As a Christian, have you ever tried to become the light of the world? Maybe you felt it was your duty to go and shine by correcting everyone with the “truth” or that you had to prove you were light by preaching to everyone you met.
I know that I have felt that kind of pressure many times. But there is a verse that I would run into that would boggle my mind.
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (Eph. 5:8).
What does this mean? So light is something we are, rather than do? It would appear so. This is simply another angle by which we can look into the new birth.
I love this verse. It says, “You are something, so you can walk and act like it.” Compare this the disappointing religion that tells us to act a certain way to make ourselves into something that we are not. This is all about our permission as sons, not a burden placed on slaves.
Our new nature is love and the nature of love is to give. For God so loved, He gave… By contrast, the nature of the fallen nature is to get. It is to gain for itself at the expense of others. A preacher once said that sin is a four letter word spelled SELF.
We are told that God …has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires (2 Peter 1:4).
The corruption of the world is “through lust.” Lust does not simply refer to an unhealthy sexual desire, but a compulsion that ever seeks to fill itself and cannot be ultimately satisfied. It is the M.O. of the unrenewed man. It destroys relationship as its goal is always aimed at gratifying self in some way.
The true nature of light is to give. It is always shining forth. The Bible calls us light and says that the righteous will shine like stars.
In contrast, a black hole is said to be a collapsed star. It is something that, in my non-scientific terms, sucks up all of the light that enters it. It is always consuming but never giving.
The Merrian-Webster Dictionary defines a black hole as:
a celestial object that has a gravitational field so strong that light cannot escape it and that is believed to be created especially in the collapse of a very massive star
Sounds reminiscent of the fall of man to me.
Now to get a bit more mystical. I think that as a redeemed person, light describes the substance of our spirit-man. God has been showing me that when we “walk as children of light”, we are shining forth our true identity, which is selfless love.
…for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth (Eph. 5:9).
This lifestyle is all about not being self-conscious and inwardly focused. It is about our connection with the true Light Himself and shining out of a place of divine contentment and pleasure. We have been loved, therefore we love one another. Jesus’ command is joyfully fulfilled.
When a believer does something out of a motive of selfishness (as we all have), our nature of light is prevented from shining through. But we must recognize that this is our nature now in order to bounce back when we miss it. This is not mind over matter, but simply knowing the true matter from which God has created our new man.
Isaiah prophesied about this light that would come to and shine from God’s people. This has become a very popular prophesy.
Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
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. (Isaiah 60:1-3)
Who is our light? Has He come? Yes, it is Christ is in us, our hope of glory (Col.1:27).
Again we are told about our permission to rise and shine. Why arise now and not wait for some supernatural event or measurable spiritual growth? For your light HAS come.
The way I have heard the next part of this verse preached is that darkness will cover the Earth AND light will shine among God’s people. However, when you really read this passage it does not say AND, it says BUT. The darkness will cover the earth, but God’s light (the answer to the darkness) will be seen on us. Then the people trapped in this darkness, will come to us and our brightness. It does not say that we will have to go to them even, but that they will be attracted to the brightness.
We must realize that our future is already secure in eternity. Now its our job to bring eternity into the present. The goal of the Christian life is not to make heaven our home but to make earth like heaven. It is not about surviving, but overcoming. We were born into conflict. This is unavoidable. But now we get to manifest Christ in the midst of the conflict and light things up.