Light Of Life

The power of Jesus call to men causing them to stop everything they were doing and follow Him must have been very strong.  What was it like for them to experience such a powerful call and presence that they left business, home and family to travel with Him as His disciples?  Jesus told Peter and other disciples “follow Me and I will make you fishers of menMatthew 4:19, Mark 1:17.   The fishers of men part of that call seems to grab our attention the most but the call is about following Him.  What does following Jesus mean?  Jesus says to all abide in Me. John 12:46; 14:16; 15:4; 15:6, 7, 10.  Abide means to continue in and to live in.  I believe that abiding is found by tuning in to the Holy Spirit who abides in us. We need to let Him be light in us, by choosing to continue in Jesus' lordship. Those who do not abide in the vine and have its life sap flowing into them will dry up, wither and will eventually be pruned off John 15:6. We don’t like to see that verse because it appears to carry a threat. But does it really? Not to those who are looking to Father God for relationship. To those, God has shown an incredibly graceful willingness to move toward them (as did the father of the prodigal son who ran to meet his son Luke 15:20) and to give them the best of everything - the very best of Himself.

Jesus spoke a lot about love, because without His great love dwelling in us we cannot follow Him or live in His Life. His love is poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit Romans 5:5.  We experience Jesus' Life in us and the power to live His life only as we open up the pathways between our spirit and soul.  Then His Love can pour through into our soul and out to others. In John 8:12 Jesus says “ I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness but have the LIGHT OF LIFE ". This is the message that Jesus came to the temple to preach. It is in fact one of the most important messages that He brought.

Many of us are afraid to look and see if we are truly following Jesus. Others say “well, how do I know anyway?”. The answer is simple. Jesus gave us the insights Himself in Matthew 5:1-16. What He talks about here is the qualities of His life. Poor - seeing our personal need of the Father Himself, mourning when not experiencing His presence, meekness of those who choose not to use their strength, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, mercifulness, pureness of heart, peacemaking between God and man, suffering persecution quietly, being a light to others. What He is saying here is "congratulations to you if you see these in you, for you are seeing the nature of your Father in you."

It is His nature in us that causes us to be the light of the world. He wants us to have the light of life and not walk in the darkness of our own reasoning, but in His voice. He tried to tell the Israelites in the wilderness what He is like, but in their fear they could only see rules, laws and commandments. The commandments given to them are actually a statement of God’s own nature. Exodus 6:9 But they were too afraid to see it and many Christians today make this life into a set of rules. They have missed the point. Our calling is to be connected to the vine John 15. When we are flowing with His Life, His Life naturally fulfills all His commands and precepts.

Let’s look at how we become the light of the world.

John 1:4, 5 The light of life is the light shed by the Life that is God’s Life inside us. This Life is resident in our Spirit, is continuous and ongoing because the most important part of living with Him is His Life in us. This Life is planted in our Spirit with the very first revelation of Jesus and salvation. So we do not need to walk in darkness because His Life is Light both in and through us. The statements of His nature in Matthew 5, 6 etc. are also guidelines to know how to head towards His life, seeking out ways of thought and behaviour that are in harmony with Him and which easily allow His Life to prevail and shine. But they are not and never should be laws of behaviour. We live by the grace and mercy of God, not by fear. We live in higher laws by the power of His Life - the commands or precepts of Jesus.

Revelation, light and life

Revelation of God given directly to us is the sap flow of the vine in John:15. Without this we are nothing and will wither and die on the vine. Jesus was the light of the world because He lived by revelation directly from the Father. He had no other way to live, as he didn’t have other Christians to share with and get light from. He calls us to be the light of the world also, and the only way that we can function in this is to do it by revelation just as Jesus did.

Revelation has two components - light and life. The light is relatively easy to experience and we usually have some memory of having heard something concerning Him that illuminated our souls. This is light in action. Have you ever tried to re-share a word you heard from someone else and it just doesn’t go across? They just can’t see it. This is because it is light to you but not to them. The missing ingredient that puts the power in the sharing of light is Life and this is His life that comes with the revelation.  The portion of Life in the revelation received is active whenever we share that revelation and makes it light for others.  Holy Spirit may decide to reveal as you share it and make it revelation for that person as well.  Then it is more than light for them.

What is the difference between light and life?

Matthew 25:1-13 The wise virgins had an extra flask of oil, which speaks of their own source of revelation which is not dependent on others for light. The first reaction of the others was “give us some oil”. Asking for oil from other Christians was what they had become used to doing, but the time of sharing oil was over for the bridegroom had returned. Those who did not have the extra oil that came by revelation alone found that they were not properly prepared, their lamps failed and were shut out.

They are all virgins, which means that all of them are walking in light. All of them have access to God personally if they choose to walk with Him. The difference between them is that some are not walking by revelation, but only in the light that others shine. Look at what the wise virgins say - go to those that sell. This is because that is the way the foolish virgins usually obtained their light, instead of asking God. But the wise virgins knew that the time of sharing their oil was finished, as the bridegroom has returned and it is time to go into the feast. They say we may not have enough.

They knew that what had been given to them was to get them into the wedding banquet and to light the banquet, so did not wish to run out part way through the proceedings. Jesus' reply to the foolish ones when they had returned was I don’t know you. Jesus is not refusing them entry because they are a bit late, He is speaking the truth. They did not live by revelation so had never been to Him in the relationship from which revelation flows. They did not truly know Him and He didn't know them.

 It is however good and proper to walk in the light while we have it because it is the only way to begin to walk in revelation. Whenever you hear some light, ask our Father for the revelation. Psalm 89:15(NIV), Isaiah 2:5, 1 John 1:7.

The most important thing to remember is to develop a personal one to one relationship with God from which revelation can flow. This means deliberately making and spending time allowing Holy Spirit to fill us up. The more we open up to our Father, the more we will know Him. The sap must flow from the vine into the branches, to produce the fruit of revelation. Luke 11:9-13  Our Father is eager for us to come to Him in the name of Jesus for daily bread, which is food from him directly Matt 6:11. It is light and LIFE. It is our Godly Habits that help us to keep the pathways between Soul and Spirit open and functioning more easily.  Jesus took time out to maintain His relationship and so should we.

The Holy Spirit will not hold back - it is we who hold back. Shake off the fear and pray. We sing about being a people of power but we must give Him the time every day to allow Him to empower us. Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself also in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.