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Monday, November 15, 2004

This Little Light of Mine...

How many times have we sung the sweet childrens song, "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine..." ?
What a powerful call to supernatural, Jesus-style living! I loved the song as a child, and now that I've grown in understanding, I love it even more!

I've copied a verse here that really says more than what it seems on the surface. I've broken the verse down a little bit, using the Greek words and corresponding Hebrew ones to show the richer meaning of some of the words.
2 Cor. 4:6
For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness" is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (KJV)

(now the breakdown)
For God ("Theos"), who said, "Light ("phos", to shine or make manifest, especially by rays; to say or make One's thoughts known; to make clear and cause to appear and shed light) shall shine ("lampo" Lamp) out of darkness," is the One who has shone ("lampo")in our hearts to give the Light ("photismos", the act of enlightening, illumination, to shine,
to bring to light, render evident; to cause something to exist and thus come to light and become clear to all; to enlighten spiritually, imbue with saving knowledge,instruct, to inform, teach, give understanding to) of the knowledge ("gnosis", a deeper, more advanced understanding) of the glory (splendor, brightness) of God in the face (to see and be seen in the presence of, to appear before and see the countenance of) of Christ. (NAS)

So in other words... the same Guy who said, "Let there be light" to such great effect back in Genesis has now made an even greater decree.

Back then, when He said, "Let there be light" the stars were created in all their beauty, lighting up the entire universe and our world. Thats a powerful phrase - when He uttered it, every star in the heavens sprang into existance and He calls them all by name. But now, He's gone and said it again. This time around, He decided to come and say "Let there be light!" from His seat on the throne of our hearts! That's right... We are indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God in all His beauty. We are told that the Morning Star will be shed abroad in our hearts... we'll be lit up with Light from within. God saw that the world was still a dark and desperate place, so He decided to create a new "host" of lights to light up the world. Us. We are His points of Light on this planet... the heavens come down to touch the earth. We are like a city set on a hill... at night!

With darkness all around, we are lit up with His presence all over this planet, casting His bright shadow everywhere we go. Many times, we close ourselves off, and block our spirits. We don't let people see the real us. (under a bushel, no?) We pull the windows shut and close the shutters, and very little light escapes from us, kind of like the blackout shelters during World War 2, where people learned to seal all the cracks and not show any light at night so they wouldn't become the target of the evil 3rd reich's bombs. A lot of us are also trying to hide from the bombs of our enemy, not realizing that we have a greater protection promised to us than any people in any war have ever been given!!

For us, the danger is not being exposed and letting our light shine... the real danger is in being tempted to hide our light. That's how it gets snuffed out, ya know? If you hide it under a bushel, it not only can't light the way for others, but all the air gets sucked out and the flame is in danger of dying. Instead, we're called to take the shutters off, open the window, and turn the flame on high. We can burn the oil in our lamps at full blast, because the more we burn, the more we have to burn.

We're not just supposed to go into all the world, making disciples of all nations... we're supposed to CARRY the Presence of GOD in these earthen vessels, and let Him SHINE out from within us. That's what will cause the Glory of God to thickly blanket the earth!

I have a torch, a lampstand, burning in me. "It's like fire, shut up in my bones," said an OT Prophet. It's a bright Light, a heavy glory that we never could have carried under the old covenant. We would have died under the weight of it, been consumed by the holiness of the Lord, just as if we'd tried to carry the sun in our hands. The MIRACLE of the gospel is that now, we ourselves, in our frail human tents, carry the Spirit of God, the Glory of God, the very Presence of God inside us. We couldn't carry the sun in our hands, but we can do an even greater thing... we carry the Son in our hearts. Trust me, it's a bigger deal! So instead of drawing the curtains across our hearts and faces and hiding His glory from the world, I dare us to rip the veils in two, to open the windows, to throw back the shutters, and let the Holy Spirit pour out of us like a River of Light into all the world. See, the world will be so surprised, because they understand the idea of opening the windows and curtains to let light
from the outside into a dark room ... but it's stunning when they see what we can do. We pull back the curtains and throw open the windows to let the Light from within into the dark and dying world! His glory is like a thousand suns for those who shined upon!

Through the Holy Spirit, who is very God of very God, we are in two places at once. We stand here, looking out of our eyes into the world. But in the Spirit, we are also in the heavenly places in Christ, able to worship in the very Throne Room of God, beholding Him with the eyes of our heart. The longer we behold Him, the more like Him we become, from Glory to Glory, transformed into the image of the One we Love. (It's like a photograph, the longer you set the exposure, the more light is absorbed by the film!) It's not enough to just revel in His presence. If we truly want more of Him, we have to open our hearts and let the rivers of living water flow out of us! Spring up Oh, Well, within my soul!

The whole earth longs for us to reveal His glory to them. We are like the stars in His heaven... shining light wherever He sends us. And we know the light is not our own, but we are lit within by the God who IS Light, and as we look into the face of Christ, we will begin to shine forth the knowledge of the Glory of God into the world... and the world will be touched by the Light.

In the words of Bebo Norman,
"Oh great Light of the world
Fill up my soul
I'm half a man here
So come make me whole
Oh great light of the world
Come to impart
The light of your fill up my heart."


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