With all the discussion of darkness and light in John, we should review what darkness means in the world. God uses darkness in John’s writings to depict the sinfulness of the worlds systems, ways and operations, much of this is unseen, it is viewed as normal, simply life as we know it. As Paul says, “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Eph 6:12)
Darkness is the absence of God and godliness. God is light and light is available in His presence. As we are in sin, God separates himself from us, we are set back into the shade, shadows and eventually darkness that we choose sin over purity.
In the world this manifests itself in a number of ways. If we choose our own path, our own way to worship God, our own reasoning, our own thoughts we make our ideas and reasoning our god. (Isa 53:6)
Darkness manifests itself in other ways where we get lost in the world, not maintaining the world in the proper position, that we live in the world but not live out the ethics and values of the world. (Jhn 15:19; 17:14; 1 Jhn 2:15) In darkness, we believe we can play, participate and join in parties, social drinking, choices for Sunday work, fun or recreation instead of Sunday worship.
Darkness also manifests itself in choices we make for entertainment where we view movies, shows and other programs as neutral. We take note of Ecclesiastes 2:14 and recognize that wisdom controls what we choose to look at, but fools walk in darkness as they allow their eyes to wander. Many in the world believe their children must experience the world’s wickedness to know it. God did not think so in the Garden of Eden, but Eve thought it would make her wise.
Darkness takes shape in the form of pride when we believe we can manage it. We can dabble in this or that as long as we do not wholly give ourselves to wickedness. Like the alcoholic thinks that this time they can stop at one or two, we think we can control our exposure. But 1 Peter 5:8 tells us we are to be thoughtful, and sensible in life, watchful and attentive because Satan is stalks his prey ready to destroy and devour them.
Light is the opposite of all these occurrences. Light seeks God and the things of God in all things from prayer as one wakes, and falls asleep, to choices in entertainment and associations. Light abides in Christ more than the world. Light wisely recognizes we must work in a world at war with us, but we do not become as the worldly are, doing the things the worldly do. We are sanctified and distinct.
Sanctify yourself believer. Choose His light, His love, His righteousness.