Scripture says that Christians are supposed to be the light of the world and to give light to all who are in darkness: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.” (Matt 5:14,15)
Those in Christ give light to all who are in darkness when they speak God’s truth. When a Christian shines their light from atop a hill, things that were once hidden in the dark begin to scatter like cockroaches. Darkness tries to hide truth, but light sets it free. Jesus said God sent Him to, “..proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed.” (Luke 4:18). So why are so many of those who are saved in Jesus Christ still living in captivity? Why are so many who claim salvation in Jesus Christ blind to truth and oppressed by temptation? Because darkness tries to clothe truth with deception, but light clothes it with Christ, “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” (Gal 3:27).
The problem is, many of those who are saved in Jesus Christ have dimmed their light because they are still clothing themselves with the things of this world, instead of Christ. We are living in the age where those who are saved in Christ have covered their lamps and fallen asleep, content with a lukewarm effort to seek God, they are not reading their Bibles, they are not doing Bible study, they are not going to church, nor fellowshipping with other believers on a regular basis. We are living in the age where those who claim to be saved in Christ spend more time consuming the things of this world and what the world teaches, than Christ’s words and His teachings. There are too many Christians that can tell you more about pop culture, popular movies, books or T.V. shows than they can about God’s word. Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Luke 12:34).
Why are so many of us intimately acquainted with the storylines in worldly entertainment, yet grossly ignorant of scripture? Because we treasure and value things that entertain us, rather than things that challenge us spiritually. We want God to work in our circumstances, rather than work in us. We want to come to God when we need Him to fix a problem, but we don’t want to invest the time trying to establish a relationship with Him through prayer and study of His Word. We want to define God on our own terms, according to worldly knowledge and understanding, rather than surrender to the revelation He has given to us about Himself through scripture.
A few years ago, when I was still a lukewarm Christian, I began to pray for God to help me understand Him. I had this inexplicable longing to really know Him, for Him to reveal Himself to me. Don’t get me wrong, I thought I already knew God, I was just longing for something more, something deeper. After praying for God to show Himself to me, all the while having grandiose expectations of my own “burning bush” encounter, or for God to audibly speak to me, He simply placed the thought into my mind, “Why don’t you start with what I’ve already told you about Myself….read the Bible.” So I did. Cover to cover. And what I quickly found out, was that all those years I thought I knew Who God was, in all actuality, I really had no idea. All those years I was so confident in my lukewarm Christianity, I was really only following my own personal version of it.
Scripture says that many will think they know Jesus, but the only ones who really know Him are those who are obedient to Him, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” (Matt 7:21). By the lips of our Lord and Savior we are told that only those who are obedient to God will enter the kingdom of heaven. That obedience starts with genuine repentance to turn away from this world and the sins that so enslave us and accept the free gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. And that obedience continues through daily surrender to God, His Word and His plans for our life, rather than our own. The Apostle Paul so accurately described a genuine walk with Christ when He said, “I die daily.” (1 Cor 15:31).
Fortunately, scripture also says, “‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD..” (Jer 29:13). But make note, God’s instructions are to seek Him with “all your heart.” So I suppose the question is, what is the treasure of your heart?