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For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10

You are being followed. Don’t be alarmed. It’s not as if you were being stalked by some dark threatening figure lurking in the shadows. He means no harm to you, in fact he follows you to protect you.

You are being followed. Relax. He’s not some ‘helicopter dad’ who hovers over you and watches your every step in order to protect you from every bump and bruise. In fact, he’s been known to keep his distance from time to time in order for you to test your freedom.

You are being followed. Celebrate! You are being followed by a King! You are being followed by the Creator of the universe. By the wisest and richest and most powerful being around.

He’s not following you to try to catch you at some evil deed. He’s not following you to gather evidence of your shortcomings so that he can bring you to trial and convict you. He’s not following you because he thinks you are going to show him anything new either. In fact, his decision to follow you has absolutely nothing to do with who you are, what you look like or what has happened in your past (good or bad).

He’s following you for one reason and one reason only. He loves you. Not only does he love you but he loves you enough to follow you wherever you go. When you take him to good places where he hears and sees good things, he loves you and celebrates with you. When you take him to places that are dark and threatening, he loves you and protects you.

He’ll never leave you. He’ll never let you out of his sight. Like a protective Father he’ll let you wander a bit, let you feel like you are in control and like you are on your own. But you will never be more than an arms reach away from his protective grasp.

His decision to seek you out and follow you is in no way affected by what other people think about you or say about you, or by anything you have done. The accusations of those who like rules, and those who flaunt freedom fall on his deaf ears. He doesn’t care what others think about you. He loves you. They won’t stop him from that!

To think that God, Creator God, the God of the universe loves you so much that he seeks you out. He follows you on the crowded streets. He watches over you when you go through the dark valleys of life. Always there. Always watching. Always loving. That’s your Heavenly Father. Your sin doesn’t surprise him. Your actions won’t bring revenge. When you stumble he is there to pick you up. He loves you and nothing will ever change that.

PRAYER: Father God, I’m in awe of the fact that you would love me so much that you would seek me out and follow me. I see myself as so weak, so unworthy of your love, so incapable of living the life I know you’d like me to live. I think of the things I’ve let you see and hear. I’m embarrassed by the places I’ve taken you. Thank you for being patient. Thank you for loving me and protecting me in every circumstance. In Jesus name, Amen.

Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going. John 12:35

Jesus was coming to the end of His earthly ministry and many were questioning Him concerning His teachings about the Messiah, or the ‘Son of Man’. The people were sure that they had the whole picture of God’s deliverance figured out. Their religion had built a comfortable box around their concept of how God would work and how they would, in turn, benefit.

Unfortunately, the people of Jesus day had the same problem many of us have today. We think we know exactly how God will work in a given situation. We expect that He will work the same way one time as He does in other times and circumstances.  But God works in His own way and on His own timing and wisdom. Even while Jesus was on earth He didn’t heal people in the same way every time. God works in different ways at different times according to His wisdom and glory and not ours.

In John 12:35 Jesus teaches us an important lesson about the journey we call life and there is a sense of urgency in His voice. Jesus says, “Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you.” There is a nugget of wisdom in this little phrase hidden in verse 35. Life won’t always be as we see it now. Those of us who have lived a few years on earth are amazed at how life has changed socially, politically, economically and even spiritually.

Jesus tells us to walk. Walking is not standing. As a Christ-follower we cannot ‘stand’ for we are either progressing in our relationship with Jesus and others or we become stagnant. Stagnancy in the spiritual realm is the same as going backwards. It doesn’t do you any good, in fact it harms you. To avoid being stagnant in your spiritual walk it’s important to discipline yourself to read God’s word regularly, pray often and plan to fellowship with those who love Jesus as you do.

Jesus not only tells us to walk but He warns us to not ‘let the darkness overtake you’. When you walk in the evening it’s always a good idea to plan your walk wisely. Be aware of the surrounding changes in light, weather and topography. If you walk too far from home you could get lost in the darkness and not make it back safely.

The same is true somewhat in our spiritual lives. If we are not careful we can walk right into danger without realizing it. Wise walking means that you are careful not to allow yourself to be trapped by the enemy. As Christ-followers Satan will do whatever he can to sidetrack you from your mission to live for Jesus by bringing darkness unexpectedly into our lives.

The darkness he brings upon can be like shadows of our past which haunt us continually with guilt for poor decisions, the pain of broken relationships and doubts about our abilities to recover. His darkness can bring the worry and anxiety of the future, infecting us with fear for our own well-being and the safety of our children.

But Jesus tells us to avoid the darkness. Light destroys shadows and Jesus is the light! The closer we walk to Him the less effect the darkness will have on us. As we walk with in wisdom, aware of our surroundings, His light shines the way to show us safe passage through obstacles the enemy lays before us to trap us.

Walk. Don’t run. Don’t stand. Don’t waiver. Move on in life through the light that only Jesus can offer you. In Him is all you need to travel this journey called life.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I thank you for being the light of my world. I praise you that you alone will show me the way. I trust in Your promise to keep me from being trapped by the shadows of darkness that Satan throws across my path. Empower me with wisdom to walk in your way and strength to keep on when the way grows weary. Amen.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) Ephesians 5:8-9

No one would blame you for bumping into things in the dark. You can’t see where you are going. You don’t see obstacles in your path. You make choices and decisions based on what you know.

Sometimes, if you are in familiar surroundings, you can do pretty well walking in the dark. You remember where the obstacles were and can plan accordingly. But even then, your chances of miscalculating are great. We can end up in places we never thought we’d be if we rely on our instincts in the dark.

Perhaps the  Apostle Paul was thinking of the times he wandered in the dark when he wrote these words to the church in Ephesus. He may have been reminded of the times he’d escaped with his life, or the times sitting in the dark, wet, smelly prisons. Darkness was no stranger to Paul.

Paul also knew the warmth and safety of light. Light enables us to steer clear of obstacles. Light enables us to make clear, rational decisions. Light keeps us from being deceived by the shadows that lurk when darkness surrounds us.

Paul says, “Now we are children of light”. That means things are different now. We can’t be blamed for the actions we did in the dark. We didn’t know better. But now. Now we can see. The mistakes of our past, the poor decisions we made in the darkness are behind us. In another letter Paul says “I set aside those things in my past and press on.” What he is saying is that when he was in darkness he did things that now he regrets. But he’d been forgiven. He was free. He was in the light.

As a Christ-follower we no longer need to regret the things of our past. Because of Jesus love and forgiveness we can come to Him and ask forgiveness. Then, moving on in the light, we can trust Him to guide us into making decisions that are better for us and those around us.

Don’t let the shadows of your dark past continue to haunt you. Because of Jesus we can now walk in the light!

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I thank you that because of you I can walk in the light. While I was in darkness there were so many people I hurt. So many things I regret. So many stupid decsions I made that I still have scars from. Forgive me for those choices. Enable me, through your Spirit, to walk boldly in the light. Remove the shadows of my past from me so I can live free in you. Amen.

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