"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)...
Ephesians 5:8-9 NIV
In this passage, Paul is emphasizing the power of the transformation that occurs when we surrender our lives to Christ. When Jesus is your Savior, a radical miracle of going from death to life occurs, or as Paul puts it, going from darkness to light. As Paul reminds us of the reality of this transformation, he urges God’s children to “Live as children of light” - implying that we have a choice. Because we know God and are His, we have access to a life marked by light, but we also have the choice to walk back towards darkness. As Paul commands us to live as children of light, he also reminds us the fruit, or positive consequences, that comes when we make choices that honor God.
our choices matter
It is so important as God’s children to know & believe that our choices matter - it is even more important to know why they matter. Jesus came so that we would have abundant life (John 10:10) and our choices affect how much of that abundant life we experience. Often times, we surrender our lives to Christ but we don’t live like anything has changed. We continue in the same destructive habits, the same negative thought patterns, and we continue to settle for a life in the dark, a life that is less than what Jesus died to give us. And we do this because we don’t realize that our choices matter - that we are empowered as children of God by the Holy Spirit inside of us to walk in the light, to make choices that lead to abundant life, to live in the reality that everything has changed. The best part? God promises us that these choices (while not always easy) are worth it - that they produce fruit consisting of goodness, righteousness and truth - that as we make these choices, our lives will be changed for the better.
a gift for us
Another thing that keeps us from living as children of light is that we don’t know what these choices look like\how to make them. I have good news for you: God has provided you with an entire book to lead you in the right direction. The bible is a gift - it outlines the path to life, it teaches us what things to walk towards and what things to flee from. It provides specific guidelines on how to choose abundance in all areas of our lives. My prayer and encouragement to you today is to open up your bible - Paul’s letters are a great place to start (Romans through Philemon) - and to read the words God has given you to position yourself towards abundant life.
The prayer of Psalm 139:23-24 is an awesome avenue that you can use to position yourself towards choosing the way of light and life. “Search me God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” It is so important to open ourselves up to God leading us away from choices that lead to darkness, to ask God to convict us of ways that we are choosing less than what He has for us and to ask Him to show us the way to abundant life. Remember his promise that these choices lead to goodness, righteousness & truth - trusting that God always has more for us & that the “more” is so worth choosing!