One would think that between light and darkness, the choice would be easy. If we were presented with a straight forward option between the two, it probably would be. The problem is, there is a friend of darkness who has strategies of glamorizing darkness and lying about its consequences. He presents doorways into darkness and calls them portals of light. This is especially the case in the age we find ourselves in. And this friend of darkness—Satan—has hordes of helpers—spiritual and physical, who are quite willing to be an echo chamber for him.
We live in a world where darkness is the native language. This is the realm of the enemy.
2 Corinthians 4:4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. –ESV
Jesus also makes mention of the ruler of this world in John 12:31 and in John 14:30—demonstrating that this is indeed the enemy’s realm. But He also mentions in John 14:30 that the ruler of this world has no claim on Him.
So where does that leave us? We who are born into a world of darkness. Where chains seem to be permanent and we can see nothing beyond what we observe with our natural senses.
Well we could start by taking an example from Jesus in declaring that though the ruler of this world comes against us, he has not claim on us. The verse above in 2 Corinthians indicates that the Gospel is light. So receiving the Gospel is a way to receive light despite our dim surroundings. Will it enable us to see everything right away? Probably not.
Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. –ESV
So we can rely apparently on God revealing things to us through His word. Things that are on our path—even though our surroundings, and the things not on our path might remain dim.
Proverbs 4:18 But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day. –ESV
I like the image that accompanies that verse. We start out on the path of righteousness and there is a glimmer of light to encourage us. Just enough to convince us there is something other than darkness—attainable even in this wretched life. And as we take our baby steps, the light intensifies by barely perceptible degrees—showing us little things that we could only scratch our heads at in the past.
This whets our appetite, and we hunger and thirst—and are in turn satisfied with more nourishment. And more light—intensifying until full day, as indicated in Proverbs.
As we go through this process, we are better able to discern the the things of darkness presented to us as portals of light. Things we were blinded to before. Things we were not able to detect the consequences of. But now we are able to see, since the light of the Gospel is shining ever brighter into our lives. Now we are able to leave behind chains that bound us, darkness that blinded us, shame that burdened us, and guilt that accused us. This is the reality of walking in the light—even in the midst of darkness!