“You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep but let us be alert and self-controlled.” –1 Thessalonians 5:5
“But since we belong to the day, let us be self controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.” 1 Thessalonians 5:8
As we each walk our respective journeys of faith in Christ we are sure to face shadows. Shadows of despair, misery, and evil in this fallen world. We are not of this world, nor do we belong in it. Paul writes to the Romans an urgent message,
“For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.”-Romans 8:13
We require the Holy Spirit as an intercessor on our behalf. As children of the light, as followers of Christ, we face an unceasing battle against Satan and his minions. We might be unaware of this battle due to all of our distractions. Distractors are a deceptive tool masterfully used to keep us oblivious to the spiritual turmoil within our lives. Money, prestige, social status, societal pressures, sex, envy, etc. are all things that blind us from obtaining our one true life in Christ.
One thing that has been evident on my mission to Brazil is the presiding evil. Today commences the São João (Saint John) festival in Recife in commemoration of John the Baptist. The community adorns themselves in intricate costumes and dance Forro into the night. A feast of corn takes place on the festival of São João. As the sun wanes and dusk slowly blankets the horizon, one by one, bonfires emblazon across the city.
The raging fire soon creates a veil of smoke towering above the city. The ominous smoke creeps through the windows of everyone’s home and incites my senses. This does not feel right. This festival is just one more distraction from Christ.
My brothers and sisters, I urge you to be vigilant. Eliminate distractions from your lives and search for the light. Dusk brings hope of daylight, but when the sun sets where can we place our hope? Paul tells us that we are children of the light and sons of the day. We must remain alert and be self-controlled in order to survive the night. And for others we must do the same. Let your light illuminate the way for others. As a candle in the night, wax strong, and move forward through the shadows. Can you see the brilliance of the light at the end of the tunnel? Christ is waiting for us. Gather as many people as you can, and see them through the narrow alleys of deception.
Retain your hope, and be certain that at the end of the corridor of life waits Jesus with open arms.