Does anyone else out there ever hate what they do?
There are times when we do the same horrible thing that we have done a thousand times before and we get so angry with who we are. We find ourselves losing our temper, getting drunk again, looking at porn, meeting up again with a lover who is not our spouse, not speaking up for ourselves. And we hate that part of who we are. If that is you, today’s Verse of the Day brings hope to a dark place.
1 John 1:7
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
The context of this passage refers to God as Light. And sin is darkness. To walk in the light is to walk in obedience to the Lord. I want to be careful because there are many people who obey the Bible religiously, but they are not in the Light of God. To be in the Light, we must obey in a way that honors God. For example, if I ask my son to take out the trash, he may do it, but all the while he is griping and complaining, rolling his eyes. So, we could say he obeyed, but he did not honor. If people did not know me but judged me by the attitude my son had about me, they might think I am harsh or mean. It would not be true, but they may believe it.
The Bible says that everything we do should glorify God. It should reveal the loving, forgiving, graceful, holy character of God. If I hate going to church but go, then I could say I am obeying the Lord by meeting together with the church (Heberws10:25), but my attitude would not send the message to unbelievers that God and the body of Christ (the church) was good. It would send the message that God was a dictator and if I don’t do what He says, I will be severely punished. Does that make sense?
Walking in the Light is obedience with the right attitude…
To walk in the Light is to obey the Lord with an attitude that would send the message that God is wonderful, giving, loving, slow to anger, and abounding in love. When we ‘delight’ ourselves in God, He promises to give us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4), but what does delight mean? It means having a positive attitude about doing what God desires. It is not dragging into the church to check off a box, but being excited to go to church. It is a son taking out the trash not because he has to but in a thankful way for all his dad has done for him.
Ok, let’s look at the next part. If we walk in the Light, we have fellowship with one another. The power to walk in the Light comes from the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:13). The Holy Spirit is God in us, every believer. The Holy Spirit fills our spirit and we are united in Him. Because we are being led by the Spirit, our beliefs are united, our desires are united, and we work to bless one another, we hurt with one another, and pray for one another. This bonds us together. Just as God gave Eve to Adam, He gives us brothers and sisters so that we are not alone in our rejoicing nor our suffering. When we separate ourselves from the church, it is hard to stay in the Light because we have no support in troubled times, no one spurring us on in times of apathy. The Light gives us fellowship and fellowship helps us to keep walking in the Light.
Walk in the Light, don’t jump in and out…
Now, the last bit of this passage says that the blood of Jesus purifies us from all sin when we walk in the Light. Let’s look at ‘walk’ first. To walk in the Light is a progressive ongoing even. It is a continual, constant motion. To walk in the Light, there must be consistency. If I am in the Light one day, then in darkness the next, I am not walking in the Light, but jumping in and out. When we consistently obey with the right attitude, we have fellowship with one another, and Jesus purifies us from all sin.
When we first put our faith in Christ, we become the righteousness of God. Our sins are forgiven and our record is wiped clean of all sin. We are credited with perfection though we are far from it (Romans 4:3). Then, Christ gives us the command to be perfect as the Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48). This is a high calling. It is a goal that we are to work toward. When we fail, God is compassionate and forgives. So we do not work toward this goal out of compulsion or fear of condemnation (Romans 8:1). We work toward this in the attitude of Light. We simply want to live a life that honors our Heavenly Father and brings glory to His name. This is a picture of a continual process that as I walk in continued obedience and the right attitude, the reward is a cleansing from sin. This is not the forgiveness of sins I have committed, but a cleansing from the sinful desires that lead to sin. The Spirit desires the things of the Spirit and the flesh desires things of the flesh (Galatians 5:17). When I walk in the Light, obedience with the right attitude, I will desire what the Spirit desires. In other words, continual obedience with an attitude of delighting in the Lord will change my desires. Walking in the Light is the process of crucifying the flesh. The flesh is that part of us that desires the forbidden and is full of selfish passion (Galatians 5:24).
Walking in the Light will literally change what you want in life.
It will change your desires which will then continue to change your behavior which will continue to change your desires which will continue to change your behavior. I think you get the point. That part of you that you hate, the behavior in you that you despise can be purged by the Holy Spirit when we walk in the Light.
Let me say one more thing before I let you go. To delight in God and to obey Him with delight is to walk in the Light. But it is also true that my flesh can crave something even as I am delighting in Him. I may want to eat a second bowl of Blue Bell, but I can choose to not do this because I want to reflect that the Holy Spirit is my comfort not over-eating. I am delighting in God even as my flesh wants more Blue Bell. But the more I obey and delight in the Lord, the desires of the flesh are being crucified so that my desire for these things become less and less.
Your temper, your lust, your addiction, your fear, your insecurity, that part of you that you hate can become less and less influential in your life if you walk in the Light. You can be free of that trait, habit, drug, feeling. Walk in the Light and He will purify your heart killing the part of you that you hate.
6 Look, you desire integrity in the inner man;
you want me to possess wisdom.
7 Sprinkle me with water and I will be pure;
wash me and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Grant me the ultimate joy of being forgiven!
May the bones you crushed rejoice!
9 Hide your face from my sins!
Wipe away all my guilt!
10 Create for me a pure heart, O God!
Renew a resolute spirit within me!
11 Do not reject me!
Do not take your Holy Spirit away from me!
12 Let me again experience the joy of your deliverance!
Sustain me by giving me the desire to obey!
I hope this brings hope to your heart and reminds you that you are no longer a slave to the flesh. You have power to crucify it. It always helps me to get the Word out when you share, like, and forward these. I pray that you will share this devotion and these principles with those who need to hear them. Be a minister to those around you. And I would love to pray for you. Leave me a comment and let me know the part of yourself that you hate and want to crucify. I will join you in prayer and God will be faithful.
Live Blessed and Be a Blessing!
PS: I would love to help you if you need personal Biblical guidance and if you haven’t already, sign up to receive these devotions to your inbox daily. If you missed yesterday’s devotion, you can read it now.
Pastor Lee is a pastor and Biblical life coach. He has been helping people through counseling, pastoring, teaching, and preaching for 20+ years. His ministry focuses on helping people overcome the strongholds of the past and press on into God’s plan for an abundant life. He has been married to his wife, Amy for 28 years. He has three sons and one daughter-in-love. For more about Pastor Lee or to get some Biblical advice, go to the About page.