In 1 John 1:5-10 we are confronted with a rather alarming reality. John tells his readers that if they claim to be in the light there should be a distinct difference in them from the world. There are three characteristics in a person who declares a relationship with God.
First, if we have a genuine relationship with God we will walk in the light. The metaphor of light and dark in John’s writings point to a new knowledge about who God truly is. The implication is that when the darkness of our lives encounters the light of God’s being we are, possibly for the first time, confronted with what is truly wrong with us. And as a result we live according to the truth we have been exposed to.
Second, if we have a genuine relationship with God we will not live in self-deception. John articulates this by saying, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves.” When the light of God’s character and God’s words is shown on us we have two choices. We can deny what we see or we can accept what has been revealed. If we choose the former we begin living in denial and self-deception. If we choose this path, John makes it clear that we not only have made ourselves a victim of a lie, we cannot claim to have any truth within us.
Third, if we have a genuine relationship with we accept that our brokenness can only be healed by the Gospel. In verse 10 John takes the idea of sin one step further. Before, John was saying that if we deny sin at all we are deluding ourselves but, if we take it a step forward and assert that we have not sinned, in other words, if we say that there is no brokenness in us, we are making the testimony of God regarding our sinful natures out to be a farce. Our sin, our brokenness, is the clearest evidence that God’s efforts for redemption are essential for us to experience any healing whatsoever.
As my pastor was preaching through this passage this past Sunday he said something that, on the surface, sounds obvious. However, when we consider it for fully it sparked a deeper love for God and a greater appreciation for God’s grace. This is what he said.
“God is light. Therefore, God hides nothing and nothing is hidden from God.”
Until we acknowledge and accept the range and scope of God’s ability to see all things, the longer it will take for us to know that God is not surprised by our sin. There is nothing past, present, or future that God does not already know about you and me. There is nothing that escapes God’s perception or awareness.
God not only knows all things, he has seen all things. This means that if God, with this knowledge, still decided to send Jesus to earth on a mission of salvation, there is no reason for us to run from God when he calls. We may be ashamed of our sin. We may regret the choices we have made. We may find it hard to escape the weight of the consequences of what we have said and done. But none of these things are severe enough to separate us from the love of God.
God has seen it and he still loves us. The truth that John points to–that God is light–is both terrible and terrific. I cannot hide from God. And, he does not want me to hide from him. Nothing is beyond the penetrating sight of God.
King David said it best when he said,
7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. (Psalm 139:7-12 NIV)
Stop running from God. There is no place to escape from him. Run to him and experience the fullness of joy he has promised to all who seek him. Begin today to see that he desires to be found.