Foreword:

Ever wonder what God might have to say to YOU today? Here are things to ponder, and things to receive into your heart. If you have a question, put it in the comments. I respond as much as I can.

A note for all my readers: I've been experimenting with YouTube videos for Bible teaching for a while, and I'm working through Revelation here. My YouTube videos are currently short studies in Matthew, and at present I'm posting videos on Revelation as well. Both appear on the blog, which is turning into a Vlog. I encourage you to subscribe to my YouTube channel for better coverage.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

So what is this "Walking in the Light" thing, anyway?

It's difficult to define, since it's all internal and connected mostly to our individual experiences. Here's what I can say about it, though:
1. It's a ministry of the Holy Spirit, and it goes beyond "conscience," or "guilt." Many times people identify the Christian's experiences with "guilt," or a "moral compass," but it really goes far beyond that. Here are some passages that might help you understand how this works, remembering that "God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all..."in order to tap into HIS light, there has to be a connection with Him. That connection, that hard wiring, is the Spirit of God who comes into our lives when we believe in Jesus Christ and receive Him as our Lord and Savior.  NonChristians often scoff at this (and at us), but any true Christian can tell you that the contact he has with God is the most precious thing in the Christian life. We all know it, and it's a shared experience, so we talk about it amongst ourselves as a known reality, but if you're not a Christian, it all sounds like gibberish.
Here are some passages that describe parts of that experience, although its totality has to be experienced to be understood:
Jesus said:
(John 14:16-17) And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Helper, that he may abide with you for ever; That is, the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but ye know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you.
This "other Helper" is GodWithUS, present in our lives always and constantly. He is also the Holy Spirit (as Jesus tells us); interestingly, Jesus refers to this "coming" of the Spirit in another way in the same passage (14:22-23):
Judas said to him, (not Judas Iscariot), Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world? Jesus answered and said to him, If a man loves me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our home with him. This is the same thing as the presence of the Spirit, and it defines the connection we have with God--it is all three Persons of the Trinity making their (His) home with us. The point is, if He's always there, the connection is automatic once we believe. It's just...there. On the other hand, Jesus is answering a question from the "other Judas," which reads, "How will you show yourself to us, but not to the world...?" that being the question, and figuring that Jesus must have answered the question He was asked, we are hit with the reality that a nonbeliever simply doesn't have the equipment to understand and know God. An unbeliever may ridicule us as "crazy," or try to find other explanations for our experiences with God, but the fact remains, He can't know. It's as if you're trying to explain a sunset to a blind man, or the sound of the ocean to a deaf man. The equipment for understanding is not there.
So when you walk in the light, the lines of communication are unbroken. You are listening to God, and even if it seems he's silent, you know He's "in the room." Right there. When you stop walking in the light, He doesn't go away, but He tells you about it, in a very real fashion, so that you know.

Watchman Nee, the famous Chinese Christian, tells the following story (I've paraphrased it and I'm repeating it from memory). "There was once a man who used to drink wine with every dinner; he usually drank too much, and got drunk. He became a Christian, and shortly after his conversion, his wife asked him if he wanted his usual bottle of wine with dinner. He said, 'No. Resident Boss doesn't want me to drink.'"

And it's really like that. He directs. You can't fully explain, but you can say, "The Lord wants me to..." or, "The Lord wants me to stop," or, and you know what He wants, because you're connected with Him.

Now I need to add a caution here, because you'll find all sorts of people saying, "God told me to do this," when it's obvious to everyone around that they were not listening to God but to some other voice.

The caution is this: "Know something about the Scriptures." God is not going to tell you to kill your children. He is not going to encourage you to rob a bank.

Normally people who do this crazy stuff have been unbalanced for a while, and the voice they are listening to is not God's.

However, you CAN walk in the light, and enjoy His presence and direction in your life. Mostly, it's just listening. Jesus had a wonderful word on this, regarding His own miracles:
(John 5:19):

"Then Jesus answered and said to them, Verily, verily (Truly, truly), I tell you, The Son can do nothing of (from) himself, but what he sees the Father doing: for whatever things the Father does, these also the Son does in the same way."

In other words, Jesus, having emptied Himself of the independent exercise of His divine powers, and having become a Man like us, allowed Himself to be guided just as He wants us to be--by the Father, who lives in us.