But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
When we follow Jesus there should be a night and day difference in the way we live. No longer are we concerned with how to please the flesh, but rather we seek to walk in step with the Spirit. The way of the flesh, Paul says here, is like people who party and get drunk at night. The darkness suits their lifestyle. When we walk in the flesh we prefer to stay way from Jesus, for the darkness of immorality and selfishness suits our lifestyle better.
Paul makes it clear that those who are in Christ, who are following Him, no longer live in the darkness, but rather they live in the light. Christ followers measure their lifestyles, their priorities, their attitudes, and their actions against the standard of Jesus' life and teaching. He is the light in which we must become comfortable to live.
Since we are to live differently—we are day people now—we need to be intentional about encouraging each other to live in the light of Christ Jesus. I think this is where so many of us falter. We are so concerned about trying to remain in the light that we don't take the time to encourage others to stay in the light, or to receive the encouragement we need from other people. We stumble and fall into darkness because in our pride Satan has convinced us that it is about our personal effort.
The truth of the matter is that we need each other. We can't make this trip alone. Paul knew that, for he experienced the help of other Christians his entire life, and so he encourages us to help each other. That is only way we are going to make it through and become the people God created us to be. We belong to the day, and not to the night, but we need the encouragement of each other if we are going to stay there.