Faith and Light

by David A. DePra

Who [is] among you that fears the LORD, that obeys the voice of his servant, that walks [in] darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God.  Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass [yourselves] about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks [that] ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.   (Isaiah 50:10-11)

In this passage we find direct teaching from God as to what we are to do when we have NO LIGHT:  Trust in the name of the Lord and stay upon God.  It also warns against creating your own light.  If nothing else, this tells us that there are going to be times when that is the case:  We will have no light on a matter; in a situation; in a trial.  But to have no light is not necessarily an indication that something is wrong.  No.  You can presently be fully within the will of God and yet have no light.

There are some who do not believe it is possible to have no light.  They would say that all you need to do is read God’s Word, and that it is sufficient for all issues.  Well, that IS true – as to the letter of the Word.  But LIGHT is not simply a matter of seeing the meaning of a Bible verse.  Rather, LIGHT is a matter of SEEING GOD.  SEEING GOD – being brought into a personal revelation of Jesus Christ – is really the only kind of light or illumination that is of lasting value.  It is the Truth that sets us free.  Indeed, it is the only way in which the letter of the Word can – to us personally – become alive, real, and interpreted according to Christ.

But the moment you begin to talk about receiving light or revelation from God – in a personal way – it opens up the possibility of misunderstanding.  These misunderstandings are usually based upon our own limited frame of reference, or upon our over reaction to the nonsense of others.  There are those who think that any suggestion that we could receive personal revelation from God affords license to depart from scripture.  But it is not – in fact the possibility of personal revelation from God is what scripture demands.  Read the NT.  A continual exhortation is to KNOW JESUS – in a personal, inward revelation.  Then we will know what the Bible really means by what it says.

After two thousand years of countless commentary on the Bible, millions of written works, millions of weekly sermons, millions of church meetings, there continues to be disagreement among sincere believers over some of the most basic Christian Truth.  Why?  Because that is the best that is possible when people rely on their brains, their own righteousness, and reasoning.  The results will differ as much as the humanity that is behind it.  Only if everyone sees the SAME Jesus in a personal revelation and has fellowship in that SAME Jesus will these differences disappear and there be a real unity in the SAME Jesus.

One Truth

There is only ONE Truth.  The Bible is the written Truth.  Jesus Christ is the Living Truth.  Thus, any personal revelation of Christ will always agree with the Bible.  There are no exceptions.

The NT is filled with examples, teaching, and exhortations to come into an inward, personal realization of Jesus Christ.  How does this happen?  By using our brain power to figure out what the Bible means?  No.  It happens by receiving Christ Himself and then coming to know Him.  This is what the Bible teaches, and it is the only way to actually come to know what the Bible means.

There are those who deny this because they have not personally experienced Christ.  Or they have seen the license of many others who say they have received revelation or guidance from God – but what they claim contradicts the Bible.  They are being led by their own natural man; by their own religiosity.  But the fact that many are deceived by a counterfeit does not negate the real.  Christianity has always been polluted by error.  Yet we must not react to error – rather, we must continue to seek the Person of Jesus Christ.

The Real Issue

As noted, there are going to be seasons in the walk and growth of each believer wherein we do not seem to have light.  This is not to say that God wants you to stay in this condition.  But it is normal in the believer’s walk with Christ to have such seasons.  Why? 

First of all, there is ALWAYS light present – because Jesus Christ is IN the believer.  Thus, it is not a matter of God withholding light.  It may not even be a matter of the believer resisting light – although that is possible.  But the real issue when we do not seem to see Jesus is with our EYES.  He is there.  Truth is there.  Light is there.  But we do not have eyes to see or ears to hear.  We do not grasp what we are seeing and hearing.

This MAY be a regular part of growth.  A young child sees and hears many things.  But in the beginning it has little impact.  They do not grasp the meaning.  Such is the case in various stages of our walk with Christ. 

This was the case with the disciples of Jesus.  Jesus spoke many things to them.  But they never heard Him.  They were with Him every day and saw what He did; how He lived.  But they were blind to it.  You MUST have ears to hear and eyes to see.  Otherwise, you won’t hear or see – and therefore to YOU it will seem as if you have NO LIGHT. 

But if we just stop here for a moment, there is another question.  When we seem to have no light and not direction – cannot find God – are we REALLY without light?  Are we completely without direction?  The answer is NO.  And that is what we find in our passage.  In our passage, we are told that if we are walking in darkness and seem to have no light that we are to TRUST and REST.  So, even though to our perspective it might seem dark, we do have this LIGHT:  TRUST and REST in Christ.  In other words, we might be totally in the dark, but we can always trust the One Who is never in the dark, indeed, we can trust the One Who IS LIGHT.

Do you want light?  Right here is how God brings us to know Jesus:  He brings us into a place of darkness – where we cannot see.  Then He tells us to trust and rest in Christ regardless.  The result is that we will eventually SEE.  We may not see answers or solutions at first – but we will see and know Christ.  In time, the rest will come.  In short, we begin to see once we begin to trust.  We begin to have light if we enter into His light by faith.

A Warning

Of course, a time of NOT being able to see – especially if it is a time of trial – is something that is very difficult for our natural religious minds.  It might seem as if God is indifferent to us.  But He is not.  He has actually put us in an environment which, if we will believe, will open our eyes to see Jesus – despite the darkness.  That is a great gift.

But there are professing Christians who will not trust Christ despite the darkness.  Instead, they make their own light and proclaim that it is of God.  This may take the form of supposed, “leadings,” and, “divine guidance,” or it may take some other form like signs or wonders.  Millions today have, “kindled a fire, that compasses them about with sparks, and they are walking in the light of their own fire, and in the sparks that they have kindled.”  In some cases, they are trying to create light that will give them what they want from God.  In other cases, it is just ignorance – perhaps they have been taught to kindle their own fire.  But to create my own light is deception.  God cannot affirm this.

You will note that God tell us to believe and rest in Christ even while IN the darkness – and if we do – we will eventually SEE.  But if we will not trust Christ while in the darkness, but create our own light, we are actually till in the dark.  And we will never get out until we come back, put out our fire, and trust Christ.

Faith believes without seeing.  It eventually results in seeing – but not immediately seeing direction or answers.  It results in seeing Jesus Christ, which, in turn, will bring understanding on all matters.  Unbelief wants to see before believing.  And since God will not cooperate, people will tend to create their own light and direction – and say that it is God.  Again – this is deception.  The cause is unbelief.

A Single Eye

The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.  But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great [is] that darkness!  (Matt. 6:22-23)

The EYE is the heart; the will.  The NT Greek word for, “single,” means, “free of folds.”  Read this passage and what you find is that if our heart – if our faith – is completely open, unfolded, and exposed to the LIGHT – our entire being will eventually be filled with light and Truth.  So again – believe right where you are.  You have at least enough light to know to do THAT.  Tell God to do whatever it takes to reveal Christ in you.  That choice of faith, of itself, puts you in the light and in the will of God – before anything else happens.  But because you are now in the light your entire life will be impacted and filled with light.  It will take some time and experience.  But it is a fact.

But we have a divided heart – maybe we say we want the will of God – but we want it on our terms and under our conditions – usually to some personal gain – then this is NOT faith.  We are actually living in an inward darkness.  We are trying to make a corrupt faith work to our own ends.  If we persist, we are going to be so deceived that we will actually think that the darkness in which we walk is light.  Again, light is light and darkness is darkness, completely independent of us.  But unbelief will corrupt our eyes and our minds – and we won’t know the difference.

Everything begins with FAITH.  If you are IN CHRIST you can believe – and you ought to know you can believe.  You can believe despite everything that is wrong with yourself – you can believe even if you understand nothing else.  You can believe for one reason:  HE IS FAITHFUL. 

Get that:  Faith is in One who is OTHER THAN YOURSELF – despite yourself; aside from yourself.  That is the place to start:  Trust and rest in Christ.  Trust Him to do whatever is necessary to bring you through.  And continue to stand upon Him despite all of the challenges and contradictions to your faith that may follow.  He is faithful that has promised.