Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.

Ephesians 6: 10

 

There comes a time in everyone’s life when it is necessary to recognize certain fundamental truths. One of those is the fact that there is a lot more power afoot in our world than I have the capacity to stand up against. I can be skillful in debate, possess substantial financial resources, and even have armed responders to support my causes; yet, I will not have enough power and might on my side to defeat every true enemy that I will encounter. Thus, I will come to that end of the road where what I bring to the fight is no more than enough to lead me into defeat and wherein I can either remain beaten or I can surrender myself to the One who is already victorious over all that is in this world.

 

As I surrender to Christ, His victory is mine. When I yield any part of my fight to His will, Christ enfolds some more of me into His form of conquest over all that is evil and lost. In one sense, this process of yielding of myself and of entering into the hard won conquest of sin that came about on the cross is the real point wherein I become strong enough to even enter the battle that is life. Christ calls upon us to be strong and courageous, for this world is a place where terror roams our streets and pain and suffering are promised to us as a part of our spiritual birthright. Living righteously requires far more of these God-given qualities than does dwelling in the flesh. So, we need strength and courage to go out into the storm with God’s truth, love, and justice as our guiding principles.

 

Yet, this is what Christ promises to give to us. He tells us and has demonstrated through His life that He stands up to all forms of opposition and prevails. Now Christ takes His people into that same victory. He grants to us the strength that will be demanded of us along the path that we will travel today. That capacity to engage with the forces of this world does not come from our own skills, intelligence, or other form of resource; it is all a gift that is given out of the love that God has for us and that is found only in Christ. As followers of Christ, we are the truly strong people in this world, but that power is demonstrated in ways that are often strange and contrarian to the environment where we reside. Christ answers the forces of this world with love, grace, justice, and peace, and He uses our yielded selves as His workers in doing it all.

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whosoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 8: 12

 

Jesus says a couple of very big things in these two sentences. He promises us light that is the purest possible, for it comes from light’s source. He also tells us that there is something about this form of living in which we are walking in Christ’s light that brings about life. Additionally, this is a form of life that is superior to the one that we are granted at birth. Light and life, life through the light, it is almost as if Jesus is setting out a riddle for us to solve. However, the solution has already been granted to us, and God’s word explains it clearly for everyone who wants to know eternal truth.

 

Light is the place of safety. It is also the medium by which organisms grow. Light destroys corruption and disease. Light cleanses and it purifies. Light warms our bodies. It provides us with food. It is an essential element in God’s creation of this world. The light that is God and that comes from who God is needed to be upon the earth before everything else could be created. It is the foundation of all that is upon the earth. It is in the light that we live, and it is into the elemental light of God’s presence that Christ calls us. He is the light that was present from creation, for Christ is the elemental light. He is the light that is ever-present, for through Christ the darkness of sin has been defeated.

 

So, Jesus is saying to us that each and every person who decides to truly follow Him will be walking in the light that brings about life. This means that our lives are brought under the restorative rays of Christ’s healing touch. The darkness of our natural souls is also exposed to the pure light of righteousness. This light doesn’t seek to destroy us; rather, it goes after and destroys the sin-weakened cells in our hearts and minds. The righteous light of God’s truth brings about healthy growth that makes us ever stronger. In Christ and by His Spirit, God’s Word becomes a plentiful source of this light. With Christ we can walk through the darkest passages in this world and our way will be illuminated. Through His presence in us, we become sources of the light that saves lives and that brings about safety and strength.