“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12 NIV). When we follow Jesus, we always know where we’re going. How comforting is that? On the other hand, walking in darkness gives us uncertainty and anxiety. Coping under these circumstances becomes difficult for us, if not impossible. That’s why the apostles could think of nothing worse than trying to cope with the news of Jesus leaving them. Knowing their thoughts and anxiety, Jesus comforts them with His promise of sending the Holy Spirit who will never leave them because He will dwell in them.
Among the Holy Spirit’s roles will be to convict the world. Webster’s dictionary defines conviction as “a formal declaration that someone is guilty of an offense”. In the context of the original Greek text, conviction means “to make known: to expose or bring to light a shameful secret”. The first obstacle to receiving the Holy Spirit comes from a lack of desire to allow Him to do His job; to bring to light our shameful secrets. “Everyone who does evil hates the light and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed” (John 3:21 NIV). Like common thugs, we fear the exposure that the light brings. Therefore, we fail to receive the indwelling, the blessings and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Putting our pride to death and welcoming the conviction of the Holy Spirit - in complete transparency and proper humility - will give us the starting point in our repentance of, or turning away from, our sin to walk in the light. The more we trust in Him the more He will convict us, thereby helping us even more by purifying us from all unrighteousness. The fancy name for this is “Progressive Sanctification” or, as we call it at Flatland, “Moving to the Center”. This week, let’s get real. Let’s admit we’re too imperfect to move ourselves into God’s perfect righteousness. Let’s reach out to embrace the abundant help available to us so we can walk shamelessly in the light with joyful confidence.
The Gift of His Peace: “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:25-27 (NKJV)