Light and lights…


Lately, I keep noticing songs on the radio that talk about light–specifically, the light inside of us.

“You let Your love shine down
so that the world could see
You put the light in me..” (“The Light in Me” – Brandon Heath)

“We are the light of the world
We are the city on a hill
We are the light of the world
We gotta, we gotta, we gotta let the light shine..” (“We Are” – Kari Jobe)

“So I say oh oh oh oh oh
I’m learning to be the light” (“Learning To Be the Light” – NewWorldSon)

As I listen to these songs, however, I’m realizing some things that, for me, are quite profound.

This concept is, of course, taken from Matthew 5:14-16 where Jesus said that we are the light of the world.  I’ve known that story all my life, but I’ve taken it as more of a command. “Go shine.” You know… Go. Do it. Tell people Jesus loves them. Go take the gospel to the nations. Put forth the effort. Get out of your little corner and quit hiding.

In other words, I’ve seen it as a list of commands that are added on top of all those other things I’m supposed to do.

But as I was listening to “You Put the Light in Me,” these words jumped out at me:

“Keep me from growing dim
cause in Your perfection, I’m just a reflection
so pull me closer to You
I’ll catch like a fire, and I’ll hold You higher
Cause You put the light in me”

Then these:

“I’ll raise it high, I’ll let it show
From the rooftops down to the streets below
In day and night, You will be known
And all will see
You put the light in me”

And suddenly I started realizing what the light really is.

Kari Jobe sang it:

You are the light,
You are the light,
You are the light
We will lift You high
Shine, shine, shine!”

The light isn’t the words I force myself to speak.

The light is Jesus.

In Isaiah 42:6, God says of Jesus:

I am the LORD, I have called You in righteousness,
I will also hold You by the hand and watch over You,
And I will appoint You as a covenant to the people,
As a light to the nations…

And in Isaiah 49:6:

I will also make You a light of the nations
So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.

Jesus says of Himself in John 8:12 and again in 9:5:

“I am the Light of the world.”

There are two different definitions of a “light,” isn’t there? We can walk into our living room and move a light (or lamp) from a corner to the center of the room. But that light is really just the holder for the actual light that shines and fills the room.

We’re the light we bought at the store and set in the corner.

Jesus is the Light that makes the lamp worthwhile.

I noticed, though, and Jesus didn’t say, “You are the light of the world, now go turn yourself on.”  He said, “Let your light shine.”  Let. When you let something happen, are you making it happen? No! What are you doing? You are simply not stopping it.

That’s what Jesus is telling us! “Don’t cover your light! Don’t stop Me from shining through you!”

Isn’t that awesome?

I am not responsible for turning the Light on. He is the Light, and He does that. The Light is there, already shining…all He asks of me is that I chose not to hide where He wants to shine, and let Him shine in my life.

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