Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Lamps & Finger Pointing

No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light.

A lamp is used to provide light so that others can see in the darkness. This illustration, used in Christianity, has real power. We get confused with judgements, assumptions, accusations, and finger pointing. We think that if we do all of these things, it will bring the truth out. If I just go ahead and say that so and so is something or other, then I am giving the truth! I could not be more wrong. 

What the lamp gives, has been distorted. That light that is given in the darkness is not provided so that we can look at someone else's dirt. It is provided so that we can see the WAY through the dark, not that guy's dirt. Sometimes we use the Light to focus on ugly stuff. This is not the use for the lamp.

Notice what it says at the end of the sentence... that those who COME IN may see the light. The only responsibility that we have with the lamp is that those who come into our lives see the light. We aren't commissioned to point the light in a certain direction or bring attention to their state of existence. All we are supposed to do is provide the light. Leave the rest to those who come in. So where do we get this lamp?

The  lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness. Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness.

It is pretty clear what is the lamp is here. It would seem clear that light is good and darkness is bad, but at the end there is a warning. That warning describes that there is a certain light that is darkness. What you see or perceive will show others what type of light you possess. When we reflect the Light, others will look to that Light and nothing else. If we spend our time bringing to "light" the ugliness of others instead of letting them focus on God, it keeps them in the dark. We really aren't filled with the Light.

If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light.

When we are in a dark room, stumbling around, we flounder around looking for the light switch. We won't do anything else till we have found it. Or say we are lost out in the woods and we see a bright light in the distance, we walk straight for it, without stopping. It is like a magnet, that light. When we reflect the Light of God, people will come. When our life is a reflection of what God's character is all about, those who desire to get out of the dark will come. You might not even have to do anything to get them there or even have to describe the light to them. They will see it and know. You won't have to point out that maybe they are looking a little dirty, because they will see it for themselves. On their own they will desire the Light and will see what they could not in the dark. On their own they will see their need for change. We just have to stand back and watch God work. 

Watching God work is where the power really takes flight. We get so caught up in doing His job that we miss out. That chance that we could have stood by and seen how God's power can change a life, gone. Instead of being used by God to make a difference, we get in His way. What I am suggesting here is that we just be that lamp and nothing else. Even if it means not moving at all. Honestly, it probably takes more effort to stand still out in the open than lurking around pointing out ugliness.

Shine on.

-Luke 11:33-36

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