Sunday, August 18, 2013

Let There Be Light

And God said, Let there be light.

 God did not need six days to put the finishing touches on the earth. He could have done it all with a single word. But there is a deep spiritual lesson to be learned not only from the ‘what’ of creation, but also from the ‘how’ of creation. The primal planet, without form and void, is a fit representation of the natural human heart -- Cold, dark, lifeless - and no prospect that it would ever be anything else. It is the presence of God alone that makes the difference. God is light, and where God is there is light.

 Just as God spoke the word causing physical light to shine on a dark and cold world, God speaks the word, and spiritual light shines in our cold and darkened hearts. “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6).

 But to the heart that receives the light that is only the beginning, not the end of the matter. Step by step God patiently transforms us until we are a whole new creation. Where once we were dead, now we live. Where once darkness reigned, light shines forth. Where once there was only coldness, love and grace abounds. For it is “God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did.” (Romans 4:17).

“And God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.” (Genesis 1:4-5).

 Even in the division of the light from the darkness there is a lesson to be learned. It is only as the earth turns to the sun that there is light. Night does not fall because the sun goes away, but because the earth turned away from the sun. So it is in our spiritual lives. God through His Holy Spirit moves on our heart and mind and in response we turn to God, and we rejoice in the light. “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.” (Isaiah 9:2).

 Like the coming of dawn, the light does not reach its full brilliance all at once. Likewise, we do not come out of spiritual darkness all at once. “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” (Proverbs 4:18). So long as we continue to turn toward God the light will shine ever stronger and clearer until finally at last we are, figuratively speaking, walking in the full light of the noon day sun.

 But if we begin to turn away from God, if we begin to allow other concerns to crowd out our time with Him, the light begins to fade. But just like the dawning of the light in our lives, the darkness does not come all at once. A person may be slowly turning away from God and never know it until suddenly to their surprise they awake to find themselves in darkness. And it is not that God has turned away from them, but that they have turned from Him who is their light.

This to a greater or lesser degree is the story of every person’s life. It is the story of whole peoples and nations. As you read the history of the Children of Israel you see time and again, like the earth revolving on its axis, the people turning first to and then away from God. First basking in His light and then stumbling in the darkness. But unlike the earth revolving on its axis, we have a choice - we do not have to turn away.