How can we describe God? How can we possibly put into words exactly what His character is like? We read all through the Bible different descriptions of God. God is love, He is our Father. He is our Rock. He is our Provider. He is the Creator. He is the Great Physician. He is our Refuge. He is our Fortress. He is our strength. He is Lord. He is Judge. He is King.
John gives a very simple, yet profound description for us in this portion of his letter to the churches. He simply puts it like this: God is light. Light is a beautiful definition of what God is like.
“…in him, there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). This speaks of the purity of God. God is holy and perfect. God is not tempted. God doesn’t have an evil thought in Him. Pure, perfect, light.
Some people might think that God has it in for the human race; that we are all just pawns in some kind of chess game that He created, and He inflicts His will upon us and there’s nothing we can do about it. That is not the truth at all. The fact that evil is in this world is not God’s fault, it is ours.
Darkness is found in the heart of man. Darkness is a description of being apart from God. The book of Job uses the word ‘darkness’ 25 times, describing the separation between God and man, how nations grope in darkness with no light at all. Being in darkness is being alone. How many of us like the darkness? I don’t.
And that is somewhat what it is like to go through life without God. We are just groping through the darkness of this world. We look for answers to what life is all about, asking, “Why are we here?” We ask a lot of questions and try to answer them ourselves. People are looking for something, but often don’t even know what it is they are looking for. We find ourselves walking in darkness with no source of light. Or if we think we have a source, it burns out or doesn’t clearly show us where we are headed, and leaves us in situations we really don’t want.
The answer is to walk in the light. What does that mean? It means we are to have a relationship with THE Light, with God. This is what John calls ‘having fellowship’ with God.
Now John uses two illustrations of being in this relationship with God. The first is one that exists only in our minds. What do I mean by that?
If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. If we say one thing yet do the opposite of what we say, we are telling a lie, aren’t we? We can claim to be all sorts of things, but if our life-style doesn’t back that up, then what we say doesn’t add up to anything, it’s just a bunch of lies. If that applies to our relationship to God, that we SAY we are followers of Christ, yet we live like we don’t even know Him, then we are lying.
We’re lying to ourselves, to others, and God. It’s like reading the Bible, about how we should live our lives as Christians, agreeing that we SHOULD do all these things, yet going out and living any old way we want to. That’s not living by truth, that’s living a lie, and that is dangerous grounds, my friends. Pretending to be a Christian won’t get anybody anywhere, especially where heaven is concerned. Jesus will say to those who claim to be his followers, depart from me, I never knew you. Those are words nobody will want to hear.
May we walk in the Light!!
Ryan is the Family Pastor at Cornerstone Church Long Beach. Going on nine years of working at Cornerstone and 5 more years of youth ministry experience, his passion is to strengthen Families in their walk with Christ and their everyday lives.