February 27, 2017

Walk Step by Step in the Light, Part 1 (Winner announced)

It’s hard to come face to face with our sin. The sin that comes because of our fallen nature (because of what happened in the Garden when Eve ate the fruit). It’s especially hard with those sins we commit over and over again. We speak a harsh word. We engage in gossip. We lose our temper. We succumb to fear instead of trusting God. Each time, we tell God we’re sorry and promise we will do better next time.

And we don’t.

It’s a vicious cycle.

On the other side, God’s Word calls us to live in the light.

What does that mean? It requires that our hearts, our actions our words, our thoughts, our values, and even our schedules align with His heart and His character, not with our sinful nature and fallen character.

So much harder said than done.

The good news I celebrate today is that living in the light doesn’t require perfection! Let me repeat those words.

Living in the light does not require perfection.

God does not require perfection.

Let those words sink deep.

Only Jesus is perfect.

God requires repentant hearts. When we sin, He asks that we immediately bring that sin before Him and confess it. When we follow this formula, He forgives us fully and completely.

In 1 John 1:7, John teaches his audience to “walk in the light.” The Voice translation says, “walk step by step in the light.” Jesus is the Light of the World, so walking in the light means walking step by step with Jesus, letting Him lead, direct, and guide us.

It’s a daily walk. And we don’t walk alone. We walk with a loving, forgiving Father who empowers us to do better each and every day through the indwelling presence of His Holy Spirit.

At times, we will take a wrong step … away from the light and toward darkness. And this step may interrupt our fellowship with God. But the good news is, we need only turn our hearts back toward our heavenly Father and ask forgiveness. He waits for us to come to Him with open arms. He longs to forgive and restore our fellowship with Him.

The key is agreeing with God about our sinful thoughts! Because agreeing with God about them brings them into to the light.

What happens in the light is glorious! We don’t find shame or condemnation, we find love and forgiveness. It is the place where God will work in our hearts not only to correct us but also train us to think, speak and act in new ways.

When we don’t take immediate action to walk back into the light, we leave the door wide open for the enemy to take full control of the reins of our heart and lead us deeper into darkness and further into sin.

I have lots more to share on this topic! In fact, it’s a bit of a foreshadow of things to come. Will you come back next week and join me for Part 2? I will have a script we can follow when we find ourselves in a cycle of sin. And I can’t wait to share it with you. Please come back next week!

Let me close with a prayer.

Thank you, Jesus, for leaving the glory of heaven to enter into the grit and grime of this dark world. Thank you that You are the Light of the World. The One who can shine light into the darkness lurking in our own hearts. And when You shine that light, it is free of shame and condemnation. Your light brings with it mercy, grace and conviction. We confess that we have dark places in our hearts. I agree with You in this moment, they interrupt our fellowship with You. We ask You to shine the lamp of Your light into the deepest crevices in our hearts. Forgive us. Renew our thoughts. Renew our hearts. Make it so we honor you in all we say and do. We ask this in Jesus’ precious name. Amen.

And I would love to hear your thoughts on what I shared today from 1 John and how sin interrupts our fellowship with God. If you have a few minutes, please leave a comment.

*****WINNER OF SHARON JAYNES’ BOOK*****

Susan who posted on February 20 at 11:03 pm.

Congratulations! Susan, please e-mail me at deuteronomysix@aol.com with your full name and mailing address so we can get you your book.

Blessings,

Comments

  1. Sharon Serrano says:

    It’s no coincidence that this was my morning conversation with Jesus. I battle with perfectionism. This morning I found myself confessing this very thing to God. It causes me not to trust God fully, not so much for others but for myself. I felt horrible for this, its not the first time God shows me this.

    Im looking forward to part 2. Thank you Wendy. When God confirms things through unexpected places, it just brings a sense of peace.

    • Don’t you just love how God’s timing is perfect? Oh, my goodness! I’m honored to be part of His voice speaking to you on perfectionism. May you know how pleased He is with you just as He made you. You don’t need to be perfect, sweet friend. You need only take that lie captive and replace it with the truth I know YOU know. πŸ™‚

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  2. Eileen White says:

    Thank you for this teaching today, Wendy! It speaks to me because even though I have confessed a particular sin to God and I have asked Him to forgive me, it’s hard for me to believe sometimes that He really has. Sometimes I don’t *feel* forgiven…so I keep asking Him over and over. Is this wrong? I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Looking forward to reading Part 2!

    • Eileen, oh how I know that feeling. But we must soak in the truth that when we confess our sin, he is faithful to forgive it. Period. He may continue to work in our hearts as He molds and shapes us to be more like Him, and that pruning can hurt. But, we ARE forgiven. And, the pruning IS good because He is good.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  3. Thank you for this teaching. I recently asked for forgiveness for something in my past. I listed the ‘whole’ thing. Previously, I had asked for forgiveness in parts and I never felt completely forgiven. Now, I can see the difference. I have such a peace about it now. I am amazed at how God works in our lives. I can’t wait for next weeks teaching.

    • Thank you, Linda, for this beautiful story of humility and forgiveness. It’s always good to hear exactly how God works in a heart as she seeks forgiveness. And the peace you feel, that is the gift of repentance and forgiveness.

      Thank you for taking the time to stop by and share.

      blessings,

      Wendy

  4. Hope Beach says:

    Living in the Light does not require perfection…only He is perfect. I love that!!

  5. kim stewart says:

    Such a sweet reminder to walk with God and that we can always turn back to Him when sin leads us away. I can’t wait to see what’s on the horizon, Wendy!

  6. KC Jackson says:

    Thank God that He does not require perfection; that ONLY JESUS is Perfect! Praise God that He renews us when we seek His ways, His Kingdom! Thank you for your ministry, Wendy!

    • Hallelujah! He renews us when we seek His ways. Thank you for sharing. And thank you for your kind words. I love what I do, and it’s always a gift to receive sweet words of encouragement like yours.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  7. Nita Haddad says:

    Thank you Wendy, for allowing His Light shine through!

  8. I just read Psalm 51 this morning and it came to mind as I read your post. God sees my sin, it’s always against Him and if I confess, He will forgive. Verse 13 is powerful…God works through our confession and His forgiveness to help others who are walking in sin.

    This Psalm and the 1 John verses are some we recited in liturgy at the Lutheran church I grew up in…at the time they were simply words I said. After accepting Christ and studying the Bible I realized they came from Scripture and contained important Truths.

    So thankful God doesn’t require perfection, but have learned He desires for us to persevere.

    Looking forward to part 2 my friend!!

    • Jill, I know you have walked this lesson and you live it well. You equip others in this battle, and the Lord is using you mightily. Thank you for sharing more of God’s Word with us as well.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  9. Gena Christofferson says:

    the line a out our schedulesite aligning with God is speaking to me. I have recently been convicted to make better use of my time and my schedule. change in priorities and dedication to focus on my spiritual and physical wellbeing before my professional/financial daily responsibility.

    • Gena, I did that this past year, and it has been a life transforming change. I pray the same for you. πŸ™‚

      May God direct and lead your every step as you seek what to prune and what to keep. He will be faithful.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  10. Mary Jo Cyr says:

    I am so very thankful that God does forgive me my sin and is always with me as I walk with Him. It feels really bad to consciously sin (gossip, lie etc) as the Spirit is literally saying to you “why are you doing this or that?” It really does put a snag in my walk with Him as guilt can overtake me and you almost get this attitude of “oh, what does it matter…I’m just not good enough.” Jesus understands and really does forgive me. Staying in His Word and prayer constantly truly helps me stay on trace. Thankful my Jesus is perfect and I don’t have to be.

    • Yes! Mary Jo, staying IN THE WORD and PRAYER are key. And another key is fellowship with other believers who speak into our lives and hold us accountable. We will talk more about this in my next teaching. You have opened the door for us. πŸ™‚

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  11. Jody hammons says:

    Wendy, you brought something to my attention with this that I need to come clean with God about. I think he was using you to speak to me. Also I thank you for such a good reminder that we are not perfect. Only our Lord has that seat.

    • Oh, Jody, this means so much to me. Thank you for taking the time to share this with us. It’s answered prayer for me. I pray He will move in mighty ways as you work on this area with Him.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  12. Wendy, thank you for this post. My heart is on fire (no pun intended) learning about the Light of the World. And I love what you said, “At times, we will take a wrong step … away from the light and toward darkness.” Jesus is the Light. In Him there is no darkness. And the opposite is true: the enemy is pure darkness. He accuses believers day and night. It’s his job. It’s his job to bring guilt and condemnation. But there is no condemnation to those of us in Christ! The enemy wants us to be sin focused because it brings that guilt and condemnation and it sidelines us.

    But the Holy Spirit came to convict the world (unbelievers) of sin… and that sin is not believing on Him (John 16:8-9)! And He is convicting us of our righteousness which is not our works, but in Christ alone. It is harder to hear the Holy Spirit’s conviction of righteousness than it is the enemy’s accusations of our sin… ESPECIALLY when we just sinned!

    It’s crazy to think that all our sin has been forgiven at the cross… even our sins in the future. And like you said, it’s such a gift that we get to be an active part of the process through confession and turning back (repenting). Our righteousness is not in our works/perfection, but in Jesus’ alone. When God sees us, He actually sees His Son.

    And holy cow… when we realize just how much we are loved… and that we are God’s righteousness in Christ, we can confess and shake that sin off and step back into the light! Our Papa has open arms… because of Jesus’ open arms at the cross.

    • Noelle, thank you, thank you for adding rich teaching to what I shared. Love what you said about the enemy being darkness and our accuser. And you prepared the way for next week when we will talk about conviction and condemnation, defining them and understanding who is responsible for them.

      I’m always grateful for the wisdom you bring. And I love you too, sweet friend. I could not do this ministry and this thing called life without you.

      me

  13. I know that was super long already… but I hit post before I intended… I am SO excited that all the work you’ve put into writing this past year or so is coming to the Light for the rest of us. I love being under your teaching and I LOVE YOU!

  14. What a powerful reminder…

    “When we don’t take immediate action to walk back into the light, we leave the door wide open for the enemy to take full control of the reins of our heart and lead us deeper into darkness and further into sin.”

  15. This message went straight to my hear this morning.
    I have been struggling with a very difficult situation with a member in our Church who is also my next door neighbor. Her gossiping has caused strife and conflict, both places.
    My sin is in the very thing that I see her doing. I tend to gossip with my husband against her!
    I catch myself doing this. I repent and ask the Lord to forgive me. Another incident will occur with this person, and I make another negative comment. I’m so ashamed that I do this.
    Lord, I pray that by the power of Your Holy Spirit I will choose to love as You do. That I will find ways to bring peace to this situation not commit any further offenses against this person.
    I need the love of Jesus and His forgiveness and grace.
    Thank you, Wendy, for this message. I needed your words today.

  16. Dee Dawson says:

    Wendy, so great to read this from you! And what timing! I was just sitting repenting from a sin and giving it over to God, I know that he forgives me, but I don’t feel any better on the inside. I usually do after I have done this. Could I have done something wrong in my repenting, or is it that I just haven’t forgiven myself? It is weighing on me. Thank you for this message.

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