Message NotesWalk in the Light Page 1
Sunday July 10th 2016
Walk in the Light
Romans 13:11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
It was night three of the race, my feet were hurting, I had slept only two hours in the past 2 ½ days, and I was heading out on what would be an all-night trek through Florida forest and swamps. My teammate and I had been running, biking, and paddling for over 60 hours and still had over 15 hours of racing to go. Thirty teams had set out three days earlier from Honeymoon Island on Florida’s west coast and would continue non-stop to a finish line in Cocoa Beach on Florida’s east coast over 400 miles away. We were competing in the Sea to Sea Adventure Race - and it was proving to be the toughest physical challenge I had ever faced. However, as we headed out on that section of the course we found ourselves near the front of the pack and knew the possibility of finishing on the podium was in play. As the navigator it was my job to lead the team to each check point along the course, using only map and compass. After checking the map we headed out on what would be a 30-minute trek down a lonely Florida highway before turning into the woods and onto trails that would take us to our first checkpoint. It was about 11 pm and my teammate Erik was starting to lag behind. Although we had stopped to sleep for two hours that morning he had been unable to rest and it was now catching up with him. We decided that once we reached the trails he could lie down and sleep for 20 minutes while I worked on the maps. After 30 minutes of trekking down the long straight section of highway I once again checked my map, confused as to why the highway was starting to bend to the west. A sudden realization hit me like a train - in my sleep-deprived state I took my teammate and I in the complete opposite direction…I don’t know how, perhaps I flipped the map in my hands before taking my compass bearing. After sharing my revelation with my teammate he just looked at me and said,
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“I have to sleep now”, and promptly laid down in a ditch on the side of the
road and began to snore. I sat down beside him and spent the next 20 minutes
trying to come to grips with the situation. Had I just caused us to run our race
No matter how our good intentions may be, having the wrong perspective can
lead us in a direction we do not want to go! As we have seen over the last two
weeks in our studies, we must see the world through the lens of the
scriptures. In other words -- everything we do, everything we think,
everything we know, should all be interpreted by God’s Word. With this in
mind we are going to spend some time this morning looking at how Satan
works to try to prevent us from having the right perspective. And as a counter
to his efforts we will also look at how we can have victory over the world, the
flesh and the devil, keep our focus and stay on the right path –
Jeremiah 6:16 Thus says the LORD: "Stand in the ways and see, And ask for the
old paths, where the good way is, And walk in it; Then you will find rest for your
First let’s remember that Satan is currently the ruler of this world and will
remain as such until the return of Christ and the establishment of the
Millennial Kingdom. God has placed Satan in this position and God alone will
subsequently remove him.
Daniel 5:21b till he knew that the Most High God rules in the kingdom of men,
and appoints over it whomever He chooses
Over the past 2000 years a great deception has been orchestrated and
perpetuated with regards to the Christian’s true identity in Christ. For the
most part Christians do not understand the reason for their creation, nor the
purpose for their eternal salvation and the Church does not teach the truth of
Scripture regarding God’s future plans. We know from God’s Word in Genesis
that man was created to rule-
Genesis 1:26-28 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to
Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of
the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that
creeps on the earth.” 27So God created man in His own image; in the image of
God He created him; male and female He created them. 28Then God blessed
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them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue
it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every
living thing that moves on the earth.”
And yet because of the sin in the garden that right to rule was never held by
Adam and that which was lost has yet to be restored. Satan, the god of this age,
is still ruling over this earth and will continue to do so until God removes him
and man is restored to his rightful position as God intended –
1 John 5:19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the
sway of the wicked one.
This realization that God is restoring Man to the position of rulership for
which he was created is one that Satan and his angels understand perfectly.
And because this knowledge will one day be their undoing, they are currently
working against anything that brings this knowledge to light. It is their aim
that we walk in darkness and not in the light (the knowledge of the truth- our
true identity as a son of God in training to be adopted as a firstborn son.)
Currently though we find ourselves in a time of spiritual darkness- because
the world is being ruled by Satan and his angels.
Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against
principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,
against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
However, in the process of restoring Man, God has called us away from this
darkness and has commanded us to walk in the light.
Ephesians 5:8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.
Walk as children of light
To shed more light on this (pun intended) - let’s look at the parable of the wise
and foolish virgins in Mathew 25.
Matthew 25:1-13 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins
who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2Now five of them
were wise, and five were foolish. 3Those who were foolish took their lamps and
took no oil with them, 4but the wise took oil in their vessels with their
lamps. 5But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
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6“And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to
meet him!’ 7Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8And the
foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going
out.’ 9But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us
and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10And while
they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with
him to the wedding; and the door was shut. 11“Afterward the other virgins came
also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I
say to you, I do not know you.’ 13“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day
nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.
This is another parable about ‘the kingdom of heaven’ and in it Christ is
represented by the bridegroom and Christians are represented by the wise
and foolish virgins. The absence of the bridegroom represents the time of
spiritual darkness seen in Ephesians 6; the time we find ourselves in
currently, as Christ is still sitting at the right hand of the Father and has not
returned for His bride.
The foolish and the wise virgins, represent all Christians, and are only
differentiated by having the extra supply of oil or not. The wise virgins are
properly prepared having the extra supply of oil and thus did not allow their
lamps to go out. The foolish virgins were not prepared, and consequentially
missed the coming of the bridegroom and were denied entrance to the
God’s has given each of us a “lamp”, His Word, so that we can find our way in
the darkness of this present age.
Proverbs 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp, And the law a light; Reproofs
of instruction are the way of life,
David writes in Psalm 119:105-112 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light
to my path. 106 I have sworn and confirmed That I will keep Your righteous
judgments.107 I am afflicted very much; Revive me, O Lord, according to Your
word. 108 Accept, I pray, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O Lord, And teach
me Your judgments. 109 My life is continually in my hand, Yet I do not forget
Your law. 110 The wicked have laid a snare for me, Yet I have not strayed from
Your precepts. 111 Your testimonies I have taken as a heritage forever, For they
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are the rejoicing of my heart. 112 I have inclined my heart to perform Your
statutes Forever, to the very end.
David knew that he was living in a world full of darkness and that it was only
through the Word that he was able to see. The Word illuminated his path,
allowing him to see where to walk. And the verses that follow show that David
recognized that it is only through the Word that he could be revived from
affliction and kept from the snares laid by the wicked one –
Acts 13:2…'I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who
will do all My will.'
God has given us everything we need to navigate our way through this dark
world by giving us His Word and His Holy Spirit to be our guide.
2 Peter 1:3-4 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life
and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and
virtue, 4by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises,
that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped
the corruption that is in the world through lust.
2 Corinthians 4:6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of
darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the
glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Given that God’s Word is the light that reveals not only our true identity but
also Satan’s- it should come as no surprise that Satan seeks to deceive Man
through the distortion of God’s Word. In Genesis Chapter 3 we see for the first
time Satan at work in this manner- deceiving Eve so that she ate the fruit.
Genesis 3:1-6 1Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field
which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said,
‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”2And the woman said to the
serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3but of the fruit of the
tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor
shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ”4Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will
not surely die. 5For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be
opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”6So when the woman
saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree
desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.
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We see here that Satan is using the Word (that which God had spoken to Adam
regarding the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) to deceive Eve. This is a
first-mention principle that establishes how Satan will always appeardistorting
God’s Word in order to deceive.
In Matthew Chapter 4 we see this exact same thing when Satan tempts Christ
in the desert.
Matthew 4:1-11 1Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be
tempted by the devil. 2And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights,
afterward He was hungry. 3Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You
are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”4But He
answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every
word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ”5Then the devil took Him up into
the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6and said to Him, “If You are
the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:‘He shall give His angels
charge over you,’and,‘In their hands they shall bear you up,Lest you dash your
foot against a stone.’ ”7Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not
tempt the Lord your God.’ ”8Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high
mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9And
he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship
me.”10Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall
worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”11Then the devil left
Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.
In the same manner as in the Garden, Satan uses the Word in an effort to
deceive. Christ resists Satan however, through the Word as He is the Word
made flesh. And this is exactly how we are to resist Satan- through the
epignosis knowledge of God’s Word!
Psalm 119:11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin
Satan seeks to blind Christians from seeing the truth that would reveal to
them who he is and prevent them from seeing the gospel of the glory of Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:3-4 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are
perishing, 4whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe,
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lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should
shine on them.
Scripture also tells us that Satan masquerades himself in light and
righteousness. In warning the church to beware of false apostles, Paul says in
2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers,
transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14And no wonder! For Satan
himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15Therefore it is no great thing
if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose
end will be according to their works.
By studying what God reveals in His Word through the way He has given it to
us, we therefore can walk in the light and we can have the perspective
required for having victory in this life. Victory that will lead to the realization
of our inheritance. The world must be seen through the lens of the scriptures,
so that what is darkness might be brought to light.
It was 30 minutes and 2 miles of walking in the wrong direction that night
before the “darkness” I was walking in was brought to light. In the moments
before realizing what I had done I struggled to understand why the map
wasn’t adding up to what I was seeing and what my compass was saying. I
tried to make it work in my mind, willing the compass to reverse its poles and
spin in the direction I was headed. But it was no use, I was walking in the
wrong direction and the only way to get where I wanted to be was to stop,
turn around, and begin the long trek back. I let Erik sleep for 20 minutes
before waking him (more like violently shaking him and yelling to get him to
move). When he finally stood up I realized he no idea what had happened and
explained to him again what I had done and that we were now over an hour
behind our competition. What we did in the next 10 hours would end up
defining our race. Erik and I began to run (actually a slow, hobbled jog is more
accurate). We knew we had to make up time. We also knew that it would be a
long night for all the teams ahead of us as well and that anything could
happen. I knew we had to keep the mentality that we were still “racing”. So
that’s what we did- we trekked through the night and steadily passed team
after team as we made our way into final transition area where we would get
on bikes and ride to the finish. As the sun came up we arrived to find out that
our closest competition had been overcome with their own sleep deprived
navigation issues- and we had now secured a position on the podium.
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I share this story with you to say- If you are walking in darkness, living a life
deceived by Satan, stop! Turn around- and begin walking in the light!
1 Corinthians 9:24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but
one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And
everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to
obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run
thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I
discipline my body
Perhaps you are reading the scriptures the same way that I tried to read my
map. I tried desperately to make the map match what I wanted to see, in the
direction I was headed. Satan tempts us to do the same thing with God’s Word,
using scriptures to support our own thoughts and agendas.
However, we must let scripture interpret scripture, seeking to understand it
while being led by the Holy Spirit –
Isaiah 28:10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line
upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little.”
1 Corinthians 2:13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s
wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things
During the race the map was the lens through which I had to interpret the
land in front of me. In the same way the scriptures are the lens through which
we must interpret the world we live in.
If we do this- we can receive the promises that God’s has laid out for us. We
can receive our inheritance in that future day when God restores man to
positions of rulership in the heavenly kingdom as joint heirs with Christ.
One final point regarding navigating with a map - often in a race the most
direct way to get to where you want to go is to take a bearing, or a compass
heading, and then to follow that bearing for a certain distance. The most
critical part of this tactic is remaining on the bearing while you travel. In an
open field with no trees or brush this is easy. But in a dense forest or swamp
this becomes quite the task. The team has to slow down and focus more on the
course than on our speed. Coming off the bearing, even by just a couple
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degrees, will send you farther and farther off course the longer you travel.
What begins as a small mistake grows exponentially if not corrected.
The same principal exists regarding the study of God’s Word. Studying apart
from the guidance of the Holy Spirit and leaning more on man’s interpretation
(rather than letting scripture interpret itself) can lead us to deviate from God’s
intended message. And the longer we neglect the proper study of scripture the
farther we find ourselves from where God is leading us.
2 Peter 1:19-21 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do
well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the
morning star rises in your hearts; 20knowing this first, that no prophecy of
Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21for prophecy never came by the will
of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
I’d like to close with a final admonishment from Paul to the Philippians.
Philippians 2:14-16 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15that
you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the
midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights
in the world, 16holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of
Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.
- Hold fast to the Word- love it more than life itself, for it is of more value
than anything in this world
- Don’t run or labor in vain- make what you do now in this world matter
for the time to come- when the Sons of God are revealed
Romans 8:18-19 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time
are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in
us. 19For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the
revealing of the sons of God.
- Shine as a light in the world- Live your life in a way that you shine
amongst the darkness
John 12:46 I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes
in Me should not abide in darkness.
1 Thessalonians 5:5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are
not of the night nor of darkness.
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1 Thessalonians 5:4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this
Day should overtake you as a thief.