This passage reminds the believer that we are light in the darkness. We are surrounded by a world engulfed in darkness and we are the only source of light in that darkness. The darkness hates the light because everything within it is exposed by light and it cannot overcome light. We've all heard the analogy, when you flip the light switch in a room, there is no part of the room that remains dark by sheer fact of the darkness not being able to overcome the light. Even in the largest of darkened spaces, a single bulb alters perception, changes the condition. We are to this world, those individual light sources. The good news is none of us are alone. The great news is that the light within us is so much more brilliant than all of the darkness of hell that death and the grave could not contain it.
But more than this, we are not called merely to carry this light around. We're called to do something with it. We are called to actively expose darkness. Darkness of intent, darkness of thought, darkness of action. This does not make us popular with the darkness or those who would wish to carry it or remain in it. This does not mean we see a devil behind every rock and evil intent behind every person's eyes. It does mean that when blatantly confronted with darkness, and our spirits will know it, then we as bearers of light in this world have the responsibility to expose it for what it is and speak truth and light and life into the situation. Again, this may not make us popular, it may not be appreciated. However, it may be the only lifeline someone so lost in darkness has.
As we do this, we can expect opposition. We are not merely exposing people's actions, thoughts, and intents. We are exposing spiritual forces, works, and entities. Those forces seek to remain hidden, cloaked, non-existent in the minds of those so lost. One of the greatest footholds the enemy has into men's hearts is in convincing them of the lack of his existence. It is only as the Word and the Lord exposes in my own heart that I am set free and so it is with those whose minds and hearts are enslaved and enshrouded in darkness in the world around us. We are commanded to expose this darkness at every opportunity, because we are the light bearers. I love how this passage ends...
“Awake, O sleeper,
rise up from the dead,
and Christ will give you light.”