GROPING FOR THE LIGHT
"When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'"
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house . . .” We all know that famous poem. But did you ever stop to think what the world was like the night before the first Christmas? Did you ever consider how oppressive the darkness must have been without the presence of the "light of the world"?
When you think about it, light is really important. Without it we can't tell where to go and what to avoid; in the dark, both your position and your objective are unclear. What is obvious in the light is confusing in the shadows. No matter how acute your other senses are, you can never be sure what is going on around you in the dark. We get our bearings by landmarks that we see and recognize. Imagine for a moment that you have to walk across a 3 ft. wide bridge that has no railing. You would have to be extremely careful, even in the light; but it would be an absolute nightmare in the darkness.
There are a couple of ways that physical darkness and spiritual darkness are similar. Like physical darkness, spiritual darkness makes accurate perception impossible. In Jn. 3:3 Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” What Jesus meant was that unless spiritual light shines into your life, the kingdom of God, the grace of God, and the provision of God are unknowable. Unless spiritual light -- the light of Christ -- shines into the darkened heart right and wrong, good and evil remain distorted and perverted. Only His light gives us a clear perspective and destroys the bewilderment that the darkness produces – in His light we see light (Ps. 36:9).
Also, in the same way that physical darkness exists only in the absence of physical light, spiritual darkness exists only in the absence of spiritual light. We could define spiritual darkness as: "spiritual emptiness where there is no knowledge of God." The light then, is the revelation of Christ that leads to spiritual understanding, participation in the promises of God, and the gift of eternal life. The important idea here is that darkness cannot exist in the presence of light; this is true physically and spiritually. Light is energy. Light is power. Darkness is nothing; it has no substance of its own.
Listen, you and I live in a world that is still plenty dark BUT now, in our time, there is hope. As the prophet Isaiah proclaimed: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” -- Isa. 9:2 and "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you." -- Isa. 60:1. The truth is that the utter darkness and hopelessness that exists apart from Christ is totally eliminated by His presence. His light, His Word, and His Spirit remove the veil of confusion from our minds and give us the ability to see clearly; to perceive both the natural world and the spiritual realm as they really are. Jesus enables us to “see the kingdom of God.”
--- Pastor Keith Andrews