Illuminated Path

Journal Entry // December 11, 2021

The light shines on our path, so that we can see clearly and so walk properly.

TNTC Letters of John – (1 John 2:10)

As I have been reflecting deeper in 1 John through different commentaries and teachers, I have been struggling to put together some of what John is saying with how I actually see light and darkness manifest in my heart. Oftentimes I feel I am identifying with the darkness that John takes about, but I know that this darkness is meant to identify a life of unbelief. It always seems like John expects the true believer to walk 100% in the light and have no darkness at all. I interpret this to mean that any darkness lingering in my heart is pointing to my unbelief and I fear that this unbelief overshadows any light I may have.

But this is not what John is talking about. John is not saying that a true believer is sinless, not by any means. What he is saying is that I should have the markings of a man walking in the light. As John Stott mentioned in the quote above, the light of Christ shines on the path I am walking. It illuminates the road before me so that I can clearly see any hills and valleys and impediments to my walk. It allows me to see potential stumbling blocks. It’s not that there will be no stumbling, but that the light of Christ will reveal them to me.

The path of the unbeliever is shrouded in darkness and they take no notice or care for the sin in their life. And why should they… in the darkness there is no cause of concern about something they are blinded to. But a believer walking in the light has his sin and weakness illuminated at all times so that he may deal openly and honestly with his disobedience.

This is the light of Christ working in my heart. He reveals all the areas that are in need of attention. Areas of my heart that need his grace and mercy. It’s a blessing to struggle and fight against the sin in my heart. It’s the illuminating work of the gospel in my heart that casts out that lingering darkness. It’s Christ steadfast love for me that won’t let me just sit in darkness. No he shines his light, his true and perfect light, into every area of my life. Revealing the dark and dirty areas that need attention.

And walking in this light I can take these stumbling blocks to Christ as I clearly see the path of righteousness before me. Not perfectly by any means, but maturing. My faith growing and maturing each and every day. The light revealing the weakness in my heart is an amazing gift from God. Not a cause for guilt and shame, but of joy and celebration. I can rejoice that my loving Father is continuing to discipline me in love with patience.