|'Are you a spiritual light or a reflection?'
"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.
Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before
men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."(1)[Italics added] Light drives out darkness while
darkness invades where there is no light. If Christians are to be spiritual light to the darkened world, they need to place
themselves where their light can be seen. So often believers shine in the surroundings of their church, within their
fellowship groups and around selected unbelievers through their witness. "The god of this age has blinded the minds of
unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." In many
respects it is amazing how particular, discriminating and guarded we (the church) have become in our individual and
corporate 'selection' of those we choose to let our light shine before and with whom we choose to share our testimony.
"Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness."(3) The light that shines through us and
the testimony we share are 'gifts' from God; they are not ours to withhold or selectively offer to others based on
situational convenience, personal preference and/or denominational exclusivity.
Scripture makes a clear distinction between the spiritual "light in the Lord"(4) and "the light of this world"(5). Forces
of darkness continually strategize to 'counterfeit' and 'imitate' the works of Christ and His powers: "The coming of the
lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and
wonders."(6) As the end of this age comes to a close, the spiritual discernment, wisdom and judgment of the church must
be mature and without error or fault if it is to rightly separate the increasing 'light of this world' from the eternal flame of
God's glory. Already 'counterfeit shinings' can be detected from the four corners of the secular arena, with false religious
doctrines leading prominent public personalities and others further into captivity. There is also escalating assault against
the Christian gospel and its redemptive message of salvation by grace through faith(7). Works-type religious sects are on
the rise, behaviors cited in Romans (Chap. 1.) are now openly manifested, prosperity doctrines and dominion theology are
Scripture instructs us to "wrap ourselves in light as with a garment"(Ps. 104:2), "put on the armour of light"(Rom. 13:12) and
"wake up, O sleeper ... and Christ will shine on you"(Eph. 5:14). The enemy masquerades as an angel of light and will
deceive many because of their lack of discernment and ability to only reflect light from others, since they have no real
spiritual light in them. Jesus said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will
have the light of life"(Jhn. 8:12). "...Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; ..."(Jhn. 12:35). "For there is
nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open"(Lk.
8:17). Do not be the light under the basket, rather be the light on the side of the hill that shines (in Christ) for all to see and
openly share your great gift of salvation. Polish and fill with new oil the lamp of those who have lost their brightness and
shining, and encourage others out of their darkness. Once you and I were in darkness and someone shone the glory of
Christ into our life through the light of their salvation. He is "the light of the world" and has no shadow(8). If there are
dark places in your life, then the only scriptural conclusion is ... there is just not enough 'light' present to drive out that
darkness. Oft-times there are obstacles in-between oneself and the source of our light (Christ) which eclipses His
brightness ... thus the shadow appears; not from Him but from the barriers we allow to be placed between ourselves and
His glorious presence. If we thus allow them, they can also be remove! No one was ever 'saved' or 'delivered' by a
reflection of the light of the Gospel!
Jon D. Hannum, Ph.D.
Amen Ministries of Austin
 (Matt. 5:14-16)  (2 Cor. 4:4)  (1 Jhn. 2:9)  (Eph. 5:8)  (Jhn. 11:9-Kjv)  (2 Thes. 2:9)  (Eph. 2:8)  (Jas. 1:17)