Invasion of Light

Discovering God's Glory One Day at a Time

Category: Genesis 1:9-13

The Ministry of Every Believer – Day 96

Luke 13:6-9 records another parable where Jesus spoke about the fruit of a harvest:

“A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.'”

Here we read of a vineyard owner who was looking for fruit. Similarly, the Lord himself is the owner of all people and he also is looking for fruit in our lives. But the main question is, “What type of fruit is he looking for?” To put it simply, the Lord is looking for the evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. He desires to see the fruit that comes from a person who is yielded to the Holy Spirit. This is what Paul meant when he wrote about the “fruit of the Spirit.” In Galatians 5:22 Paul says, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” These are all the same attributes that were in Christ’s own life. Therefore we can say that good fruit is being like Jesus, it is a life that reflects and reveals Christ to the world. Good fruit means the same light that was in Jesus is in us too. When people see this light it causes others to be fruitful and glorify our Father in heaven. More than any other ministry, we each have a ministry of being Christ’s light-bearers.

Prayer: Father, I ask for your Holy Spirit to be more active in my life. Let your Spirit produce the very nature of Jesus in me bringing hope to the world.

Our Fruit is Our Light – Day 93

Throughout Scripture there is an intimate bond between fruit and light. The day before God said, “Let there be lights,” he said, “Let the earth bring forth fruit.” Jesus also said, “You are the light of the world…Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:14, 16). Light is connected with good deeds. In other words, the fruit of a life abiding in Christ (good deeds) is light to others. Jesus explains that this light has the power to inspire people to worship and glorify the heavenly Father. Thus we learn from these verses and others, that our light is the chief means God uses to cause the lost to turn to him and glorify him as Father.

The Lampstand in Moses’ tabernacle is also another graphic example of the connection between light and fruit (Exo. 25:31-40). God spoke to Moses to design the Lampstand like an almond tree with buds and blossoms. At the end of each branch was the light. This seems like a peculiar design for a lampstand, but its uniqueness was ordained by God and communicated a deeper meaning. Particularly, we notice that there was no fruit in the artistry of this Almond Tree Lampstand. Therefore, what becomes clear (upon further examination) is that the light actually represented fruit. The lesson we can draw from this is that our light is our fruit, and conversely our fruit is our light to the world.

Prayer: Father, you have ordained our fruit to be our light to the world. May my life have good fruit, the fruit of your Spirit. May that good fruit be a light and cause people to turn to you, in Jesus’ name.

How to Expose the Darkness – Day 92

In Ephesians 5:8-14 Paul reiterates the power of light and teaches us how we can be a light:

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes light. This is why it is said: ‘Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’”

How are we to be a light to the world? By preaching to them? Yes, preaching is good, but it must be the overflow of a life burning for the Glory of God. Better still, we are a light to the world when our lives are more than words, when people see something about us that is indescribably different. This light should be shining out of us unconsciously because it is who we really are and not something we can turn off and on like a lamp.

In the passage above Paul teaches us that we are to “have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” Most people understand this as verbally speaking against all the evil in the world. They reason: “We are commanded to expose the darkness. Therefore I will speak out against the injustices, corruptions, moral depravities and conspiracies at work in the world.” This line of thinking can be very dangerous because it is often marked by zeal without the counter balance of the knowledge of God. Zeal is like a fire and if you do not know how to control it, it can be very damaging. In order to understand Paul’s command we have to read his next sentence: “It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.” What the disobedient do in secret is shameful and should not be the subject of our preaching. Yes, we need to preach against sin, but preaching against sin should never be central, rather it is a means to lead people to Christ. Moreover, preaching against sin must be done in a way that is honouring to God and sensitive to the people. I have heard preachers give abortion a demonstrative broadside, but have hardly any compassion on the women who are weighed down with guilt because they have aborted a child. Mere preaching done in an accusative spirit is not what Paul meant by “exposing the fruitless deeds of darkness.”

So how then do we expose the fruitless deeds of darkness? We do it by bearing good fruit. If we merely point to a fruitless tree and condemn it for being useless, we offer no hope.

But if we are fruitful trees, the world will see how fruitless they are in comparison. The spirit of religion desires to chop down every fruitless tree, but cannot replace it with fruitful trees. Why? Because it is easier to chop down a tree than put in the time and effort needed to plant and grow fruitful ones. However, God has called us to the latter: to bear much fruit for his glory (John 15:8). Good fruit reveals how pathetic bad fruit really is. The same goes with light: light exposes how dark the darkness is. I never realise how dark a room is until I walk in it after being in the daylight––the contrast exposes the darkness. And this is how we expose the fruitless deeds of darkness by being that contrast.

Prayer: Father, let me be a light and bear good fruit. Let me not be somebody running around with an ax chopping down every bad tree. Rather, let me be one planting good trees and bearing good fruit, in Jesus’ name. I know your light will chase away the darkness, not my fleshly zeal.

Living in Hope – Day 91

The power of God’s light that shines through us separates the day from the night. People clearly see the distinction. The light dispels and exposes the darkness. God’s light causes people to wake up from their slumber. Some may want to roll over in their beds and keep sleeping; they are too tired and comfortable to get up. They know that the light is shining through their windows, but they pull the curtains closed because they are content with their current slumber.

The man or woman of God is someone who is separate. They are not of this world, but their presence and effect is clearly felt in this world. They are like the sun, moon and stars that are not of the earth but affect everything in the world. God’s people make a difference even though the world may try to ignore their power. God made the sun, moon and stars to separate the day from the night. He also established grace in the night, lights that shine even though the darkness is prevalent.

Not only has God established grace in the night; he has created hope. There is something glorious to look forward to. There is a morning coming that will outshine all mornings. This will be a new day and a new age that will never again know the triumph of darkness. This was the blessed hope that the apostle’s continually stressed. And it is only in light of this hope that we can live radically different, separate from the world’s night.

This hope is the coming of the Lord Jesus and it is a hope for this world. God’s plan is not that we are merely whisked up into heaven one day. He has predestined heaven to come to earth. That is why Jesus taught us to pray, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Yes, the heavens and earth are fallen due to man’s negligent stewardship, but they will be transformed (made completely new by the dawn of this new day). The Sun of Righteousness will arise with healing in his wings (Mal. 4:2).

Prayer: Father, enable me to live in hope. You have me in this world to be a light, to be part of the day, not the night. Keep me awake and burning. Let me not be of this world but let me affect the world, just like the sun, moon and stars do. Father, let us speed your coming by longing for your appearing and the dawning of a new day. Arise, Sun of Righteous, with healing in your wings!

Old-Fashioned or Future-Fashioned – Day 90

“And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night…” Often in Scripture night is used as a symbol for evil––a time when the enemy is on the prowl, and people are morally and spiritually asleep. For example Paul said:

“And [love your neighbor as yourself], understanding the present time. The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissensions and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature “(Rom. 13:11-14, TNIV).

Paul is communicating to the Romans that even though they live in the night (a time of darkness, selfishness and sin) they do not need to live like those who are of the night. Instead, he calls them to wake up. In other words, he exhorts: “Live like those of the day in the presence of the night. Be lights! And look forward with great anticipation the dawning of the day when the Lord Jesus shall return. Live in this future reality, the reality of the coming kingdom, in the midst of the falseness and facades. Remember the night will soon disappear!”

The person who lives for the coming day, living righteously and holy, is not old-fashioned. They are not living based on outdated morals; they are not living in the 21st century with 18th century clothes. Rather they are future-fashioned. They are modelling the reality that is to come; they are walking in the light of the day during this present darkness. They are a sign and a witness of what is to come, not of the past, which is fading away, but of the future which is about to break in like the morning sun.

Prayer: Father, we are people of the future Kingdom, living in that Kingdom here and now. You have fashioned us for the future; we are made for another age. We don’t fit into this age because we are futurists and visionaries, longing for the Kingdom that will come. Help us to live worthy of our calling in the here and now. May we live as children of the day, in Jesus’ name.

Legalism vs. God’s Word – Day 89

In Ezekiel there is a beautiful picture of how God’s Word works. “And He said to me, ‘Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak to you.’ Then the Spirit entered me when He spoke to me, and set me on my feet; and I heard Him who spoke to me” (Eze. 2:1-2, NKJV). God’s command came with God’s power: the ability to actually obey it. When God spoke, the Spirit entered into Ezekiel enabling him to stand. And in the same way, we can only obey God’s Word as we receive the Spirit that the Word is married to. This is the only thing that will save us from legalism (which is the Word without the Spirit). This is the only thing that will keep us from having a form of godliness but not possessing the power to obey. The Pharisees held firmly to the Scripture, but it was a distorted word. They divorced it from the Spirit’s revelation and enabling.  As a result, they could not stand and hear the words of Christ, the words that are Spirit and life (John 6:63).

The commands of God are not burdensome (1 John 5:3). They are not mere legal code. One command of God empowers us to keep all of God’s commands, and because we are born of the Spirit we have his commands in our hearts. When one lives by legal code (by mere rules and regulations) they do not live by the Spirit. But when we live by the Spirit, we live by a higher power than the written law, and naturally we fulfil the law. In the beginning every command  God gave enabled the heavens and earth to be and to do according to his good pleasure. When we see God’s commands in this light we will say with the Psalmist, “And I will delight myself in Your commandments, which I love” (Psalm 119:47, NKJV).

Prayer: Father, your word is different from all other words. It’s Spirit and Life. It revives and makes whole. It enables us to obey your commands. Your commands are not burdensome. Help me to see your your Word in a different light than other, in Jesus’ name.

Frozen to the Sword – Day 88

The only way you can “do everything without grumbling or arguing” is “as you hold firmly to the word of life.” It was the spoken Word of God that created the lights in the beginning and it is the same Word that keeps the lights shining. Only through God’s Word will we be lights, since it is the only thing that makes us shine. It is impossible to be lights in the world unless God’s Word is continually at work in us. Why? Because the light is not of ourselves––it is not something that we can muster up––it can only be given to us. The Scriptures say of John the Baptist that “he was not the Light but was sent to bear witness to the Light” (John 1:8). Like John we are not the Light of the Word, but we are sent to bear witness of that Light. Therefore, we should be like Eleazar whose hand froze to the sword in battle as we hold on to the “word of life” (2 Sam. 23:10).

God’s Word is life. It is not merely letters, absent of innate power. These words need to be cherished more than life itself because they are the source and fountain of all life. Holding firmly to Jesus’ words separated his true disciples from those who were merely attracted to him. After Jesus fed the five thousand, large crowds followed him, but soon many of them turned away: “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more” (John 6:66, NKJV). What was their reason? Some of his words were hard; they were not easy to receive. His words demanded a person’s full allegiance; it meant the absorption of his complete person. Particularly they were offended by statement, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you” (John 6:53, NKJV). They could not understand the spiritual nature of these words. “Does this offend you? What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are Spirit, and they are life” (John 6:61-63, NKJV). Because they were offended they let go of this burning sword like a man let’s go of a hot iron. They were not willing to let the words penetrate into their own souls, nor were they willing to wrestle with the difficulty of these sayings. They did not understand that the Son of Man was also the Lamb of God—He was to be completely eaten like the Passover Lamb––his nature was to become their nature and his Spirit was to be their drink. Only then would they escape the bondage of spiritual Egypt.

Prayer: Father, make us like Eleazar whose hand froze to the sword. He clung to the sword because his life depended on it and we need to cling to the sword of the Spirit, your Word, because our lives depend on it. Help us to hold on to your living and active Word.

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