Given as a devotional at Medicalodge, Neosho, MO, on May 13, 2001
"The sun shall be no more your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you by night; but the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory" (Isaiah 60:19, RSV).
When God opens our spiritual eyes and ears, we often experience blinding flashes of insight into things we took for granted before. We've all seen a cartoon showing a character with a little light bulb over his head. The reader "gets it" that an idea just popped into his mind. He is having a "light bulb moment." All my life I've heard the expression, "It finally dawned on me." What dawned? The light of truth, the meaning, the reality which clarifies something we were wondering about. In scripture, light and truth are synonymous, two words used to mean the same thing. Both words refer to Christ (Jn. 8:12; 9:5; 1:17; 14:6). The Psalmist declared that light and truth bring us into the very dwelling place of God: "Oh send out thy light and thy truth; let them lead me, let them bring me to thy holy hill and to thy dwelling!" (Psalms 43:3, RSV). I have read you the Apostle John's description of Jesus several times, but here it is again because it bears repeating. John said about Jesus, "The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world" (John 1:9, RSV). Most religions that I know about, try to limit His light to those few who follow their rules, and obey their brand of doctrine. That's not what the Beloved Apostle wrote. He said that Jesus is the "light that enlightens every man coming into the world." What an awesome statement that is, which you might read over and not even notice, unless the Holy Spirit quickens it to you. One day, it leaped off the page at me and the light bulb came on in my spirit. The other Gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, tend to give us cognitive information about the Christ, but John, empowered by the Holy Spirit and the personal relationship He had with Jesus, reveals to us the mystical insights that illuminate the facts.
All my life I have studied about the historical Jesus, the man who walked the dusty roads of Galilee, Judea, Samaria, and the Decapolis. His miracles thrill me; His commandments intrigue me; His personality attracts me to Him, and always, I have longed to know more about Him. For weeks now, I have had an incredible hunger to know Jesus, and I intuit that by doing so, I will also know the Father, for this is what the incarnation is all about. I want to know the "spiritual Jesus," to understand how He impacted the culture He lived in, and subsequently the entire world. He said, "Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you" (Matt. 7:7, RSV). Accordingly, I have been asking, seeking, knocking, and yea verily, pounding on the doors of heaven for answers to my question. One day I was meditating about this and I had a light bulb moment of my own.
Have you ever seen pictures on TV of invitro fertilization? In this procedure used to help a barren woman conceive, doctors take a human embryo and place it in a petri dish. Then, they take a sperm, and insert it into the egg, using a long, slender probe of some kind. The membrane of the egg offers a little resistance as the probe moves within it, but gradually, you can see the walls of the egg give way to allow entrance to the probe and the sperm it carries. They show this action through a microscope or else we wouldn't be able to see it at all. It is fascinating to watch.
In a moment of clarity and focus, I saw Jesus as the "sperm," and the people in His culture as the "egg." Like the probe that is inserted into the egg, Jesus penetrated the hearts of men and women; their walls of defensiveness, guilt and shame fell away, and He passed through their midst, healing, loving, restoring, and leaving a "fertilized egg" behind. His love penetrated their walls of resistance and barrenness. At the moment His Spirit impacted theirs, "God said, 'Let there be light, and there was light, and God saw that the light was good and God separated the light from the darkness" (Gen. 1:3-4). Before Christ came, men's spirits were dead in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1). Like planet earth was before God began to rehab it, their "earth," their physical body and their soul, "was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters" (Gen. 1:2, RSV). At the exact moment that God's "sperm" penetrated man's "egg," light flashed in the womb of God, and the man or woman was born again, born from above, born of water and the spirit of the living God. He or she was literally raised from the dead, and made alive in Spirit. Listen to the Apostle John's description of this glorious event: "But to all who received him, who believed in his name, HE gave power to become children of God; who were born, NOT of blood, NOR of the will of the flesh NOR of the will of man, but OF GOD. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father" (John 1:12-14, RSV).
I have pointed this out before, but I will say again today, that the born again experience is NOT about our "decision for Christ," or our having "made a choice," through our so called free will. The Apostle couldn't be plainer when he says that we were "born not of blood nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." Glory! That makes me want to shout and dance around here, except I want you to think deeply about this, not laugh at me. Paul echoed this thought that it is God's will rather than man's will calling the shots. In Rom. 10:20, he says, "Then Isaiah is so bold as to say, 'I have been found by those who did not seek me; I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me'" (Rom. 10:20, RSV). Isaiah also said, "Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear" (65:24, RSV). I have asked the Lord to show you at a cellular level what this means for you and me on a daily basis. God KNOWS your troubles; He understands your problems, and He knows in advance how you will react to them, and what He intends to do about it. It is fine to ask others to pray for your needs, but He is your Father and He wants you to come to Him first. Sometimes, Christian people hit up all their friends first and only when they don't get help there, do they go to God. He wants to be the first call we make, not the last resort when all else fails. He found you before you ever knew Him and before you ever sought Him. He will answer you even before you call on Him, Isaiah said, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
In the beginning, God said, "Let there be light," and I want you to see that He has never stopped saying it and He never will stop saying it. He spoke "and the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear" (Heb. 11:3). He speaks light and life and power into our spirits and we are "born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever" (I Pet. 1:23, KJV). Our Father is the God "who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist" (Rom. 4:17). Out of Himself, through Christ, He created all things (Eph. 3:9). The Hebrew writer tells us, "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds" (Heb. 1:1,2, KJV). When He became flesh and dwelt among us, Christ walked through that dark and dismal landscape, inhabited by the children of Israel, and through Him, Isaiah's great prophecy came to pass: "The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined" (Isa. 9:2, KJV). Our "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all" (I Jn. 1:5).
The Apostle James calls God, the "Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning" (James 1:16). My husband Lenny received a truth about that from the Lord in one of his meditations. The reason there is no shadow in God is because He is light. It radiates out from him. Shadows are caused when light shines from a light source onto an object, casting a shadow behind it. The reason there is no shadow with God is because He is the light source! What I've been feasting on this week in the Spirit is that just as God caused light to shine out of the nothingness that was in existence in the beginning, "calling into existence the things that do not exist" so He does the same thing in miniature in our spirits when we are born again. Scientists call the moment when light and power burst upon the cosmos, "the big bang." That is only an unproven scientific theory, of course, but my spirit bears witness that it happened at the moment God said, "Let there be light." I am seeing in Spirit that this exact thing happens to us. We have a "big bang" in our spirit, which "gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist" (Rom. 4:17, RSV). Theologically speaking, God imputes to us His righteousness, which does not exist in us, and this is the reason that He can say of us "that we should be holy and blameless before him" (Eph. 1:4, RSV). How this makes our hearts rejoice, and our spirits soar. Along with all the saints redeemed by the blood of the lamb, we praise Him, "Worthy art thou, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for thou didst create all things, and by thy will they existed and were created" (Rev. 4:11, RSV).
The reason Jesus came and dwelt among men is to reflect the Father's light and love and image. Without that we would not know Him, for "No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known" (John 1:18, RSV). Thanks to Preston Eby, a dear brother whose writings have sparked me for many years now, I can give you this illustration. No one can see light, any more than anyone can see God, who "dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has ever seen or can see" (I Tim. 6:16). When light courses through the filaments of a light bulb, we can see light, or the effect of light. In the same manner, Jesus is the "light bulb," which allows us to see God, who is the "electrical current" which powers it. When Thomas asked to see the Father, Jesus told him, "he that hath seen me hath seen the Father" (Jn. 14:9). This is why Jesus came and what His mission still is, to reveal the Father's love to us. When men and women do not see Him, it can be said of them, "In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the likeness of God" (II Cor. 4:4, RSV). Jesus was successful in His mission. His work is done, with this glorious result: "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (II Cor. 4:6, KJV). You have heard me pray that the light of the world would so shine through us that all men will know Him who sent us. Here's the mystery of our calling to be light bearers. Light doesn't DO anything. It simply is, and yet, when you bring even one candle into a dark place, there will be light. God is shining through you today, right where you are. May the Father of lights, with whom is no shadow of turning, shine in our hearts, and through us to the world that all may praise His name, and Isaiah's glorious prophecy will be fulfilled: "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising." (Isaiah 60:1-3, KJV). Lord, haste the day. Amen.
Jan and Lenny Antonsson
17178 Highway 59, Neosho, MO 64850 (Snail Mail)
Mother's Day poem, "Birthed in light"
The Glory Road,
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