When I came to Christ in my early twenties, I lived in a small one-bedroom house. I rarely cooked and didn’t frequent the kitchen much. Wendy, Jack, and Mickey D prepared most of my meals, resulting in the occasional food bag or wrapper lying around.
One night, as I flipped on the light, several cockroaches scampered across the kitchen counter, quickly disappearing somewhere in the cabinets and drawers. Though they all ran in different directions, their destination was the same.
John 3:19 says, “And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their works were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, and cometh not to the light, lest his works should be reproved. But he that doeth the truth cometh to the light, that his works may be made manifest, that they have been wrought in God.”
The Church has its share of cockroaches too. People who, when the light of God’s truth shines in the darkness of their hearts, run too, seeking a place to hide.
Cockroaches run to darkness by nature. Christians run there by choice.
THE LIGHT OF JESUS
Jesus is the “Light of the world”, and promised if we walk in that light, His blood will cleanse us from all sin. (1 John 1:7) He is also “that Light” mentioned in John 3:19. The Light revealing hidden things of darkness, exposing the thoughts and intentions of our hearts. Just as God divided the light from the darkness in creation, the Light of Jesus clearly separates what is good, and what is evil.
A direct correlation exists between the amount of light in which we walk, and the priority we give Jesus in our lives. If there are things we don’t want to surrender, things we know are not pleasing in His sight, we keep our distance. Like Adam, we hide from God, knowing that He will expose our deeds when we are in His presence. If your heart is to know Jesus, to know Him intimately, you will be drawn to, and walk in the Light. But choose conformity, comfort, or complacency, and you will keep your distance, living in the shadows.
HOW LIGHT WORKS
As may have been the case with some of you, my first apartment wasn’t “fully furnished”. A kitchen table with a few chairs, none of which matched the table. (Or each other) A couch so worn that when you sat down, you’d swear you were sitting in the apartment below. A cable spool for a coffee table while matching orange crates served as end tables, and a television that got three channels on a good day. My bedroom had a mattress, and…well…that was pretty much it. No bed frame, no box spring, no dresser.
And no overhead light.
Finding a small lamp and realizing I had nothing to set it on, I placed it on the carpet in the corner. My mattress was only 7 inches off the floor, so it was all pretty relative. Turning it on proved more than adequate.
Of lighting the corner.
The rest of the room was dimly lit.
Kind of a metaphor for how we sometimes live. Limiting the amount of light, and strategically placing it only in areas we want other to see. My bedroom could be messy, but as long as that corner was clean…
Where we place the light determines its effectiveness in our lives. Jesus said, “No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed, but sets it on a lampstand, that those who enter may see the light.” (Luke 8:16)
How many of us have placed Jesus in His rightful place?
We all have a personal “dimmer switch” allowing us to regulate that light. We determine not only how bright the light will be, but how much of our lives we will illuminate. In Romans 12:2, Paul said, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind”. Conform, and the light will grow dim. Conform long enough, and you will stumble in darkness. Renew your mind with the light of God’s Word, walk in the light as He is in the light, and God will transform you.
For some, the Word of God is like a flashlight placed in a drawer, in the event there is no power to light the darkness. Accent lighting allows us to highlight only those things we want others to see. We can become very adept at light management.
CALLED TO WALK IN THE LIGHT
If you are a follower of Christ, you have been “translated” from the power of darkness into the kingdom of Light. (Col 1:13) “Translated” means to transfer, or move from one place to another.” You were transferred from spiritual darkness to spiritual light. “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;“ (1 Pet 2:9)
Jesus promised if we followed Him, He would give us the “light of life”. A light that provides direction, leading us into the fulness of what He has for us. And light for clarity, helping us to understand the mysteries of His word. But it also exposes the hidden things of darkness, the sin we have strategically hidden in our hearts. And for that reason, not all will follow.
Seeing your heart in the light of God’s truth can be difficult. Exposing things you’d rather not see, evoking emotions painful to process. But if you have the courage to walk in the Light, allowing God to reveal what He wants you to see, you will find healing, wholeness, and deliverance.“If we walk in the light, as Jesus is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from our sin.” (1 John 1:7)
But you can’t walk in light without love. “He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.” (1 John 2:9-10)
When looking for a church, some strongly consider “the lighting”? How bright is it? Is it overhead, or just a lamp in the corner? Will it keep hidden the things I’ve tucked away, or expose them for others to see? Will it expose things about myself that I would rather not know?
So let me encourage you.
Be in a place where the Light of the World is exalted. Where the Light of the Word is at the center, without compromise or conformity. And where hearts joyfully receive the Light of God’s truth. It is there you will find love, joy, and peace. You will find mercy, grace, and forgiveness. You will find deliverance, healing and wholeness. But there’s one thing you will not find.