The Bible says that if we walk in the light, we have fellowship with one another.
1 John 1:7
7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
I always used to wonder what that meant. The verses directly before made sense to me:
…God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
Of course we can’t have fellowship with God if we walk in darkness. We cannot come to believe in Him in the first place if we are still hiding in our sins, and neither can we as believers have a close relationship with Him when we are living disobediently. That has always made sense to me. But the part about having fellowship with one another: how does that fit in?
Don’t all believers have the light of Christ? Don’t we all automatically have fellowship with one another simply because we are part of the same family? Maybe verse seven is speaking of the fact that believers cannot have close fellowship with non-believers (“14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?” 2 Cor. 6:14-15). It most likely is.
However, what I think I’ve come to understand, is that just as we cannot have fellowship with unbelievers because they are still living in darkness, neither can we have fellowship with other believers who are walking in darkness. Similarly, just as we could not have fellowship with God when we were unbelieving, we cannot have a close relationship with Him when we as Christians do not live like we believe Him.
I always used to presume that as believers we had no choice but to walk in the light. Not true. We still have free will; we can still choose to live in the dark.
I always used to presume that as believers we would undoubtedly be close to one another, and then I would wonder why I wasn’t experiencing the close communion that I longed for with my sisters and brothers in Christ. The reason for that may be in part due to my own sinful frailty and foolishness; but, is it possible that it may also have something to do with the fact that those same sisters and brothers in Christ were not walking in the light?
As I try to live my life in the light, I feel a resistance, a haughty disdain even, from other believers. They feel that they are too “free,” too “grace-filled” to drag themselves beneath the “load” that I choose to bear for Jesus. I want to dress modestly; they think they are free to let their legginged bums jiggle in front of their Christian brothers’ eyes. I want to demonstrate visibly my yearning to obey God’s headship order by wearing a headcovering; they think that not only do they not have to “subject” themselves to such “oppression,” neither do they have to be keepers at home nor respect their husbands’ authority. I want to trust in God by leaving our family planning in His capable hands; they think it’s more responsible to reject children, even though there is absolutely NO command nor liberty to do so found in the whole Bible. No wonder we don’t have fellowship.
And then I feel pathetically desolate.
This dislocation of the body of Christ should not be! When are we all, all of us together, going to start walking in the light? When are we going to experience a revival? I think we honestly, desperately need one. I speak of modesty, headcovering, and not rejecting the blessing of children; but that is because those are the areas I am most familiar with, and most passionate about in my own life (not that I am perfect, however). Might there be other areas that need transformation in the body of Christ? Those who have experience in other fields–what are they seeing? My own vantage point may be limited, but it seems to me that if we choose to live a lie in one area, it will contaminate other areas, as well.
If you share my feelings about this, please let us pray for revival! We have become lukewarm; let us pray for the Holy Spirit’s truth-filled fire to consume our lives until there is nothing left but gleaming, purified gold.