I was sitting early one morning in Ivanovo in central Russia reading my Bible seeking a time of refreshing in the presence of the Lord as it had been a busy two weeks of ministry and it was beginning to show in my own spirit … I am sure no one saw any difference in the actual services and ministry but I knew my spiritual tank was running a bit low and so I was taking extra time to be with the Lord. It meant getting up long before the sun rose but this was good as then it was totally quiet as others in the building had yet to wake.
For years I have enjoyed a tradition – some traditions are good – of reading John’s Gospel as I prepare for the Christmas season. I don’t do any Christmas shopping at all and so I’m speaking of spiritual preparation. So, that morning I was rereading John, Chapter 1… read many, many times before. And there it was – verse 4: “In him was life, and that life was the light of men.”
This is telling us that Jesus was not the light of the world. Inside Him was the light – it was the very life of God in His human body. The life of God (Zoe) was shining forth from Him and this appeared as light to men who lived in spiritual darkness and without real life. Existence, yes! Life, no! So, the light people saw was the life of the Father living in and through Him.
When we were born again we were translated from the domain of darkness into the Kingdom of His Son(Colossians 1:13) who is light. And, we are called to walk in that light (1 John 1:7) and to be light to the world (Ephesians 5:8). So, we are called to allow His light to shine through us to those who still live in darkness. In the life and ministry of Jesus that light was the very life of God (Zoe) flowing through Him; so it is with us – if we are going to be light in the spiritual darkness we must let the very life and nature of God that lives within us be seen by those who know us and interact with us. We are not the light – the life and nature of God within us is the light that shines into the world.
Let your light shine for all to see. Let God’s life and very nature flow from your inner most being and touch others during this special time of celebrating His birth in Bethlehem. That becomes somewhat more difficult when you are too busy with family, gifts, eating, travelling, and all the extras that this season often brings into our lives. However, I believe we need to be very intentional about letting the light shine. We need to swim upstream while the rest of this country is going with the flow – downstream. Remember, dead fish float downstream.
It is a great season of the year – and one during which, due to extra activities, events, family involvment, and travel, we tend to spend less time with the Lord and less time in prayer and Bible reading. Our relationship with the Lord suffers damage during a season when just the opposite should be true. As a result, we often become less of a light unto the part of the world we inhabit… and so lose the opportunity to influence and impact lives. This should not be. Only you can change it!