For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible - and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said: ‘Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’

- Ephesians 5:8-14

The point that Paul is trying to make to the Ephesians is that God did not send His son to die for us, just so we could be saved, but so we could have immeasurably more as children of light. We are not expected to simply make t through this life just barely surviving, but we are invited into a thriving existence. God's hope is for us to continually be awoken more and more to the goodness of who He is and leave the sin and darkness that once defined our life behind.

I love this passage quite a lot. And it actually resonates quite well with one of Daniel Simmons' more popular phrases: It's okay to not be okay, but it's not okay to stay that way. The passage opens with acknowledging that no matter who we are or where we come from, we all started from a place of darkness in sin. But God does not see it as fitting for us to remain in that place of darkness. Instead, He wants to see us living as children of light; illuminated and illuminating the places we go. This passage reminds me that life as a child of God is a process, and that there is still a great deal that God wants to illuminate in my life, and wake me up to the reality of his truth. The final verse is probably my favorite because as our soul is continually awoken by the Holy Spirit, we begin to see things more and more clearly. And as we see with greater clarity, we witness more of the joy that comes with encountering God.

Take a moment to look back at the past few years and acknowledge how far you have come and the ways that you have grown in the process. Now I want you to realize that God is the root cause for all of that growth and progress. One of the best ways to continue moving forward with God, is to give him thanks and praise for what he has already been doing in your life. But like I said, God is not done with us, and we are nowhere near the end of our process of being fully awoken to the reality of being a child of light. So ask him and keep asking him how you can be more awoken, more risen from the dead of sin, and stand more fully visible in the purity of His light. He will show you where you have been asleep, but it is up to you to do something about it rather than go back to sleep.

I would pray for our eyes to be opened all the more to who we are called to be and who we are called to be like. That God would show us the areas that we are still allowing complacency and sin to reside. And that it wouldn't be in a discouraging way, but in a way that we believe that God is sufficient for our needs.

- Will Goodwin