“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)
When you get a moment, go find a light and turn it on. It doesn’t matter what kind of light: a desk lamp, a night-light, the lights inside your car, or a flashlight (as long as the area around it is dark enough to see the difference). Now while it is on, take a look at it (don’t stare at the bulb itself!) and notice how much light it produces. Next, put your ear as close as you can to the light and listen. Do you hear it talking to you? Does it say something to the effect of: “I am a light bulb. Look at me shine”?
Does it describe what kind of light it produces, or how you look under its glow? No. It never will. A lamp, or the light source itself, does not talk. Lamps shine their light into the darkness without a word.
No matter what the circumstances or situation, no matter what time of day or night, they dutifully let their light shine. When they are shining, there is no question as to what they are.
As believers in Christ we need to let our light shine in full brilliance. Our lamps should show forth His light without a word being spoken. So often we go out into this world with His light only partially shining, much like a flashlight or a low-wattage bulb. Other times we hide or disguise His light so that we can be with unbelievers unnoticed. Most of the time, we hide His light because we are embarrassed or ashamed of Him. The Bible warns us about such actions. When we are not full of Christ, then our light is less and less, or we don’t even see the need to let it shine.
When we accept Jesus Christ into our hearts as Lord and Savior, we have to let Him in for His light to shine out through us. It is like asking some friends to ignite your charcoal grill with one of their matches. When they strike the match and attempt to drop it into the grill, you suddenly close the lid and refuse to let the match in. You wonder why the grill doesn’t work, and then plead with them again and again to drop the match inside. Every time thereafter, you close the lid before the match reaches the grill. After much agonizing, you feel down and discouraged because there is nothing happening inside the grill, when actually, you are the problem! When you yield to Christ and let Him work inside of you though His Spirit, you will openly allow the Light to shine out.
When we don’t let Him fully work in our lives, our flesh, our natural ‘self’ that is resistant to God, rises up and blocks or restricts His light from shining out of us. If we are afraid to let His light shine, then we don’t have enough of Him in our lives.
If we don’t want His light shining at all, then obviously we don’t have Him at all in our lives. His Spirit is not going to stay if we don’t want Him in us!
God wants the light to shine, not talk or speak. Lamps don’t talk—they shine. They illuminate the darkness. Darkness needs light for one to see. When you talk in the dark, your voice illuminates nothing. Even if I talk in the dark until I’m hoarse, somebody will still stumble and fall, since there is no light to see by. When you have to tell someone that you are a Christian, the lamp is talking and the light is not really shining. When you eagerly watch a crude DVD or movie with your old, non-Christian friends, your lamp is talking and the light is not shining. When you listen to your old worldly music, or go to a rock concert, or watch a vulgar comedian with your old ‘friends’, your lamp is talking and not shining. If Christ and His work on the Cross is not the target of your faith (we all have faith; we need a target or object for that faith), and you are trying to be right before God on your own, then your lamp is talking and the light is hardly shining. Don’t let your light or lamp talk, let go and let Christ work in you so that you will shine in this dark world!