“The spirit of man is the lamp of the LORD, searching all his innermost parts.”
Proverbs 20:27 (ESV)
I first heard the request, “Let us be a light shining for you” when I was in a girls’ Bible study with Campus Crusade for Christ (now called Cru). This has been one of my favorite images to share with our daughter and it’s always part of our prayer before breakfast each day. It’s one of those things that encourages us to remember who we are (Christians) and whose we are (God’s children).
This idea of being a light means that we must have a properly-working inner light that can shine forth. This inner light, our conscience, is noted in Proverbs 20:27. Different translations call it the lamp of the Lord, the candle of the Lord and the Lord’s light. They all reflect the idea that our innermost being, our spirit, is never hidden from God. It is our moral compass, that part of us that lets us know whether or not we are acting in a way that honors God.
Have you ever heard a still, small voice telling you not to say something, or not to do something? I like to talk and I often wish my mind and my mouth had a disconnect between them. Every thing I think really does not need to be said. So, I’m learning to listen for and heed the voice I hear from within that tells me I do not need to express something and just listen instead. That’s my spirit keeping my light shining and keeping me from snuffing out any witness I might have.
Psalm 119 encourages our spirit to seek God and to grow closer to him through reading and meditating on his word. Actively studying God’s word is fuel for our inner light. Prayer also helps to keep our lights shining. The more we talk with and listen to God, the closer we will be to him and the better we can know how to reflect him.
God is the originator of any light we have: “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” ( 2 Corinthians 4:6 ESV). Our lights can only be maintained by our knowledge of God’s word and our willingness to listen to him and follow his commands.