Standing In The Light

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.    Heb. 4:13

The prologue of John’s gospel teaches us that the light of Christ shines on every person born (Jn 1:9).  And we will experience either comfort or discomfort depending on how we feel about what that light reveals.  As we open our lives to God, Christ’s light inevitably exposes more and more of who we are.  It is therefore important for us to consider the quality of faith we will need in order to continue presenting ourselves to its increasing scrutiny.

Already, in the dim light by which we presently see ourselves, we find ourselves often  resisting the implications of what is exposed.  Like our original parents we are quite adept at the art of misdirection—using whatever is at hand to conceal, even to ourselves, the uncomfortable truths of our being.  How much more will this be the case as the glare of God’s light increases?  How long will it take before we feel it necessary to reach for whatever fig leaves we can find to cover ourselves with?  How soon will we too cry out for the rocks to fall on us and hide us from the face of “Him who sees all” (Rev. 6:16)?  Long before God has occasion to pronounce judgment on us it is we who will more likely disqualify ourselves out of fear of the discrepancies that His light so clearly and indisputably reveals in us.

Such will be the natural response of all but the most arrogant and self-justified among us.  There are many of our race who rashly choose to dismiss God in order to justify themselves (Job 40:8).  They refuse to accept the conviction of the Holy Spirit that calls them to repent.  But for those who cannot deny the truth of what is revealed, rather than inspire diffidence, the reality of our sins can easily tempt us to dismiss ourselves long before God has had opportunity to address us.  It is a natural response to the fear of having our shadows brought to light.  As Jesus tells Nicodemus, we resist coming into the light because we do not want our deeds exposed ( John 3:20).

Left to ourselves, when confronted with negative truth, we will either cling to the lie of self-justification, or else we will disqualify ourselves long before we come to recognize the merciful intent of God’s exposing Light.  By presuming to be our own judges we will eclipse God’s mercy with our own self-judgment.

But there is another recourse, and that is the one offered through the accepted sacrifice of Christ.  To the degree that we believe Jesus’ words—that His blood is shed for the continual forgiveness of our sins (Mat. 26:28)—we will be confident to welcome His light, regardless of what it exposes of our poverty.  Though increasingly aware of the disqualifying truth it reveals in us, we will nevertheless boldly approach God in full confidence, not of our own merit, but that of Christ’s finished work on the cross.

Scripture gives us great assurance for such confidence in the fact that all authority to judge has been given to Jesus, who has expressly stated that His intention is not to condemn the world but to present us to Himself as without blemish (Jn 3:17, Eph. 5:27, Col. 1:22).  Our confidence rests solely on the grace of God.  In faith, we accept the sufficiency our Lord’s sacrifice and, in celebration of this truth, we join the chorus of those who praise God for the far-reaching atonement of His mercy.