How Does God’s Light Help Us Grow?

Originally posted on the Bibles for America Blog.

Once we believe in the Lord Jesus and receive Him as our Savior and our life, we need to grow in this divine life day by day. But we can’t grow just by deciding to, or by exerting our own effort. Just as a child needs to eat healthy food every day, we children of God need to receive spiritual nourishment daily so we can grow in our Christian life. In addition, another crucial element for our Christian growth is God’s light. Just as living things need light from the sun to thrive and grow, we believers need the light of God. 

Today we’ll use a few excerpts from the book The Knowledge of Life by Witness Lee to discuss our need for God’s light. You can download this tremendously helpful book for free here

Light and life

Let’s start by looking at the relationship between light and life. Lee points out this vital link on pages 204 and 205:

“Where light is, there is life.This is a great principle in the Bible. Psalm 36:9 says, ‘With thee is the fountain of life; in thy light shall we see light.’ This also clearly speaks of the relationship between life and light. Life always follows light, and only light can bring forth life.”

Our first experience of God’s light was when we were saved. We heard the gospel of Jesus Christ and light penetrated our darkness, convicting us inwardly. We saw our sinfulness, and we saw the Savior. The shining of light caused us to repent and turn to God. We believed in the resurrected Jesus and all He did for us, and we received Him as our Savior. We were born in our spirit with the life of God. Thank God, His light brought life into us!

After our initial salvation, we need to grow in God’s life. Now, let’s look at how we can experience God’s light and how it helps us grow. 

We can experience light in God’s word

Psalm 119:105 tells us, 

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

Notice that this verse doesn’t say God’s word is knowledge to us, but light. The way we read the Word determines whether we’ll actually receive light from it, or simply gain knowledge.

Lee explains this in The Knowledge of Life by using John 6:63, which says, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” Lee says on page 207:

“Since both life and spirit are within us, it is clear that the words which the Lord speaks of here must also refer to the words which are spoken within us, not the letters of the Bible without. All the words outside of us are mere knowledge, not light. Only the words which enter into our spirit are the living, shining words of God. If when we read the Bible we constantly exercise our spirit in fellowship to read and open our spirit to receive, the words of the Bible are spirit and life to us. They can enter into our spirit and become living words, bringing the light of life.”

A good way to exercise our spirit and obtain light from the Bible is by combining prayer with our reading of God’s Word. When we exercise our spirit in this way to take in the words of the Bible, God as the light of life is able to shine on us. 

We can experience light by our inner sense

We believers can also experience God’s light because we have God’s life is in us. Lee speaks of this on page 208:

“John 1:4 tells us that the life of God is in the Lord Jesus, and this life is the light of men. When we receive the Lord Jesus as Savior, this life enters into us and becomes our ‘light of life’ (John 8:12). Therefore, strictly speaking, this light is not an objective light which enlightens us from without, but a subjective light which enlightens us from within.” 

Because Jesus Christ now lives in us, He’s the light of life in us, and He lets us know how He feels about everything in our life. He does this by giving us an inner sense, a consciousness or feeling, of what He approves or disapproves of, what makes Him happy and what makes Him unhappy. That inner sense is the light of life shining in us. 

What should we do when God shines?

If God shines and speaks to us in the Word and we disobey that light, it disappears. But we should remember that if we want to grow in life, we need God’s light. So when we experience God’s shining in us, we should respect and obey that light.

For example, let’s say in your Bible reading you come to Ephesians 5:15 and 16: 

“Look therefore carefully how you walk, not as unwise, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”

As you exercise your spirit by praying over these words, opening yourself to receive them, the Lord speaks to you. He shines on the amount of time you spend online, not for work or study but for amusement. In His light, you become aware of the negative effect all that screen time has had on you. You see it has eaten up the time you should have spent doing other things. The light convicts you about the time you’ve wasted. 

You could ignore this shining. But let’s say that instead, you respond to the Lord by praying,

“Lord, You’re right. Help me redeem my time. I don’t want to waste it on so many other things. Help me to limit my time online so I can do the things I’m supposed to do. Lord, I need You. Strengthen me and supply me to obey You in this.”

As you respond positively and go along with the Lord’s shining on this matter, you receive more life.

We also need to obey the light of our inner sense from the Lord. If we don’t, this sense will become dull, and we’ll be in darkness. But if we obey the inner sense, we’ll be full of life, happy, and peaceful, and God’s life will have a way to grow in us.

To illustrate, let’s say a friend sends you a text message that rubs you the wrong way. Your first reaction is to immediately respond out of irritation. As you type an angry reply, you begin to feel uneasy, and you don’t have any peace. Instead, you have a feeling that’s saying, “Stop.” That feeling is the light of life, shining in your inner sense. It’s easy to ignore, especially when you’re upset.

But suppose you yield to His shining and say, “Okay, Lord, I’ll stop and wait. What do You want to write? How are You responding?” You delete what you wrote and spend time to open to the Lord. As you obey the light of your inner sense in this matter, more life is imparted into you. You then write a reply to your friend, not in yourself but in Christ, taking Him as your life in this situation. 

Just imagine how much our text messages would change if we obeyed this sense of life! More importantly, imagine how much the life of God will grow in us if we obey the light whenever He shines on us.

To read more about knowing and experiencing the divine life, we encourage you to download The Knowledge of Life here and read not only chapter 14 on “Life and Light”, but every chapter of this enlightening book.

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