DO YOU CHANGE WITH THE LIGHT ON OR OFF?

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DO YOU CHANGE WITH THE LIGHT ON OR OFF?

This is such a common question in tabloid personality tests. The answer is often used to signal a certain level of self-confidence. If you change with the lights on, it usually means that you are comfortable with yourself, with who you are, with the way you look; and if you need to hit the switch before you can get undressed, then perhaps you have something to hide; or so they say. Well, today, John has a similar question for us, he wants to know if we walk around with the light on or off.

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

Growing up, I used to read these verses with much trepidation, especially after I have been a bad boy. I mean, think about it. To walk in the light means to do good and to walk in darkness means to do bad. So if I have been a bad boy, obviously I have been walking in the darkness, so when that happens, I lose fellowship with Him and the blood of Jesus does not cleanse me from all sin, right? Well, if you ever thought that way when reading this verse or perhaps you are even nodding in agreement with me now, then beloved, we are not alone. Do you know who were the first ones who needed the lights to be off in order to get changed?

“And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.” Genesis 2:8

Now, do you think they were just being modest? What they did is certainly in line with modern civilized behavior, is it not? After all, we don’t go about butt naked in front of our guests now, do we? Or do we?

When God brought the animals to Adam for him to name, was he dressed?

“Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name.” Genesis 2:19

Nope, no safari gear there.

When Adam first met Eve, was he dressed?

Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.

“And Adam said:
“This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” Genesis 2:22-25

Certainly had a lot to say, didn’t he, this Adam. But again, not dressed. They met each other stark naked. Thankfully they had no in-laws. Can you image what they would say?

Now, I don’t mean to suggest that we should all abandon our good social graces and run around stark naked from now on. Clothes were invented for a reason and modern civil decencies have their place so please respect them. But what I want us to realize is that something must have happened to make them go from being absolutely comfortable with being naked, to suddenly realizing what shame meant. So what happened?

“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked;” Genesis 3:7

They achieved enlightenment. No, really, someone must have told them right? How do I know? Well, God said so.

“Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”
So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”” Genesis 3:9-11

There you go, ‘who told you’. You know, a lot of people read the sin as being the act of eating the fruit. But read a little further back, what really was the sin?

“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”
Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”” Genesis 3:1-5

The sin was not believing God. You see, the devil questioned Eve’s understanding of God’s command. When Eve gave the answer, she had a misquote. She added to God’s command, for this was what He originally said,

“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:16-17

God just said, ‘don’t eat’. He never said, ‘don’t touch’. And this was when the devil knew he could have the two of them. So he started to make them question their interpretation of God’s command. Maybe they heard Him wrong. Surely He could not have said that. Surely you will not die. Do you realize that?

Now, similarly for us, when we take a look back on our own lives, when we heard God’s calling and we heard His promises, even though they were as loud as an audible voice, Satan comes immediately following and says, ‘Are you sure you heard right? Did God really mean it when He said that He would protect and provide for you? Did God really mean it when He said that all you needed to do to get to Heaven was to believe in Jesus? Surely it is not that easy.’ And if we allow Him to make us second guess what we have heard from our Father, then that is when he has got us.

So read 1 John again.

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

What is the word that comes before ‘the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin’? ‘And’ or ‘Then’? I am not nitpicking over vocabulary beloved, because there is a world of difference between the two. ‘Then’ suggests that we have to do good first before Jesus’ blood can cleanse us. But ‘And’ suggests that Jesus’ blood has made us clean already, so in response, we do good. Many of us saw ‘Then’, didn’t we?

Beloved, Jesus said,

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

You who have believed have already received eternal life. Because when Jesus died for you on the cross,

“Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy].
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.” Isaiah 53:4-5 [AMPC]

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

So that is why Jesus said that “…God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-17

If you have ever read condemnation into the words of Jesus or the apostles preaching the gospel, that is exactly when Satan is doing to you what he did to Eve, making you doubt if what you read was real. If you have ever felt condemned, like you do not deserve to be treated as human, that is exactly when Satan is doing to you what he did to Eve, making you doubt the words of love that you heard from our Father. And that is when, if left unchecked, you will start to shrink into the darkness and away from the light.

But beloved, Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12).

“And the Light shines on in the darkness, for the darkness has never overpowered it [put it out or absorbed it or appropriated it, and is unreceptive to it].” John 1:5 [AMPC]

So if darkness threatens to creep into your life, move further into the Light, so that the Light can consume the darkness and dispel it from your life. Don’t allow Satan to do to you what he did to Eve. Don’t let him sow seeds of condemnation into your mind. You have been made righteous by Jesus once and for all, and that means that you now have every God-given right to receive all the blessings that our Father has to offer, for now you are no longer judged, you are loved. God has nothing to be upset with you about any longer.

So do you change with the lights on or off? That really doesn’t matter, does it? What matters is you walk where the light is shining, You walk in the truth that Jesus loves you, now and forevermore; and when you do, darkness will never have any opportunity to make you feel lousy about yourself ever again.

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