Anyone who has ever watched or helped me decorate knows that one of my favorite things in the whole world is to position bright mini- lights that will shine in the darkness.
Little white lights gleaming down a light-dimmed hallway or stage.
Little multi-colored lights glowing from the snow or tucked inside the boughs of a Christmas tree. Miniature lights peeking through swags or runners of fabric, mesh, netting, woven into flower arrangements and loose sprays.
Even red-white-and-blue lights tucked into tubs of flowers and draped, as is the case on Memorial Day or Fourth of July.
Lights in the darkness. Transforming the atmosphere in which they gleam.
I love the mental image and the Scripture that so often comes to my mind: the apostle Paul teaching that we are “children of God, above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights (luminaries, stars)* holding fast the word of life…” (Phil. 2:15-16, *NASB footnote)
Lights. Luminaries. Stars, all adding a dimension of hope and vibrancy to the dull black all around them. Demonstrating that darkness is not the kingdom that dominates wherever they are placed.
I think that both His Spirit and I share this delight — the pleasure and admiration resulting from the beauty and power created by dispelling the darkness. When our Father observes His worldly creation from a heavenly throne and sees us, He sees the Light blazing within us, the Light He saw blazing within His Son: “The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” (John 1:5) The Message translates that verse, “The Life-light blazed out of the darkness; and the darkness couldn’t put it out.”
I think my favorite translation of John 1:5 comes from the Amplified Bible: “The Light shines on in the darkness, and the darkness did not understand it or overpower it or appropriate it or absorb it.”
Not understood. Not overpowered. Not appropriated. Not absorbed.
That is a truly marvelous life-testimony.
How quickly we envision ourselves as the merest of flickers, small candles of pliable wax and frail constitution which easily melt under heat and snap under pressure. We take on the mindset of those men accompanying Moses who, when seeing the Nephilim, stated, “We became like grasshoppers in our own sight” and believed that among those they encountered, “and so we were in their sight.” (Numbers 13:33)
That wasn’t an accurate assessment. And it was not the truth.
John 1:5 represents Truth, reality beyond the visible, and should lead us into thinking as Jesus did, the power and significance of “I in them and You in Me.” (John17:23) Yes, His Light and Presence in us. That Light that transforms us into new creations that are un-understandable, un-overpowerable, un-appropriate-able, un-absorbable, shining on in the darkness.
I see that as a mandate of sorts, a destiny-fueled expression for our lives: shining on in the darkness.
If necessary, becoming one of those “of whom the world was not worthy,” (Heb. 11:38) by virtue of our unwavering faith, steadfastness, persistence and endurance when facing this world’s and the enemy’s worst assaults and intrusions into our lives. Revelation 12:11 states, “And they overcame him because of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.” (NASB)
They did not back down.
They were not appropriated.
They were not absorbed.
The darkness did not understand them, did not understand its lack of dominion over them.
Shine on in the darkness.