My husband is a collector of flashlights. Every time he goes on a trip he comes home with a new one. Sometimes it’s the size or color that lures him – he prefers palm-sized and dark in color. Sometimes it’s the cool features – red beams or color lenses. But always he looks for a high intensity light. He’s looking for a light bright enough to see exceptionally well no matter how dark it is. He wants to find what he’s looking for and walk without fear of stumbling.
Jesus said that He is the light of the world.
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8:12)
He also said that if we follow Him, we are the light of the world, and that we are to shine just like Him.
"You are the light of the world… In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14,16)
The light of Christ is brilliant and perfect. There is nothing we can do to make that light any brighter. It was given to us in full intensity for the purpose of never having to walk in darkness.
So why do our lives still seem so dark sometimes? Why do we seem to give off less light than the Scriptures say we can?
Here is what the Lord said to me last July during prayer:
“From darkness, even a dim bulb or candle flame seems to be a great light, so you may think you are good to be here, but I tell you My light is greater than what you see. To walk in My marvelous light, it is so bright you can see all things around you. There is nothing hidden in the shadows; all is exposed to my light. No lie escapes your view, no stonghold has a place to hide, no enemy lies in wait unseen to cause you harm. The intensity of My light is up to you.”
I asked Him how to increase the intensity of His light in me and he showed me John 1:1-5, which boils down to three points:
- Jesus is the light
- Jesus is the Word
- The Word = light = life
Let me share two quick stories to begin illustrating this.
Twenty-some years ago, I had a Tupperware party at my house. It began in late afternoon and went into evening. After all the goofy games were done we sat down in my living room to look through our catalogs and write out our orders as the demonstrator talked about various products. By now, it was evening, but we really hadn’t noticed until the room suddenly became brighter and we could all see the booklets and order forms more clearly.
My father, who was the only man who stayed around during this “girl event,” was standing in the other room drinking coffee while watching us. From where he stood, he could see the difficulty we were having in the growing darkness, so he flipped on the light switch. We ladies thought we were just fine in the light we were already in, so we were amazed (as evidence by all the “ooh’s” and “aah’s”) when the light intensified.
Earlier this year I was washing my white teakettle, which get pretty spotty with grease and such if I forget to pay attention to it. When I felt it was thoroughly clean, I switched sinks to rinse it. As I moved the kettle, I found a grease spot that I couldn’t see before because the shadow of the faucet was enough to hide it from my view. The brighter light exposed it.
Before we give our lives to Christ, we are walking in complete darkness. We don’t know how dark it is until we ask Jesus to be our Lord and Savior and He puts His light into us. Suddenly our lives seem radiantly bright.
But the Lord is saying that there is more! He's saying that even though we are walking in light, there is still darkness around us. He has more light to give us for our life. It comes in the form of the revelation of His Word.
We get revelation in two parts:
First, we must read His Word – get it in our heads and hearts. God speaks to us with what we have put inside us. If we don’t have the Scriptures hidden in our hearts, He doesn’t have much to work with!
Then, we need to let Him speak to us about the Scriptures. We can read the whole Bible cover to cover many times over and get nothing or very little from it if we don’t give God some time to talk to us about it.
When we go to a Bible Study, it is expected that the leader will be teaching us a deeper meaning of what we read. God does the same thing. Ask Him to speak to you while you read and then listen along the way. It’s called meditating on the Word.
Here’s the trick though. It’s the part where nothing will remain hidden. It may sound great that being in a brighter light will expose your enemies, but it will also expose your sins. If we like the sin we’re in, perhaps that is why we don’t want any revelation of the Word and why our world seems so dark. Or maybe we’re comfortable in the light we’re in and don’t even realize it’s not as bright as we need it to be.
I’ve reached a point in my life where I’m tired of being smacked down by things I didn’t see coming and tripping over things I’ve kept hidden. Jesus doesn’t expose my stuff to the world, just to me, so I can let Him clean up my path. There’s only one way to do it – by the revelation of His Word to increase the intensity of His marvelous light in my life.
Care to join me in the light?