and knowing without a shadow of a doubt that you are no longer condemned. This is what was purchased for you and for me. It is time to emerge from shadows, and claim your full life and inheritance as a son or daughter of the Light.
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