Light, Not Darkness (ATP)
Luke 11:35 (AMP) says “See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness.” Can you elaborate on this? How can we be careful to avoid this? What do we watch out for?
I love how God makes following His directions very simple. Let’s look at this scripture in context and examine it throughout the gospels to get a clearer understanding. Luke 11:33-36, “No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light. The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness. Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light.” God uses this parable of light because it’s something we can all understand. Light illuminates, keeps us knowing the direction, keeps us from stumbling, etc. This is both true naturally and spiritually.
Psalms 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet. And a light to my path.” Many other scriptures relay this truth similarly, helping us understand that it is the truth of God’s Word that brings light. Remember Isaiah the prophet prophesied that the people who sat in darkness would see a great light. That was the light of Jesus bringing salvation, and the Word of that salvation to the world.
Now let’s look at Matthew 5:14-16, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Notice first, that we now as believers are called the light of the world. First it was Jesus, but now we are His fellow workers. We understand that a lamp not turned on won’t illuminate anything. Likewise, a Christian refusing to keep their light shining won’t bring light to anything or anyone. See what the light is supposed to be carried through? Good works.
Skip ahead to Matthew 6:22-23, “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” The meaning of this word darkness is wicked, diseased, blind, or full of evil. In 2 Corinthians 4:4 we see the truth that the god of this world, the devil, has blinded the minds of those who are perishing. Where does someone experience blindness? The eyes. Notice the mind here is spoken of. Darkness or blindness really has to do with our minds and how we think. When we think wrong, we live wrong. Light and darkness are used to contrast spiritual knowledge vs. spiritual blindness, morality and righteousness vs. sin. 1 John 1:5-7 says, “…God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
How do we see to it that the light in us isn’t darkness? We continually put to practice Romans 12:1-2, which says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” We renew our minds by the Word of God and then act according to the direction and commandments of God. Then, we take that light to others both in word and deed. This is our primary direction, and this is the calling of every single believer who wonders what it is God has for them to do! Be His people, be His church, and be His light to this lost world.