For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (Eph 5:8).
One of my favorite children’s books is The Tale of Despereaux. Just like any gratifying fantasy, it concludes with good triumphing over evil. Throughout the book, the author, Kate DiCamillo, makes a number of references to light, and whether intentional or not, it is very spiritual. After all, the foundation of all truth and goodness is found in the word of God. DiCamillo uses light to symbolize beauty, hope, compassion…you get the picture.
Scripture likewise uses light to represent truth and goodness—Jesus, the pure and perfect light. Believers are called Children of Light. We are told to let the principles of God’s word direct (light) our path. Children of the world may be more shrewd in dealing with the world, but darkness in their hearts on a large or even small scale, serves to further the darkness in the world.
Believers are also called to let their light shine before men, not to hide it, nor refrain from doing what is good and right. Sometimes we may feel ineffectual in a world so loaded with darkness and corruption, but darkness can’t coexist with light. The light is so much more powerful that the tiniest spark of light causes the darkness to yield.
References to light in the scriptures are so beautiful, almost poetic, but the implications are intense and powerful. What a privilege it is to be called Children of the Light!
See that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise (Ephesians 5:15).
Have you noticed that whenever we have an abundance of anything, we have a tendency to treat it with less care, maybe even recklessly? Likewise, when our stockpile is getting sparse, we are more cautious and are more thoughtful about its use. Think of the last jar of homemade jam, or nearing the end of our favorite perfume, or nearing the end of our paycheck, gas tank, or time with a loved one.
God’s word tells us to walk (live) with careful attention. When I became a parent, some of the “important” things I did as a teen began to seem not only unimportant, but foolish. Personal primping was replaced by meeting the needs of my family. At each stage of life, our priorities become more refined as we pick and choose the most meaningful, hopefully making the most of every opportunity (vs 16).
Acting thoughtfully is not restrictive like a diet in which we eliminate every fun, joyful, pleasurable, sweet and beautiful thing from our lives. God did not create the gratifying things in the world for only the foolish to enjoy, but the word clarifies —have nothing to do with fruitless deeds of evil and darkness (vs 11). That sounds like something I’d want to eliminate.
Other verses in Ephesians further explain—understand what the Lord wants you to do. For you were once in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of the light in all goodness, righteousness and truth.
John Gill, an early theologian, sums up wise living in this way—the wise walk according to the rule of God’s word, with Christ as their pattern, having the Spirit as their guide.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, a light unto my path (Ps 119:105)
Blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it (Luke 11:28).
Without being judgmental or condescending in any way, I know that people who are reading this are at different stages of spiritual growth. Some are new at studying the word, and that’s great! Others are so seasoned that they can even turn right to Habakkuk. And still others have joined through the internet from all over the place, both physically and spiritually.
When God placed the idea of doing this on my heart, I felt so overwhelmed by not knowing what to write to such a broad audience. But that’s exactly when I get myself in trouble—ME writing to you. When God leads me to a scripture, He speaks to me and I share what He tells me through His word.
Maybe these thoughts validate your thoughts, or maybe they give you an alternate perspective, or maybe you think, “That’s not what it means at all!” In each case, you’re right.
God’s word is amazing. It is individually relevant. It is alive.
Pray that He’ll speak to you from each verse. He has something special to say today—just for you.
Your word is a lamp for my feet; a light for my path (Ps 119:105).
I really didn’t think I’d be writing about this verse, the words of a kindergarten Sunday school song (although every word of God’s word is alive and powerful). But recently someone said to me that their sense of morality was different than that of a believer. This made my head spin. Every universally good quality (honesty, kindness, patience…) is noted and promoted in God’s word.
What about the traits or behaviors that contradict the word? How does an non-believer decide which of those are “moral” when they change day to day, person to person, situation to situation?
A place with a fluid morality is a dark place for sure. We are seeing some of the results of that today. My heart aches for children who are growing up without the security of the absolutes, shared by the Creator, on which to anchor themselves.
If we embrace the truths of God’s word, we may slip from the path from time to time, but we do have the confidence that comes from knowing where to find it.