Now let's contrast this conversation with what happened when my four year old son turned off the light right before bed the next evening. His room transitioned from brightly lit to completely dark with the flip of a switch. And he did not like the darkness this time. He couldn't see the way to his bed, and that can be dangerous when a stray toy might be in his path. So he decided to solve this dilemma by carefully walking to his closet and pulling out his biggest glow in the dark star. He stuck it to the wall and was satisfied with the little bit of light it offered. And then, he was ready for bed.
Have you ever considered how our spiritual walk can model my son's experience with light? When we first hear the truth, it can catch us off guard. God might gently convict us while reading the Bible or through a sermon or with words from a friend. We might try to squint our eyes to keep the light of God's truth out because the darkness of our sin is more comfortable. Yet as we choose to obey... as we repent and ask God to help us change ... as we begin to embrace His way for us... the light doesn't hurt as much. We start to experience the blessings of our obedience... the blessings that were hidden when we were covered in darkness. And God's light shines in us, just like Psalm 34:5 promises: Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
It takes time to learn to be the light. It's not an overnight transformation. It's a moment by moment decision to follow Jesus like John 8:12 encourages us to do:
John 8:12 AMP
Once more Jesus addressed the crowd. He said, I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not be walking in the dark, but will have the Light which is Life.
Did you know that Jesus calls us "the light of the world"?
Matthew 5:14-16 AMP
14 You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
15 Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a peck measure, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men that they may see your [z]moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and [aa]recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven.
We have a bright role to play in our fallen society. We are not called to blend in. We are called to shine by holding tightly to God's word.
Philippians 2:14-16 New Living Translation (NLT)
14 Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. 16 Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless.
Are you willing to shine brightly for Jesus? Are you ready to step out of the darkness of sin and embrace the glorious light and freedom that Jesus offers? It's so worth it because the Light of Jesus reveals beauty. Just think about it... You can't see the beauty of leaves changing colors in the dark of night. Obstacles in your path are hidden once the sun sets. Christ's Light might sting at first, causing you to squint. Remember to give your spiritual eyes some time to adjust to this new way of life. Jesus will guide you every step of the way. Let's learn to be the light... one day at a time.
And if you need some inspiration on learning to be the light, then check out the song Learning to be the Light by Newworldson: