Another Advent post I owe to Pat Dague. She posted this devotional from Charles Spurgeon in August. The reflection and verses I have posted after the Spurgeon excerpt are my own. (KB)
For thou art my lamp, O Lord: and the Lord will lighten my darkness. 2 Samuel 22:29
Am I in the light? Then Thou, O Lord, art my lamp. Take Thee away and my joy would be gone; but as long as Thou art with me, I can do without the torches of time and the candles of created comfort. What a light the presence of God casts on all things! We heard of a lighthouse which could be seen for twenty miles, but our Jehovah is not only a God at hand, but far off is He seen, even in the enemy’s country. O Lord, I am as happy as an angel when Thy love fills my heart. Thou art all my desire.
Am I in the dark? Then thou, O Lord, wilt lighten my darkness. Before long things will change. Affairs may grow more and more dreary and cloud may be piled upon cloud; but if it grow so dark that I cannot see my own hand, still I shall see the hand of the Lord. When I cannot find a light within me, or among my friends, or in the whole world, the Lord, who said, “Let there be light,” and there was light, can say the same again. He will speak me into the sunshine yet. I shall not die but live. The day is already breaking. This sweet text shines like a morning star. I shall clap my hands for joy ere many hours are passed.
In my opinion, Spurgeon’s opening question is crucial. Am I in the light? I think there are two senses to Spurgeon’s question. It is important not merely to ask “Are my circumstances joyful and sunny? Can I see my way clearly?” But more importantly to ask: Am I walking in fellowship with Christ? If so, I can cling to His promises, even in the darkest times. The key is whether the darkness internal or external?
Here are a few NT passages on light and darkness to meditate on this Advent. (All texts from NIV)
19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
2 Cor 4:6-8
6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord.
11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,
4 But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5 You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.
1 Pet 2:9
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
I Jn 1:5-7
5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
Lord, help us to live as children of Light, to walk in fellowship with You in obedience to Your commands, to allow Your Spirit to work in our lives this Advent to expose any dark and hidden motives and sins in our hearts. May we not only look to You to be our light to guide us in times of darkness and confusion, but allow You to fill every part of our hearts and lives with Your light that all who know us will truly see the Light of the Glory of Christ shining forth from our faces and our lives.
(posted by Karen B.)