Isaiah 60:2-3 See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
Verse one has been our Verse for the Year, so we have been saying it every Sunday, but the glory doesn’t stop there. Yesterday’s passage caused me to write on how the world is a wilderness, and as this passage says, it’s a dark wilderness! The darker things are, the brighter even a small light appears to be. The Bible has a lot to say about darkness and light. Two passages from John immediately come to mind. “In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood (overcome) it.” (John 1:4-5) “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” (John 3:19-21) I could literally go on and on, because this is one of the great themes, as other religions, even, have recognized. The point for believers to remember is that we are not the source of the light. The moment we start thinking we are, we fall into the trap of Lucifer. His name means “light bearer,” but he wanted to claim that light, that glory, for himself, and in that moment became the devil, the embodiment of evil. We are not the light, but we have the privilege and responsibility to let the light shine from and through us. As in just about everything else, it’s a matter of choice. Jesus stated clearly, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 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) As we let the light of Christ shine through us, it indeed becomes our light, and people will be drawn to us out of their darkness.
This is an awesome truth, and I can’t say I’ve appropriated it fully myself yet. I have had science fiction-type fantasies of being clothed in light, with commensurate powers, but this is quite different and far better. As I touched on above, I must never think or feel that it’s about me. As the chorus of a song by Chu Kosaka says, “Jesus is the light; He’s shining in the darkness, and you know that He’ll lead you.” (That’s my translation of the Japanese.) As many times as I’ve preached on light, I still have dark areas in my heart and life. I need to let the light of Christ flood me fully, leaving nothing out, so that in every area, every moment, I may represent Him accurately, shedding His light on the people and situations around me, for their salvation and His glory.
Father, thank You for this reminder. We are very much in the middle of spiritual conflict right now, as Cathy’s dream this morning made clear. Help me not hesitate, but move forward boldly under the direction and power of Your Spirit, so that Your purposes may be accomplished on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!