One of my children’s favorite games throughout the years has been flashlight tag. I remember one time when my daughter fell and came to the door sobbing. She cut up her knees and palms pretty good. (Clearly she was not the one with the flashlight!) As I cleaned her up and tried to calm her down I asked her how she got hurt. She said she tripped over some uneven pavement in the sidewalk because it was so dark that she couldn’t see.
She was wandering through the dark front yard trying not to get caught by the light. Have you ever found yourself there spiritually? You know you are wandering in the dark a little aimlessly… but you just don’t feel like getting caught by the light beam of conviction. It exposes too much. I might have to give up my out of balance media habits; forgive my husband for his cutting words; or stop nursing my internal pity party for all that I have to do.
I can be so stubborn. I know the light is better, but I want to wander in the dark just a little longer and go my own way. God mercifully lets me hit some pavement to bring me back into the light when I wander too long. As I’m reading through Numbers right now, I encountered some verses on light. Numbers 8:1-4 says, “The Lord said to Moses, ‘Give Aaron the following instructions: When you set up the seven lamps in the lampstand, place them so their light shines forward in front of the lampstand.’ So Aaron did this. He set up the seven lamps so they reflected their light forward, just as the Lord had commanded Moses. The entire lampstand, from its base to its decorative blossoms, was made of beaten gold. It was built according to the exact design the Lord had shown Moses.”
I noticed these things as I read these verses:
- There were seven lamps.
- They were to be placed so their light shone forward.
- The lampstands were decorative and gold.
- They built them exactly how God told them to.
Often I have to write observations like this down when I’m reading because my mind is so prone to wander. As I think about what the verses actually say I’m often reminded of some fuller revelation God has given us later in His Word that parallels this glimpse of Him.
- John 8:12 “Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
- Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.”
- 1 John 1:5 “This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all.”
- Matthew 5:16 “In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”
Light is an analogy God used often to help us understand who He is. In Numbers 8 Aaron is told to place the lamps so that the light shines forward. Intentional living for Christ means we put Him out front in our lives. We let the light of His Word and Himself light our way in life.
We don’t interpret God through our circumstances, but rather we interpret our circumstances through the grid of what we know about God. If our light shines forth, we can see the path He has marked out for our feet (Psalm 119) and walk each step in faith even when we can’t see much farther out ahead than our next step.
To live in the light is to live intentionally. It is to walk in the bold assurance that even in the darkness of the world we live in, God is lighting the way for us as we follow Him.
How bright is your life today? Are you living in the light or wandering in dark habits that hinder your intimacy with Christ?