When I was a kid we had a very scary basement. It was unfinished except that the stairway was dry-walled. When you got to the bottom of the stairway the light didn't shine beyond the last step, and the closest light was just beyond the stairway with a pull string. With one flying leap I was able to jump from the stairs and grab the string so as to illuminate the darkness. Apparently, however, yanking too hard on the string caused the switch to break, and there were periods when that light didn't work. In those moments I had to get really brave and run to the next light. It was scary for a kid. The funny thing is that those areas of the basement that were illuminated by the light weren't scary at all. In fact, once the light was there, the darkness was gone because darkness and light cannot coexist. That's the point John was making with his first letter: darkness and light don't belong together. A person cannot claim to know Christ and still live in darkness – it's not possible. You cannot have the Holy Spirit living in you without changing the way you live. Is it an instant change? Absolutely not! Some change is instant, but overall it's a process of growth that takes place over time. That's why following Christ is often referred to as a journey. The more the light comes into your life, however, the more the darkness will leave. Are you moving towards the light, or are you dwelling in darkness? What needs to happen in your life for you to take a step towards the light?
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Seth is a pastor, author, and speaker who lives in Batesville, Indiana. He is married to Kari, and they have two daughters, Madelyn and Noelle.