I lived about ten years earlier in life in spiritual darkness. When walking in darkness you live without the influence of spiritual light. I had a relationship with God through faith in Christ, but I lived in darkness for a number of years. If you live in darkness, you have no fellowship with God.
We can’t live the Christian life
I thought you attained the Christian life by self-effort. I was ignorant because I failed to read and study the Bible for understanding. There was no spiritual light shining into my life. I attempted to do life in the power of the old nature (the flesh). The flesh has no power and cannot produce anything acceptable to God.
Nothing Good can be done in the Flesh
The apostle Paul recognized this in himself; “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells” (Rom. 7:18). John wrote that believers cannot walk in darkness and have fellowship with God (I John 1:6). It requires walking in the light as He (Jesus) is in the light (I John 1:7). Lack of fellowship causes frustration and eventually can influence you to give up.
To walk in the light we must be in His word, understanding His principles for righteous living. Like a marriage, it takes time to know God through His word. And it requires acting on it by faith, depending on the power of the Holy Spirit for the strength to do it. Jesus told His disciples, “For apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
The Vine Illustration
Jesus is the Vine and we are the branches. The Vine provides all the things necessary for the branches to bear fruit. When the branches (disciples) are separated from the Vine there is no acceptable fruit. A branch cannot bear fruit separated from the vine. Fellowship with Him is remaining (abiding) in Him, depending on Him for the resources and the outcome (John 15:1-5). He produces the fruit in us and we simply bear the fruit when we abide in Him.
- Reading and studying the Bible is not intended to be an academic exercise. It should be a relational skill to help you grow and develop a deeper relationship with God. His word “is a lamp to my feet and light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). “Give me understanding according to Your word” (Psalm 119:169).
- Learn to live by faith, trusting in God and His word. Pray that you would be “strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith” (Eph. 3:16, 17).
- Learn to depend on Him for the power over sin. “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (I Cor. 10:13).
- Don’t be defeated when you fail; and fail sometimes repeatedly. “My little children, these things I write to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (I John 2:1).
- Learn to pray Biblically. “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (I John 5:14).
- Stay connected to the Vine (Jesus) even in times of failure by acknowledge your sin and walking in the light with Him (I John 1:7, 9). He promises, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb. 13:5). There’s nothing you can do to lose your relationship. BUT Fellowship, if lost, can always be restored!
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path”. Psalm 119:105
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