The scriptural theme of "light" does not refer to "lumens" but rather "illumination." When God said, "Let there be light," it first referred to His illumination in the world... the sun came later. Therefore, whenever we see images of light and darkness in His Word, what we're talking about is the presence of the LORD's illumination, or the lack of that presence which leaves spiritual darkness... a vacuum that is full of hopelessness and dread.
Why, then, does it seem there are so many believers walking about these days as if blindfolded? Why does it seem that so many who call themselves by the name of Christ have so little "illumination?" The truth is, both Light and darkness have a testimony. They both testify to themselves through the fruit of the human life. Where the Light rules and reigns, there will be no darkness, and where the darkness rules and reigns there will be no light. For persons, we have the ability to ascribe love to one or the other. You and I can love the Light, or we can love the darkness, but we cannot have it both ways.
One of the plagues God set upon Egypt in the days of Moses, was a plague of darkness.
Exodus 10:21-23 NIV (emphasis mine) Then the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that darkness will spread over Egypt--darkness that can be felt." (22) So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and total darkness covered all Egypt for three days. (23) No one could see anyone else or leave his place for three days. Yet all the Israelites had light in the places where they lived.
The "darkness that can be felt" is a tangible sense of the absence of the LORD. I doubt any atheists are reading this right now, but if you are, you should consider that you do not live in total darkness because there are so many carriers of the light who surround you in your daily work and living in this world. I know atheists who believe in the inherent good within men, but they are misguided. The "inherent good" they see is Christ in His followers ... the HOPE OF GLORY. Now imagine that light - illumination - just vanishing. There will be darkness ... utter and complete darkness that can be felt.
John 12:46 NIV I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.
Jesus clarifies for us that no one stumbles in broad daylight. All who come to Him and believe in Him as well as the One who sent Him, should not stay in darkness at all! This is our gift ... our promise ... our hope ... the removal of the darkness that can be felt, and in its place, a Light that shines brightly through God's illumination and goodness.
Ephesians 5:8 NIV For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light
Once in the Light, darkness should be forever in our past. The ways that Christians "stumble in broad daylight," however is that we do not live as children of the Light. It's as if we get up in the morning, turn on a light, then, squinting in the brightness, we blindfold ourselves so we don't have to adjust to the light! That image may sound like craziness, but it is no less crazy than children of the Light walking around this earth as if having no heavenly illumination at all! Remember, we can ascribe love to one or the other. Is it possible there are those who love darkness, though they profess their love for the Light? They are no different than the atheist who benefits from the light emitting from the true believers. Borrowed light while in darkness is not the Lord's way. We must walk from the Light within, not the light emitting from others, or we are not His.
Choose this day how you will walk... but as for me and my house, we will walk in the broad daylight of our LORD.
Brett Heintzman is passionate about the spiritual formation of God's people. These writings are designed to draw us close to God and to help us live out of the riches of His presence. It's all about being in the world but not of the world.