“But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.” (Proverbs 4:18-19)
Proverbs 4:18-19 describe the Path of the Just and the Way of the Wicked. They are in opposite directions. The path of the Just (or Justified) is as the shining light and the way of the wicked is as darkness. Light and darkness are complete opposites. You cannot travel both paths at the same time.
The Just are the Justified; the only path of Justification is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:24-25). Believers in Christ have come to see their Justification is by the Faith of Christ (Romans 5:1). The Just are those who do what is right according to God’s Word. They are followers of Christ. Jesus said in John 8:12, “…I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
Therefore, if you are a disciple (follower) of Christ, Who is The Light, then you are walking in the Light. You are walking in the Ways of Christ, the Ways of Righteousness. 1 John 1:5c says, “…God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” You cannot be on both roads at the same time. If you are on the road of Light, then the fruit you bear, the testimony that you present, will be that of Christ; of the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23); not only fruit, but more fruit, and finally “much fruit” (John 15:1-5). Our text says in verse 18 “…that shineth more and more unto the perfect day,” which indicates a progressive growth in the Holiness and Righteousness of Christ.
I John 1:6 says, “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.” This brings you to “The Way of the Wicked” which is as darkness. It is the way of no light, no wisdom, no guidance, no understanding, and no perception. Our text says in verse 19b, “…they (the wicked) know not (perceive not; do not understand) at what they stumble.”
When you follow the flesh; when you follow the philosophy of “this wicked, evil world,” which is “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life” (1 John 2:16); then you walk in darkness. You walk opposite of Christ, of His Righteousness and His Holiness. You will bear the fruit of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21). You “lie (to yourself and others) and do not the truth.” You are not being led of the Spirit; nor are you walking in the Spirit; and you are not living in the Spirit of God.
Wherein lies the problem? The problem is that the Path of Light is pleasing to God and the path of darkness is pleasing to the devil, the father of lies and of darkness (John 8:44). The problem is one of deception. Those that walk in the way of the wicked are in darkness and they stumble at what they know not.
Are you stumbling, friend? You may have confessed Christ as Savior and been baptized, but are not being blessed. You are stumbling and falling; bitter at the world; blaming everyone else for your terrible position. Nothing is going right for you. You may be depressed, lonely and defeated; not wanting even to live another hour. You may say, “I have tried God and the ‘Jesus thing,’ but look at me now. Look at my condition. Look where I am in life. I am nothing but a failure.”
Friend, change paths; you are following the wrong master (Matthew 6:24). You cannot serve two masters. You cannot walk on two opposite roads. Wake up friend, if you are stumbling and falling and failing, you are on the path of darkness, the road of destruction. It could be that you are not saved at all.
Come to The Light, Christ Jesus. Look to the Savior (Isaiah 53:1-12; John 8:12). Look to Calvary (2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 1:7; Romans 3:23-25; John 3:14-17). Look to the empty tomb (Romans 1:4). Repent and turn to Christ and confess Him (Romans 10:9-14). Rest your hope in His Death, Burial and Resurrection (Romans 5:1-21; 6:1-23).
Friend, you may already be saved, delivered out of the bondage of sin. However, you got stranded in the wilderness of fear and doubt. You are walking by sight and not by faith as most of Israel did in the wilderness in the Old Testament on their journey to the land of Canaan. Israel found themselves wanting to return to Egypt. They ended up dancing around a golden calf and walking in the way of the wicked, the way of darkness. They stumbled, failed, and finally died in their disobedience.
If you are saved, but walking in darkness, read 1 John 1:7-9. Confess your unbelief. Then step out into the waters of the Jordan River (walk by faith, believing God and His Word) and the waters will part for you. (Hebrews 11:6), “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
Then and only then will you be in fellowship with God.
“If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: (7) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (8) If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (10) If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (1 John 1:6-10)
Which path are you on, Light or Darkness?
(Psalms 27:1, 119:105; Isaiah 60:1, 20; Micah 7:8-9; Matthew 4:16; John 8:12, 9:5, 12:46; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Ephesians 5:14; 1 John 1:5-7, 2:8-11, 3:23-24, 4:7-21)
(This devotional was previously posted on September 24, 2010.)