‘God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him while we 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 His Son cleanses us from all sin.’ 1 John 1:5-7
We had a really great time away at our recent youth camp, and the theme and focus for the camp was ‘let there be light’. The Lord did a deep work in many hearts, inviting us to come into His light, to allow Him to shine His light into any areas of darkness in our lives so that we can then walk in His light and shine brightly for His glory.
Of course, ‘let there be light’ were the first recorded words God spoke in the Bible (Genesis 1:3). When God speaks, things happen, and so, ‘there was light’! If we can truly grasp the significance of these words, they are powerful and life changing.
I believe there are times in our lives when God highlights things and declares ‘let there be light’ to us. When He highlights areas of darkness in our lives – unbelief, fear, lies we’ve believed, sin, destructive habits, attitudes or patterns of behaviour – He doesn’t do it to leave us exposed or to heap shame on us but rather, to bring His light in and lead us into a place of greater freedom and wholeness. It is far better (and far easier) to walk in the light than it is to stumble around in the darkness.
Some years ago now I had an experience that the Lord has recently reminded me of and has been speaking to me about. I was bitten by a spider on my calf muscle one day while I was doing some work in the garden. I didn’t even notice that I’d been bitten at the time, except for what looked like two little ‘pimples’ that came up later that day. They were slightly sore to touch, but I didn’t think anything of it so left it. The next day, the ‘pimples’ on my leg were much more painful to touch and what appeared to be some bruising had also appeared – but again I chose not to do anything about it and left it, hoping it would get better of its own accord. The following day it wasn’t just the site of the bite that was sore, but my whole calf muscle was starting to swell up and cause me some grief. I was due to play sport on the weekend, so I felt I needed to test out whether I would be able to play or not. I went along to training, which needless to say was a foolish thing to do. As I got dressed afterwards I noticed that not only was my calf muscle now seriously swollen, rock hard and feeling like it was on fire, but I could literally see that the infection had spread up my leg and had made its way into my lymph glands. It was only then, when I could hardly walk, that I made the decision to go to the hospital and the antibiotic treatment I was given cleared it up reasonably quickly and thankfully no amputation was required!
You are probably thinking how silly I was to not get my leg treated earlier and deal with the issue before it became more serious. And I would definitely agree with you. But how often can we be like this in our own journey through life? How often do we perhaps leave things in our own hearts and lives to fester when the Lord is ready and willing to deal with them and shine His light on them to bring us to a place of freedom and healing?
When the Lord puts His finger on things in our lives, it is an opportunity to respond to Him and allow Him to bring His light, truth and freedom to bear in our lives. I love what Andrew said recently, about how we can pray and desire that the Lord would move and work powerfully in our city, nation and beyond (which is a wonderful thing to seek after!), yet often He is wanting to start by first working in our own lives.
As we start 2017, I pray that this would be a year of letting His light in and walking in His light. Where there are things that the Lord may be highlighting or bringing to the surface, let’s not ignore them or put off getting some ‘treatment’. Rather, let’s allow Him to bring healing, freedom and wholeness. When He is able to do the work He needs to do in us, He is able to then do the work He desires to do through us. Are we willing to respond to His invitation when He says – ‘let there be light’?