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♣ THE One True Light

walking in light

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12.

FOR THOSE OF us who have strenuously laboured in painting and decorating will understand the sheer frustration of small flies heading straight for drying glossed painted areas. It is astounding how they are inclined to do this long after the setting sun more than any other time of the day. Droves of them flock to this untouched and streakless work of art. There to land, never to take off again – and what an absolute pain in picking off these critters, which in turn mar the satisfying finish we just left off.

The fascination of seeing so many of these flies, one by one, making themselves at home – permanently – leaves one wondering as to why they are drawn to this brilliant-white wet surface. There is obviously a pigment in many oil-based paints that interacts with certain light – and that is exactly why it is so attractive. Yearning for light, they head straight for this dazzling brightness where a bond most certainly takes place.

This kind of scenario is what comprises much of the deception so many eagerly fall for in this world. What appears to be the real McCoy actually proves to be the very opposite. Many assume they are walking in true light and yet remain deceived by the one who transforms himself into an angel of light and such light certainly does appear attractive. The devil, rather than being ornery (overtly foul), is ornate in his ways which leaves no wonder why mainstream popular evangelicalism so quickly trades with them.

Christ knew that there are many lights in this world – the kind that convinces people they have found what they’re looking for, but in the midst of these lights He said, “I am THE light…” – the One true eternal Light, where no shadow or dimness ever exists. This Light – as well as Truth – is what sets us free, “In Your light do we see light” (Psalm 36:9). There is no trapping in this Light, no regrets of forfeiting our ‘freedoms’ but rather discovering genuine freedom for the first time – “If the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).

So, how does this fit with those of us who profess faith in the Son of God when our circumstances are less favourable than those who do not have faith; how does that measure up when those who deny God live a life of ease while ours is full of conflict; how do we make sense out of the fact that we, who are known by God, don’t always see our way forward, while those who live a life independent of God seem to have their whole life mapped out? Isn’t it us, who are walking in Light, are to never have problems in knowing our future; shouldn’t we see clearly all the time? Faith in God is not about always seeing our way forward, knowing what’s going to happen from one day to the next. Our circumstances may be uncertain, but we know Who is in control of them; our way may be hidden from us for a while, but we know the One Who not only knows the way but is leading us in His ways. Faith is never built upon the knowledge of what we see is going to happen but upon God Who is sovereign over all. It is unshakeable confidence in the character of God. Faith is discerning God for Who He is in the midst of all that would seemingly contradict Him. Can we trust Him implicitly to lead the way and know His peace in the not-knowing of life’s situations?

It is when we look back on our circumstances that we see the hand of God has always been upon us – that everything indeed is working out for the ultimate best, not just for ourselves but primarily for the glory and honour of God. God’s mercy will always pursue those whom He loves (Psalm 23:6) and while our faith may be lacking at times He is still faithfully working out His purposes. If our lack of faith inhibits God then He is not God. Our faith is not the key here; God is the key Who was before us and had no need of us. For God to have need shows that He is reliant upon other than Himself. We have to understand this if we are to see God sovereign over everything. God has chosen and created us to reveal His glory; it is because of His love that we know His benevolence poured over humanity. There was no incompleteness in God before we came to be; we don’t complete God by our existence or even by our praise and worship. Perfect in all of His attributes and yet He chose to bring us into existence because of His love; God is infinitely sufficient in and of Himself that He gives of all that He is overflowing with. And why would He give to a fallen human race; why would He redeem a humanity that is broken and fit for nothing but judgement? Is it because we are of worth and value to God – that He would be lost without us, or is it because He is GOD? We are of great value to God only because He chose to set His eye upon us; there was nothing innate of us that attracted Him to us – “All have turned aside; together they [we] have become worthless” (Romans 3:12). This is truth that much of what comprises modern narcissistic evangelicalism cannot and will not tolerate. We could never have loved God unless He had first loved us – and none of us continue in the faith unless first He wills and continues to love us throughout eternity.  

In light of all these truths we can rest assured in Who God is, that though our way be temporarily concealed from us, He knows and ordains the way that we take. The very circumstances that hinder us and create great conflict in our lives are there to bring us to Him, to know Him and to walk with Him. This is the Light of salvation – that we are continually being saved in the midst of them. We can achieve all manner of things in life, but without God they are pointless even though the world may highlight them. God is bringing us to a place of where every life’s situation – good or bad – is in unison to the knowledge of Him; nothing is to be done without Him at the centre of all our desires and aspirations and yet how often we calculate and plan without Him. God is in the habit of making us conscious of the reality that every circumstance and every activity is not to be separated from Him – “In ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He shall make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:6).

To be unsure sometimes of what direction to take is not walking in darkness if our trust is solely in God. If our expectation is from Him then we are walking in Light. Times will be dark in the Christian life – there’s no getting away from it – but if our hand is in the hand of God, we are being led in Light. Remember Moses when he approached the glory of God upon the mountain; thick darkness surrounded him (Exodus 20:21). The brilliance of God’s Light will have this effect on our circumstances sometimes, but rest assured, we are being brought into a greater knowledge and revelation of Himself. “In Your Light do we see Light.”

“Beyond the sacred page I seek You, Lord”

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