There is no darkness without light.
That’s a truism, and one that works in every metaphorical sense, too. Without jumping into some deep physics, at a basic level, darkness is the absence of light. It’s what occurs where light isn’t. That works on a scriptural and spiritual level as much as it does on an artistic level, because the only imagery used in the Bible to represent God, Christ and the Kingdom as often as height and elevation is that of a light in the darkness.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” – John 1:5
That single line sums up the enemy’s fundamental flaw, the one that trips him up at every turn. The enemy lives in darkness, defined as a place where God is not, which is also the handy scriptural definition of hell itself. Simply put, when Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” in John 8, he was describing a state of spiritual being that the enemy is forever denied. As a consequence of that denial, the enemy cannot see or understand the Light of the Lord, or anything that occurs within that arena.
The characteristics of living in darkness are misapprehension, blindness, ignorance and a lack of wisdom to cope with changes in circumstances. Living in darkness means a failure of perspective, not as a one-off, but as a habit. As a lifestyle.
Look at the enemy. He was so blinkered by his own darkness that while Jesus was on earth, he set about actually trying to convince people to kill Jesus, never for a moment suspecting that was part of God’s plan all along. But that’s darkness for you: completely dependent on the light for existence—and yet continually failing to understand what’s done in the light. Those in darkness are made vulnerable to a lack of perspective like that. It means being out of the loop on a grand scale.
Light is essential to a life in the Spirit.
Isaiah 9:2 tells us that “the people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of darkness a light has dawned.” That great light is the one we are celebrating right now, with Christmas. He was the light of the world, and the very light he brought to Bethlehem two thousand years ago is the same light that he brings to us today. As we are in Christ, the revelation of His light is with us. We can see in the dark.
The thing about the light of revelation is that it illuminates every cobwebbed corner, every nook and every cranny.
It’s a two-edged sword: the first edge is God’s disclosure to us, and the second is our acceptance His light is truth. That kind of light can be difficult to walk in. It’s a shock to the system to have it hammered home to us exactly how dim the road we were walking before truly was. But if you think it’s tough for us, imagine the effect it has upon the enemy.
Just like light banishes darkness, God exposes that which is not in Him.
He expels any lingering shadows that try to cling to us, along with the negativity and pessimism that those shadows bring. Sometimes He shines a light at our feet, to teach us how to step. Sometimes He shines that light at our path, to show us where to go. God reveals and illuminates what He chooses, in the manner that He chooses, and our task is to learn to trust that choice. Regardless, we’re walking in the light: though darkness is all about us, we can always guarantee to walk in His light.
That’s just the way of things: Walking in the light increases our capacity to exceed the darkness around us, and the negativity that it brings. In doing so, it allows us the opportunity to learn how to overcome: to prevail in all circumstances.
As we near the end of 2015, consider your current situation and any darkness that still clings to you—where anxiety, fear and doubt may have penetrated to you. Then consider the light that may have entered your life—the same light that dawned in Bethlehem: the insight provided by prophecy, or by personal revelation.
In 2016, let us learn to walk within this light, step by step. Whether it’s a lamp to your feet or a light to your path, live in the Light of the Lord – out of the darkness, into the day.
This Christmas, let’s celebrate Light. The light of the world, Immanuel, that even today, leads us.
P.S. Let’s hear stories! How has the Light led you recently?
P.P.S. For more on the topic, browse the Brilliant resources here.