“Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, ‘I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” (John 8:12 NLT)
Following Jesus is the delight of Christianity. A Christian may have many tasks to do, but not all of them are truly necessary to be fulfilled. Of the prime many important things that a believer loves to do, obeying the Lord stands unique as a piece of gold in midst of artificial flowers. Our passion and love for the Lord is revealed or manifested through practical obedience. What did the Lord say? “Those who know my commands and obey them are the ones who love me, and my Father will love those who love me. I will love them and will show myself to them.” (John 14:21 NCV) Following Christ does include attending fellowship, singing spiritual hymns and viewing Christian messages. But apart from all these the most important factor in Christianity is to humbly obey the Lord without giving a second thought. Telling a lie on Saturday and praising the Lord on Sunday is in no way biblical. More than your praises on Sundays, what the Lord looks on delightfully is your whole life the whole week. This includes our thoughts, talks and deeds. How we live will decide for whom we live.
In the above verse we see how we can walk in the light. It is only through following the light. The true Light which came from heaven and enlightens everyone. Who is that Light? Jesus Christ. We read it in John 1:9, 8:12 and 9:5. In 1 John 1:5 we read God is Light. So, to walk in light means to obey the Light. Practical Christianity is more precious than proclaiming, preaching and pretending Christianity. God has called you to follow Him. We all have come from various backgrounds and circumstances to the Truth. Now we have only one goal: To give God all the glory. And how does God receive all the glory? Is it possible if we obey Him but desire to get a praise and applause for our obedience? No, we must never seek praises from men, even if we are eligible for it. But you may think that this attitude will discourage people in doing good. But Christ taught us to do good so that people will see the good things we do and praise our Father in heaven (Mathew 5:16). This is the will of God that we do the good things and the credit and glory goes to God alone.
Today we see many hypocrites who delight to appear in newspaper pages for the good things they have done. Many of us feel hurt when our good deeds go unnoticed and are ignored. This is only because we have changed our focus from Christ to self and deviated our Christian life from Christ-centeredness to self-elevation. There is no better way to delineate this than the very words Jesus announced: “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” (Luke 9:23 NASB) Christianity in a religious essence may not demand much sacrifices but true discipleship demands that we just don’t deny our possessions and belongings but deny our very selves. It is only through this attitude and approach that we will get the strength and grace to give God all the credit and glory for the things we do.
Now what happens when we walk in the light by doing the works of light and thus glorify God? God honors us! Yes, we may be misunderstood, unnoticed and ignored, but God who knows everything and searches the intentions of the heart honors us for the sacrifices we make, for the help we give to others, for the kind words we speak and for the unselfish tasks we do daily. Walking in the light does not mean to be respected by people but to be honored by God. This world is not our home. Being lifted up by people will surely make us proud and boastful. But when we realize that the life we live now belongs to Him who redeemed us from our sinful nature and that we must utilize our time on earth to be prepared to spend eternity with Him in heaven, we can become more humble and thus more mature as Christians. Perceiving this mystery, Paul wrote: “I do not live anymore – it is Christ who lives in me.” (Gal. 2:20). What about us?