Sunday, January 20, 2013
The Light of Christ
"For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ. And the Spirit giveth light to every man that cometh into the world; and the Spirit enlighteneth every man through the world, that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit. And every one that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit cometh unto God, even the Father."
— Doctrine & Covenants 84:45-47
I have been thinking lately about light - specifically the light of the sun. Have you ever thought about how utterly dependent life on this planet is on the sun? Without the sun's light, plants couldn't grow through photosynthesis. Animals wouldn't have food to eat, and humans wouldn't have food through plants or animals. Without the sun's light and heat, all life would quickly perish in bitter cold and darkness. Without the sun, the water cycle couldn't exist, because evaporation and condensation wouldn't be possible. And these are just a few basic processes I can name. Think of all that's possible because of sunlight!
Can we compare this dependency to the light of Christ? The scriptures teach that "the Spirit giveth light to every man that cometh into the world." What kind of light is this? How are we dependent upon it?
Doctrine & Covenants 93:36 says "The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth." If we replace the word light in the verse above with the word intelligence, it would read, "the Spirit giveth intelligence to every man that cometh into the world."
How dependent is man on his intelligence? Well, that's pretty obvious, isn't it? It's like asking how dependent are we on oxygen. Man is nothing without his intelligence. We would literally be back in our caves, with no fire, no wheels, no clothes, no language, no nothing. And if all intelligence comes from God, it is logical to say man is nothing without God!
"The Spirit enlighteneth every man through the world, that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit."
If God has given us intelligence, then why do we need enlightenment through his Spirit? I like to compare man's intelligence to a flashlight shining in the dark. Everyone has a different flashlight - some shine brightly and some are dim. Some can show a large area around you, and some just show a small spot on the ground. But you cannot illuminate the entire world around you with just your flashlight. You need the sun to do that.
So it is with the light of Christ. His glory is like the sun shining down on our lives, illuminating important and fundamental truths that we would be lost without. Just like the sun warms the earth and makes things grow, Christ's Spirit warms and fills our soul, teaching us and helping us grow more like him. Our own little "flashlights" of intelligence can't do that.
We may feel fairly confident in our own intelligence, but we have to recognize that it came from God. Not only that, he offers us so much more light and truth in our lives, but only if we hearken to the voice of his Spirit. If we willingly turn away from the light of Christ, he will not force us back towards him. It is completely up to us who or what we choose to follow in this life.
I encourage you to choose today to follow the light of Christ in your life. He sees your life in ways you cannot imagine, and when you come to him he will illuminate your life in glorious ways.