This morning I watched the sun rise from 20,000 feet. It wasn’t the first sunrise I’ve ever witnessed, of course, but it’s not very often that I am awake early enough to watch the skies go from inky blackness to the spectacular display of pastel perfection that accompanies the break of dawn. When I buckled into the drivers seat at 3 am this morning to drive to the airport, it was really. really. really dark out. You know, the kind of dark that you don’t really experience unless it’s the middle of a cloudy moonless night and you’re driving down a country road with no streetlights. Even sitting on the tarmac waiting to takeoff at 5:45, it was still preeeetty stinkin dark outside. But then, as the wheels of the plane lifted off the ground and we broke through the cloud cover, something amazing, dare I even say “enlightening” happened.
Light broke through.
I love those three words. Light. Broke. Through. Oh, what a beautiful occurrence. Suddenly, in the space of just a few minutes, what was covered in a blanket of deep night was made visible, with all the splendor of an artist’s palette come to life. In the vast expanse of sky that beckoned me from the other side of the oval shaped window, the horizon melted into a watercolored dream with hues of purple, pink, orange, and blue that all come together in a way that leaves me unable to do anything but praise the creativity and mastery of my majestic, artistic God.
I opened my Bible to Luke 8 and read this in verses 16-18… “No one lights a lamp and puts it in a clay jar or under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand so those who come in can see the light. For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought into the open. Therefore, consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them.” Such rich words, but the parts that really stood out to me were in verse 17, “There is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed,” and in verse 18, “…consider carefully how you listen.”
It’s so important, when reading and interpreting scripture to take the time to read the passages surrounding the one you are studying. Content plus context leads to understanding. The beginning of Luke 8 contains the well known parable of the sower. I won’t go into that story here, but it’s worth reading if you haven’t read it for awhile. Basically, Jesus was saying that there are many different responses to the gospel and that, to the one who receives the good news and walks in it, the secrets of the kingdom of heaven will be made available. I love this promise, because it reminds me that God has made available to me the power that He made available to Christ (John 14:12).
Keeping that parable in mind, consider verses 16-18. If you’re familiar with the verses at all, you know that Jesus is saying that you and I (Christ followers) are the light. Jesus didn’t sacrifice his life for us so we could hang out in church with other believers just like ourselves and keep the life transforming truth of the gospel to ourselves. We are supposed to be a light; a brightness-bringing, darkness-penetrating, life-illuminating light to a world in crisis. When the light enters a room, there is nothing that it does not touch, nothing that it does not affect. The Bible says in 1 John 1:7 that, “…if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His son, purifies us from all sin.” Light and darkness can not coexist. If you walk into a room that “feels dark,” it is no longer dark, because YOU are there.
Being the light in a dark world is not an easy task. In the physical world, illuminating the darkness is as easy as flicking a switch. In the spiritual realm, however, lighting up the dark can be anything but easy. We live in the midst of a very real battle between good and evil and combatting that evil requires us to be prepared on all fronts for the many types of warfare we will encounter. It is no easy task, but, praise be to God, we do not have to illuminate the darkness all on our own. God, in His magnificent generosity, gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit to come alongside us as we “walk in the light.” We would be ill equipped to be a light or to fulfill the commission He bestowed upon us without the Holy Spirit flowing through our lives. He has given us the keys to His kingdom and has held nothing back from us that we need to accomplish His purposes here on earth.
Verse 17 of Luke 8 says, “There is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed…” In a literal sense, of course, this is very true of light. When you turn on a light in a room, all that was hidden by the darkness is exposed. Reading those words, though, I heard God making a promise to me, a promise that said, “There is nothing you are going to need to fulfill my commission and share my truth that I am not going to give abundantly to you.” Sometimes, when sharing the gospel, it can feel like there are so many obstacles hindering someone’s ability to understand and accept the truth. People come from so many different backgrounds with so many different burdens and struggles, that it is impossible to have a “one-size-fits-all” approach to sharing the gospel. Praise be to God that He has disclosed and made available to us all we need to be effective witnesses to the gospel. It is not our words, our ability to expound or persuade, or our testimony that ultimately leads someone to Christ. It is God alone who softens hearts, convicts souls, and guides us into relationship with the Son. In His unexplainable grace and abundant generosity, He has made available to us everything we need to be a light in a dark world.
Light. Broke. Through.
Three little words that make all the difference in the world. When The Light broke through the atmosphere of earth and was born to a teenage virgin in Bethlehem, the course of history changed and, as a result, you and I have the amazing opportunity to be light that breaks through the darkness.
“Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”