In my line of work, a strong flashlight is a handy tool to have available to light up a scene. Nowadays, most of us use our phones when we’re in a pinch for some extra light but it’s just not quite the same as a faithful sturdy flashlight. Think about all the times you’ve wished you had a strong flashlight at your disposal. And where would you most likely use such a thing?
Do you really think it would be of much use in a clearly lit place?
In the passage we are studying as a church this week, Paul is charging the Christians at Corinth to be faithful in their call to Christ. Like many today, some at Corinth were misinterpreting their call as something other than the life they were already a part of. Paul is reminding them to be faithful to Christ in their current relationships and livelihoods. While they have been called out of walking in darkness, they are not called out of the dark places - because they will be the light of Christ among the people and places where they’ve been planted by God.
There is still a misconception for some in the church today that when they experience saving faith in Christ Jesus they will leave their former lives for shinier opportunities and shinier relationships. And while it is certainly true that followers of Christ will experience greater things as we walk with Jesus by His Word and Spirit, this does not usually mean that we are called to leave our current roles and relationships that God has placed us in. As Christians, we are called out of walking in darkness in the futility of selfish thinking and acting out on sinful impulses. Simultaneously, we are called to be led by Jesus into His marvelous light that guides us in all truth and the grace to transform our desire to be for His desires.
In a very real sense, the church is to be like a faithful sturdy flashlight at the ready to a world in spiritual darkness. We do this by knowing Jesus and making Him known in the places we’ve been planted. And we do this by remembering that God promises to be with us in it all.
While we are called to gather and encourage each other in the faith, we are just as much called to dispatch into the world for God’s good purposes to be served outside the church. Think about it, would you likely need to use a flashlight in a clearly lit room? So how do you think God might want to place His people in the world? His plan is for His people to be light in the dark places.
May we walk in the light as He is in the light. May we so let our lights shine before others that they would come to know the light of Christ for themselves. May we corporately encourage each other in our personal callings for the glory of God and His Kingdom through Jesus!
Grateful and hopeful in Christ,