“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but 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”
So many times, we read from this passage and it means absolutely nothing to us as a result of our overfamiliarity with it.
Yes, it is true that we are the lights of the world.
It is also very true that our lights should not be hidden but rather should shine so brightly so that men would see our good works and glorify God.
However, the truth of the matter is that so many people know that they should be lights of the world, but they do not know how to be lights of the world.
The good news is that the Bible shows us how exactly to be lights of the world.
Genesis 1:14-18 says,
“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good”
In the passage, we notice that God creates everything for a purpose and a reason. From Genesis 1:14, we understand that God spoke these lights into being for these three reasons,
One, to divide the day from the night,
Two, to serve as signs, as well as season-, day-, and year-markers
Three, to give light upon the earth
The manifestation of those creative Words of God came this way,
One, to give light to the earth
Two, to rule over the day and night
Three, to divide the light from the darkness
Now, let’s examine the first function of light that God spoke and its subsequent manifestation:
God created the lights to shine upon the earth.
Why? Because in the dispensation in which we are living in right now, the earth is in gross darkness (Isaiah 60:2). You see, the funny thing about darkness is that it causes confusion. Now, take a look around you:
In the economic sector?
What about the health sector?
What of worldwide politics?
The thing is that the international policy makers and top government officials are all at their wit’s end.
Why? Because conventional human wisdom cannot cater for the challenges that the whole world is facing right now.
The problems of the world just cannot be solved by the people of the world
Why? Because their minds have been blinded by the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4)
So what happens as a result? The best they can provide are temporary fixes that cover up the deep systemic flaws.
On the other hand, as believers – as Christians –, God has shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God (2 Corinthians 4:6). Into where? Into the gross darkness that is in the world out there.
You see, the thing about the light of the glory of God is that it doesn’t struggle with the darkness of ignorance and confusion. The universal and irrevocable truth is that once light steps into a situation, darkness flees. Darkness simply cannot understand or comprehend the light (John 1:5). And as lights, God has mandated us and consequently expects us to put an end to the crises and confusion that is in the earth today.
The second function of light that God spoke and its attendant manifestation is to serve as a sign.
Now if you notice, the funny thing about this function is that there is a kind of discrepancy between God’s command and the manifestation of the command. However, inasmuch as we recognize that the entire world is held together by the integrity of God’s Word and His Word would not return to Him void (Isaiah 55:11), so we know that God’s released word actually came into fruition.
It’s interesting to note that despite the fact that God gave the command that the light should serve as signs, the manifestation was that light should rule over the day and night!
This is very, very profound!
The sign to the world that you are a light is to rule and have dominion. God created you to be a sign. He created you to be a wonder (Isaiah 8:18). You are not an ordinary individual. You are not created to be just a part of the general statistics. You were not created to blend and be a part of the background. No! God created you to rule in your sphere of influence. If you are in the gathering of believers, God created you to stand out in your own area of calling. See, the truth is that every believer is a light. And because you are a light, you have your area of calling. Let’s check out Genesis 1:16 again,
“And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also”
As a church on the whole, we were made to be the very reflection of the Sun of Righteousness – Jesus Christ, the Son of God (Malachi 4:2), in the same way that the moon does not produce any light on its own, but rather reflects the light produced by the sun. Furthermore, note that the stars were also part of the heavenly bodies that God spoke into being. We all seem to forget that point at times!
The truth is that we have been made to sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6) just the same way the stars are found in the firmament of the heavens. See, you were specifically made to stand out with your own outstanding brilliance unique to you. Beloved, the individual brilliance of each star in the firmament of the heavens does not hinder the brilliance of other stars.
God created you to be a sign and that sign is to rule over the day, in the midst of other believers also shining their own individual lights in their own areas of calling. Furthermore, He made you to rule over the night, in the areas where there are no believers.
And that is the scheme of things in the kingdom of God.
The third function of light that God spoke and its attendant manifestation is to divide the light of the day from the darkness of the night.
Now, the truth is that we have been translated from the kingdom and power of darkness into the domain and kingdom of light (Colossians 3:13). Furthermore, as believers, we are a chosen generation that has been called to tell others about the night-and-day difference that Christ and His kingdom made for us – transforming us from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted (1 Peter 2:9-10). We have been called to divide the light from the darkness. We have been called to divide the day from the night. By our lives, we have been called to show the world how Christ – the Living Word of God – has divided through our entire spirit, soul and body. We are to show the world how Christ – the Word of God – has totally permeated everything that concerns us. We have been called to be living, walking and breathing epistles of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:3), that other people can read through and be converted into God’s kingdom.
You are the light of the world. Stand up, arise and shine like you should!!!