My first guideline (see The Blank Page), as all the others, is not foreign Scriptures to me. I memorized it when I was a child. That, however, doesn’t mean that I am intentionally living my life in the light of the words penned many, many years ago.
So, as I look ahead to a new year, God gently reminds me that any attempts to write my own story, apart from the guiding light of His Word, may not always lead to a story of discord and tragedy, but certainly, to misspelled words and fragmented sentences!
That is not God’s intention for me … or for you.
Have you ever awoken in the middle of the night and tried, in the dark, to find your way to the kitchen or bathroom?
Yes, this is your home and you know every corner and where every piece of furniture is placed. Yet, when you refuse to turn on a light and try to make your way through familiar territory, it’s Murphy’s Law that your little toe will find something to stub against! You will swear your husband or kids moved that table or deliberately left that piece of Lego in your path.
Do you know what I mean?
Travelling in the dark is dangerous and hurtful.
God’s Word is a lamp for my feet.
In days gone by, when streetlights were not a common commodity, people who ventured out into the dark of night would carry a lantern with them to help them find their way.
Lamplight exposes what is dangerous, or hiding in the dark (Proverbs 20:27).
The lantern’s light kept them from falling into holes, ditches and open sewers, or walking into piles of garbage or animal feces. The lamp’s light revealed their path only a few steps at a time, but those few safe steps led the journeyer to his destination through the dark, and oft times, dangerous night.
God’s Word (our lamp) reveals things to us that we may not know are there:
None of these are wonderful to look at or make us feel good about ourselves, but if we do not let the Light reveal what is hidden in the shadows, we will eventually stub our toe. The sad thing is, this is a process that sometimes hurts others as well.
So, we have to seriously ask ourselves, do I really want to change? Do I really want to be the person God designed me to be? If so, I must let my Lamp reveal the dirt hiding in the shadows so that I can see clearly and deal with it. What is exposed to the Light no longer has a hold on me!
A lamp also points out a path. It provides enough light for only the next step. I will not see the next tread until I choose to move and let the Light illuminate where my next step should be.
“God gives me just the amount of light I need at just the time I need it!” Stormie Omartian
Because a lamp reveals only my very next step, I need to make sure that each and every day, I am lighting my lamp and looking for the path God wants me to take…. TODAY!
God’s Word is a light unto my path.
A light reveals more than a lamp. Its light is brighter. This light is more like the headlights on a car; it illuminates further along the path.
Even though I may not know what step I am to take next, or where my life’s journey will take me six months from now, God’s Word offers guiding lights, or principles, that will help me no matter what my path encounters. Our verse today is a guiding light; a principle for me to fasten my decisions and choices to for the next 12 months, or 20 years!
Just as a light illuminated the way into the Holy of Holies, today, a light also keeps the daily path to God well lit. It is the light of God’s Word. It is the Lamp that reveals where to safely put our feet.
Do you stumble through your day?
Are you constantly banging your proverbial toe up against your spouse’s mood or your kid’s bad attitudes?
Do you find each and every day is more challenging than the last?
Do you find you have lost your way?
Then, maybe it is time for you to decide to turn your Lamp and Light on each and every day.
Sadly, so many of us see the Bible as something we open only on Sunday, or read on the powerpoint in church. For others it’s the feel-good Scripture verse we get in our inbox every day or through an app on our smart phones or playbooks and iPads – the one we barely read but makes us feel super-spiritual because we get it EVERY DAY.
Some of us see the Bible as a religious encyclopedia filled with boring facts and who begat who.
Others see it as just a storybook with good moral messages.
Who doesn’t admit that a fiery furnace and a talking donkey make for an interesting read?
But God’s Word, the Bible, is so much more than that.
His Word is a light for life. It gives new understanding, new insight, renewed hope and reveals what pitfalls to avoid. His Word is a lamp lighting all our “paths” (decisions, plans, courses) in life, and also lighting our feet (our actions in carrying out those plans and decisions) on the trail.
It is only through the practical, everyday use of God’s Light and Lamp, during the day or night, in the desert or palace, and through storm or sun, will a child of God experience a red-letter day.
Oh, I desire more red-letter days in 2013!