LifeLink Devotions (Click here for Apple podcast)

Monday, March 28, 2022

One year during the archery season for deer, I got caught in the dark. I had arrived at the woods well before sunrise and started to unpack my hunting gear. I was ready to shut the car door, so I reached into my pack to retrieve my flashlight. However, on this morning, there was no light. The switch had been left on and the batteries were dead. I was mad at myself. I didn’t want to wait until daylight to get to my tree stand, but the trek up that hill in the dark was dangerous. Besides, we knew there had been wolves in the area. Then I remembered two things. I always carried a spare set of batteries in my pack, and I also carry one of those wind-up LED flashlights for just such an emergency. I wouldn’t have to walk in the dark after all.

Being in the dark can be scary. But why is it that being in the darkness of sin isn’t? So many people who claim to have come to the Light still live as if there isn’t any light in them. There are two significant truths in today’s Scripture.

Ephesians 5:8-10  “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.”

The first is that when we come to Jesus for salvation we have been transformed into flashlights.  I think this is one of the most incredible motivations for the expression of joy in all the Bible. We were once darkness, but now we are light in the Lord.

The second truth is that as flashlights, we control whether the light is on or off. There are a couple of reasons that the light may be off. It may be out of power. The power can only be restored to the light when we spend time with God in personal devotions and prayer. It is the only way that we can find out what pleases the Lord so we can let the light shine. It’s not our light that shines – it’s God’s light, and if we’re not powered by Him, we will have no light.

The light may also be off because we’ve chosen to turn it off. We have been led to believe by our spiritual enemy that there is some natural light out there in the world, so additional light is not needed. It is a lie. The whole world is darkness! There is no light in it at all. Until God declared the existence of light in Genesis 1, the world was totally dark. Prior to coming to Christ for salvation, we are all declared to be in darkness. (see Col. 1:13; 1 Thess. 5:4-5; 1 Peter 2:9) We have no light at all apart from God, for God alone is the Light. Man-made light is no light at all, but simply an enticement to the darkness. However, we are deceived into believing that certain parts of our human existence have enough light of their own and don’t need the light of God, so we shut Him off.  

Wonderful things will happen when the light is on. Fear is dispelled. Luci Swindoll, writing in an article called “Heart to Heart,” in Today’s Christian Woman, says, “A friend of mine was caught in an elevator during a power failure. At first, there was momentary panic as all seven strangers talked at once. Then my friend remembered the tiny flashlight he had in his pocket. When he turned it on, the fear dissipated. During the 45 minutes they were stuck together they told jokes, laughed, and even sang. Ephesians 5:8 says we are that flashlight. Just as the flashlight draws power from its batteries, we draw power from Jesus. As light, we dissipate fear, bring relief, and lift spirits. We don’t even have to be big to be effective. We just have to be “on.”

The effect of the Christian life shining light in the darkness has dramatic impact on non-Christians. It becomes a witness to the power of Jesus Christ. Some of the situations of life can be pretty dark. Cancer, birth defects, accidents, permanent disabilities, financial ruin, and any other form of suffering that is experienced by us all are a real test of the power of our Light. The Light of God can and will shine brightly even when times seem hopelessly dark.

A former Russian criminal named Kozlov, who later became a church leader, wrote of life in a Soviet prison: “Among the general despair, while prisoners like myself were cursing ourselves, the camp, and the authorities; while we opened up our veins or our stomachs, or hanged ourselves; the Christians did not despair. One could see Christ reflected in their faces. Their pure, upright life, deep faith and devotion to God, their gentleness and their wonderful manliness became a shining example of real life for thousands.”

Kozlov was once in darkness, but became light in the Lord because other lights chose to shine in the darkness. Maybe you will never know today, or in this life, how many people were transformed from darkness to light because your light was shining. Someday in the presence of God you will know. But I do know this – if your light isn’t on, no one is being affected. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world.” Let your light shine!

Pastor John

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