The question today is…are you walking in the light or in the darkness? Are you allowing panic, anxiety, and fear to rule and reign in your life or are you putting your trust and confidence in Jesus Christ? Proverbs 4:18 says, “The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.” While verse 19 says, “But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they don’t know what makes them stumble.” If you’re allowing the fear of the unknown to over-ride good judgment today, I urge you to stop…take a really deep breath…and consider. A wonderful word out of the Psalms is Selah…to pause. Pause to consider what has been the driving force behind all your actions lately. Is it fear or faith…panic or peace…agitation or assurance?
After Job’s three friends had been unable to win their argument that he, (Job), was being punished by God… a young man by the name of Elihu stood to speak. (Now you can read his entire speech in Chapters 32-37 of Job.) Elihu’s assertion was that God was instructing or teaching Job…that even in all the trials and suffering he was going through, Job was to trust God. (Interestingly enough, when God started to speak, He never condemned Elihu’s words like He did Job’s and his three friends!) Now the Lord allows righteous people to suffer and go through trials everyday…but it’s not out of punishment, but to strengthen their faith and trust in Him. And when we should wander from the truth, God faithfully keeps bringing us back, that we may see the error of our way and turn. (James 5:19)
God is associated with light, for He created it. But then in I John 1:5, God is called the Light. While in John 8:12, Jesus called Himself the Light of the world. This type of light defines life, salvation, prosperity, wisdom, and justice and something every Believer should be striving for. But how? II Corinthians 4:6 tells us, ” For God, Who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’, made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” The answer is then easy…it’s Jesus. For when there’s more of Him and less of us that light can shine brightly from within.
I’ve heard them called shoulder taps, or God moments. It’s when the Holy Spirit impresses on your spirit to speak or do something for someone…sometimes a complete stranger. It’s when that still small voice tells you to perform a kind act, or speak words of encouragement into a person’s life. It may not be profound…it may only take a minute of your time…but know that this interaction is divinely arranged…and requires your obedience without hesitation. These shoulder taps are a way that God manifests His love to a lonely and lost world…and what He asks of us is to just hear and obey. So, step out in faith when the Holy Spirit urges you…for you never know the impact you may have on someone’s life.
The diversity between bright sunshine and complete darkness is a stark contrast. In bright sunshine, we can walk confidently, even in unfamiliar terrain, for we can see the path we’re following and the obstacles around us. But when it’s total darkness, we struggle to make our way…stumbling, falling, and lurching along…fearful of the next step. Isaiah 42:16 speaks of this, “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth.” Allow the God of light to illuminate your path today with truth and wisdom.
Our Christian journey isn’t perfect, for everyday we mess up. We say things we shouldn’t…or out of anger and frustration we act unkindly. Holiness isn’t something that we’re suddenly bestowed with when we say “Yes” to Jesus…it’s a process…a daily effort towards perfection. Philippians 1:6 tells us, “That being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” This journey towards holiness – towards perfection, is God’s purpose for you. And as you walk in the Spirit, you’ll discover that His ultimate plan and purpose for you is that process towards holiness.
I love nightlights! I’ll admit I have at least 8 spread throughout the house, casting their subtle radiance so I won’t trip and fall in the dark. God’s truth is like a nightlight into our darkness…showing us His way so we won’t stumble. But when we choose to not live by the light of His truth, we are easily deceived and blinded by lies that only foster hatred and distrust against our fellow-man. When we love one another, the light of God’s truth illuminates situations, obstacles, and personalities for what they really are…exposing hurting hearts and revealing with honesty how we’re more alike than different.
I can’t stress too much the need for you to be in the Bible…to be reading for yourself…learning for yourself what is said within the book covers. Devotionals and commentaries are good…but they’re telling you about God. To have a full, complete, and enlightened instruction of what’s in the Bible, you must read it for yourself…allowing the light of truth to illuminate the areas of your life that need change. So I ask you…are you brave enough to have the word of God shine a light into the dark places of your soul?
This verse tells us that even in the midst of suffering…God’s love shines forth and His favor surrounds us as with a shield. (Psalm 5:12) Circumstances can still be dark around us, but people will notice something different…a light shining forth from us, as we steadfastly put our faith and trust in God. Situations may not change, for we live in a broken world…but what can change is our attitude and reaction to them.