The Bare Soul - March 27, 2011
In God's Light

The following is the message text and audio recording of a sermon titled "In God's Light" delivered to the homeless
at the Kansas City Rescue Mission Chapel on March 24, 2011.

In God's Light - March 24, 2011

Psalm 36:9 - For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light.

My two and a half year old grandson is continually teaching me about God's ways. My office is located in the basement and for some time we have left the basement dark. I can see my way down the stairs without the light and make it to my office usually without any trouble. However, to make it more agreeable for the little fellow to come visit his papa, we have been keeping a light on to make his trip less scary. It is a joy to see him opening my office door before his bedtime, knowing that he and grandpa will share a snack before he heads back up for grandma to tuck him in. He knows that as long as the light is on, that he has nothing to fear. He can boldly totter down the stairs and head right to papa's office. However, before we turned the light on for him he would stand at the top of the stairs and cry out for me to come get him. His simplicity toward life is so wise in many ways. While we as adults have learned to traverse the dark places in our home with assurance, children demand otherwise. I think it is for good reason. For why should any walk in darkness if the light switch is just a flick of the finger away?

Too often, we as believers tend to expect less of God as we rely upon our own senses to get by. We choose to walk in the darkness of our own "common sense" rather than simply asking God for more light in our respective lives. How simple it would be to look to the Lord and ask Him to turn on the "light switch" that chases away all the fears in our lives? Problem is, most of us have grown accustomed to living with the things that live in the shadows rather than shining God's light in the basements of our hearts. It becomes all too easy to say, "Well, it's really not that dark in those gray areas of my life. After all, every one gossips now and then. And, when I look at a beautiful woman, it's just to admire God's handiwork." While these examples may seem benign, they are in actuality the things that bring most Christians to a place of unfruitfulness. Satan will seldom use overt temptation when he can use subtleties to cause us to muddy God's clear spring that He desires to run through His beloved. Compromise to sin's subtleties is the trap that the enemy will seek to pull most of us into its grip. If he can keep us walking in the shadows rather than coming to the light, he has beaten us down to non-effectiveness in God's kingdom. However, if we will demand and persist for the Almighty to shine His light, we too can walk in continual light. It can be as simple as standing and insisting the Lord help us, much as my grandson did for me to turn on the basement light.

The Apostle John spoke much about coming to the Light, and why most refuse to do so. It is inherent for mankind to avoid the light of understanding that could bring them salvation because they, by nature, hate that which the Light would reveal. In John's Gospel, Jesus explained man's inability to come to the Light on their own due to their sinful nature:

This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God. (John 3:19-21)

In this passage, Jesus tells us that men have a fear of being exposed -- that through this exposure they might experience a loss of reputation, social standing, or even how they view themselves before God. However, God is not fooled and knows what is in the hearts of men (John 2:24-25; Matthew 15:18-19). There is no way that we can hope to walk before God uprightly if we haven't brought everything to the light. That includes every negative word or thought against another person, or every lustful thought or ambition to have a little "more". That might include that extra piece of pie or dish of ice cream. Or, it may mean a wandering eye of adultery or fornication dressed up as "beauty appreciation". Maybe it's that "white lie", all in the name of not wanting to hurt someone with the whole truth. All of these subtleties are Satan's window dressings to keep the saints of God locked away in darkness, never coming to the full splendor of the Light of God. Beloved, that God would throw each of us from our proverbial "high horse" like he did Paul on the road to Damascus and blind us with His unapproachable Light (Acts 9:3,8). If the Lord would strike us blind with heaven's light, we can be assured we would no longer walk in the darkness of this world. May God do so, giving us all a baptism of His wisdom and revelation through the Light of Heaven!

By the mercy of the Almighty, Paul was granted light that would forever change his life. However, most of us must seek God for the light of His Presence. In John's first letter, the apostle drops a plumb line regarding fellowship with the Father. God is not interested in a compromised relationship, but desires hearts totally submitted to His "Heavenly Searchlight". The Apostle John states:

If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. (I John 1:6-7)

There is no other way to come to the Lord but with a heart of surrender to His Light. And, we have a promise from the Father that the blood of His son will cleanse us from all sin if we will but come. If we do not cry out to the Lord, asking Him for His light, how will he ever know we desire to commune with Him in fullness? Much in the same way that if my grandson did not cry out to papa, how would I know he was standing at the top of the stairs, desiring to come down and have a time of intimate one-on-one before bedtime? Similarly, both he and we need to cry out to our respective "papas" and insist on the Light. Without it, there will only be scary shadows and fears that drive us away from the Father's love. May we come to Him, insisting that our Father share His light with His beloved children.

Heavenly Father, You've given all who know You a light within. Cause our lights to burn bright for You. May the oil of the Holy Spirit be plentiful within us all through obedience to Your Son. May we come to You in blessed fellowship, always. We pray this in Jesus' Name, Amen.

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick

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