So I once told my son whom I was mentoring, “If you want to be an overcomer, call me right when something happens that you are not proud of, and even better, when you are being tempted. When I hear fourteen hours later, the shame has taken hold of your soul. You need to hear the word of forgiveness soon and then make a fresh commitment not to do it again. That’s called ‘walking in the light.’ Darkness is damaging. Light is aggressive; it destroys darkness.”
If Satan can get us to step into the dark, he tries to keep us there so he can beat us up for a while. He rules over “this present darkness” (Ephesians 6:12). There is not a shred of light in him, so everything he says is a lie. If we get back into the light, we find out what freedom is. As light and truth go together, darkness and lies stick together. Stay in the darkness, and you will be bombarded with lies:
“You are stupid for doing that. You are a miserable Christian.”
“You’ll never get victory over this sin, because you are a wimp.”
“Don’t even try to walk in the light, because they will be ashamed of you.”
“They don’t want to know anyway, because they are almost as bad a sinner as you are.”
“Sin isn’t that harmful. You can get forgiveness and forget about it.”
The Liar says that if we come into the light, we will get shame. Wrong! The shame is lifted and the blood is applied–immediately: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9).
I was traveling through Eastern Europe after a year of study in Israel. I came across a team from Operation Mobilization and decided to join them. The leader asked, “Do you want to walk in the light together?” I said, “Yes,” not knowing what he meant. So he said, “I want to be accountable to someone for the way I live. I don’t want any secrets. If I start flirting, you will know about it. If I give in to temptation, I will let you know.” Sounded good to me. I responded, “And I’ll do the same.”
Satan is incapable of living in the light. We managed to keep our word to one another on that trip, and I learned an important truth that has stayed with me since that experience as a twenty-five year-old. An accountability partner is not the police. Just the opposite. We need a friend to lift shame and invite us to receive the grace of forgiveness when we have stepped over the line. The quicker that action is taken the less likely we will wallow in the darkness, beat ourselves up, and get pummeled by an unmerciful devil. We sometimes feel like we need to stay there and punish ourselves for a while. Wrong! Jesus paid the price. Ours is to apply the blood and go free. I’ve had a close friend and an older mentor for decades to help me walk in the light. Give it a try!