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How to See in the Dark

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
August 30, 2023 12:00 am

How to See in the Dark

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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August 30, 2023 12:00 am

Listen to the full-length version or read the manuscript of this message here:    As Christians, how should we respond to the darkness we see around us every single day? Sometimes, the darkness can seem too pervasive, too corrosive, too evil. Does our light even make a difference? Jesus encouraged His disciples that just a little light can illuminate a dark room, and our example of godliness can set the example in our world.



See, the problem is we can't see in the dark. We're going to have accidents out there on the highway of life where we're going to sub our toe in family relationships. We're going to fall and fail in life. The solution is not, you know, growing a patch of self-confidence.

It isn't, you know, being a little more sincere with religion or ceremony. That's like planting a row of carrots that will do you no more good to see in the dark. What we need is the internal light, this radar system of revelation. Welcome to Wisdom for the Heart with Stephen Davey.

Stephen is the president of Wisdom International. He has a message for you today called, How to See in the Dark. As you watch the news or read the newspaper, you've probably noticed that the world often seems like a very dark place. As Christians, how should we respond to that darkness? Sometimes the darkness can seem too pervasive, too corrosive, too evil.

Does the light that you shine for God even make a difference? Jesus encouraged his disciples that just a little light can illuminate a dark room. Well, if you were living in Great Britain during World War II, you would have experienced mandatory blackouts at night. All the lights in your home would need to be turned out.

Even your vehicle lights would not be allowed to be turned on as you drove in the evening. The strategy was effective in hiding urban centers from German bombers, but it certainly made life difficult. I've read that during the first month alone of the mandatory blackout, more than 1,000 British subjects died from automobile accidents alone. In his book, which I've begun reading entitled, Is the Commission Still Great?

A reference to the great commission from our Lord for us to reach our darkened world for Christ. The author, Steve Richardson, writes that while British subjects were struggling to see at night, to make their way around the roads and in their homes during these blackouts, the Royal Air Force pilots evidently didn't have any trouble seeing at all. They had an uncanny ability to spot enemy planes as they flew in the darkened skies overhead.

In fact, one pilot evidently had such great night vision, he was nicknamed Cat's Eyes Cunningham, because like a cat, he could wreak havoc and destruction in the night. Well, eventually, the British Air Ministry revealed the secret. For months, they announced their pilots had been on a healthy diet of carrots.

Well, that news kicked off a marketing campaign throughout the British Isles. Citizens were urged to grow and eat carrots as a way to combat what they were referring to as blackout blindness, so they could see better in their homes, on the roadways. The British Ministry of Food published recipes for everything carrot, carrot marmalade, carrot fudge, and that's the way to eat your vegetables as far as I'm concerned. By 1942, Great Britain had over 100,000 tons of surplus carrots.

It spread to the United States. Parents began feeding their children carrots. Walt Disney helped the cause by creating a cartoon with a singing family of carrots. Rumor had it, Germany began feeding their pilots carrots. Problem was, it was all entirely false propaganda. Carrots have no effect on a person's ability to see at night, in case you're thinking of starting. What Britain's government wanted to do was deflect attention away from the real reason their pilots were succeeding in air combat. Their military success had nothing to do with their eyesight or with carrots helping their eyesight.

It had everything to do with the fact that their planes had only recently been equipped with the world's first air-to-air radar system. It was a brilliant distraction, and it worked. As I've been studying this text, I couldn't help but think the Bible is telling us that the world around us is in a perpetual nighttime, a moral, ethical, relational blackout. Our world is blindly following the cultural propaganda, that there's something that you can grow or do or improve that will help you through the darkness. The propaganda of Satan and the world system is deceptive, brilliantly so. What the world needs is the radar of revelation. Now in Luke's Gospel at chapter 11, where I invite you to return, the Lord Jesus is about to make a connection between his preaching and nighttime vision. While you're turning, the question is going to really level at them.

It is, in a very real way, an invitation for them. He's asking the question, can you see? Can you see? Can you see through the darkness of your evil generation?

Can you discern the truth, even though you're pummeled with the world's propaganda? Is the answer something you can grow or eat or do or improve, or is it his revealed truth? Well, to help his audience answer the question, the Lord now uses an illustration here in verse 33, which is where we arrive today. No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light.

Now it's an easy illustration to follow. You're not going to light a little lamp and take it down to the wine cellar or the basement. You're going to put it on a stand so that it can enlighten every potential square inch.

You can maximize the benefit of its light. What Jesus is meaning here, at this point in his sermon, what he's referring to, what Luke wants to point out here is that Jesus' preaching has not been in secret. It has not been hidden. He's out in the open. He's been preaching in synagogues and now in the open air where thousands upon thousands of people are massing to hear him.

He's not hiding anything. And he began this particular sermon, which we've been studying, by saying you're a wicked generation. You're an evil generation.

By the way, that's true for every generation. You're blind. You're morally wandering. You need to see the light.

Here it is. It's found in the truth and the gospel of Christ. Now with that, the Lord moves on to make a number of analogies between his word and good vision. Verse 34, your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light. But when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. When your eye is healthy, you can translate that wholesome. Your body is full of light.

But if it's bad, the word is corrupt. Then everything else is darkness. Now he gives us a number of analogies here and I want to slow down long enough to connect the dots. The eye here relates to receiving God's word. This is referring to when you see, spiritually speaking, you are receiving spiritual truth. It's like light coming through your eye and lighting a lamp inside you. It's not turned on, by the way, until you come to faith in Christ.

When you receive that light and you believe it, when you not only hear it, but trust it, the lamp gets lit. Here's another analogy. The lamp or the body is a reference to your lifestyle.

That's what you do with your body. Another analogy would be the use of the word light. That's connected here to the idea of inner wisdom or discernment. We could call it spiritual insight. This is spiritual 20-20 vision. God's truth corrects your eyesight. In one final analogy, the light of God's word to impact your life, you're going to walk in the light, but if you reject it, you're going to continue in darkness.

This is a reference to just entire corruption. Ethical, relational, moral confusion. Darkness. See, the problem is we can't see in the dark. We're going to have accidents out there on the highway of life where we're going to stow our toe in family relationships. We're going to fall and fail in life. The solution is not growing a patch of self-confidence.

It isn't being a little more sincere with religion or ceremony. That's like planting a row of carrots that will do you no more good to see in the dark. What we need is the internal light, this radar system of revelation where the Holy Spirit installs that radar system inside of us as we are regenerated where we now see differently and live differently in a dark world. Now, following these analogies, Jesus delivers a pretty serious warning. Let me read that here in verse 35. Therefore, be careful lest the light in you be darkness.

The light in you be darkness. Now, don't misunderstand. Jesus is warning them in this verse not to let the light they've already seen, the light they've already heard, which is now penetrating their heart in conviction be turned off or get kicked out. They've seen them. They've heard them. They're listening to them.

They sense his words are true, but it's a little too convicting. So let's reject it. That's what Jesus says.

Don't do that. Don't turn out the light that you've seen. Now, this would be like handing a candle to someone and them blowing it out because they prefer the darkness. Jesus told us why that would happen in John's Gospel in chapter 3. Light has come into the world, but people love the darkness rather than the light because their deeds are what? Evil. Is the Bible clear?

Yes. In fact, the Isaiah prophecies make it clear. Isaiah 45 verse 18 says this, For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens, he is God, who formed the earth and made it. He did not create it, the antecedent is, the earth empty, but formed it, the earth, to be inhabited. He uniquely created the earth inhabitable. In fact, you could translate the word empty that you see in that text as waste. It's used as desolate or empty in the Bible. He's created the universe empty, uninhabited, but God created earth to be inhabited, which by the way, if we simply believed his word, that would also settle the fear out there that aliens are going to come.

They might arrive at any time to invade us and use us for science experiments or whatever. So you might be asking the question, then why is the universe so big? Why is it so large? The Bible tells us it is so large and immense because God intends everything we discover about its immensity to declare the immensity of his glory. The heavens, the universe declares, David wrote, the glory of God.

It leads us to that conclusion if we believe he is the creator that David came to. When I consider the work of your fingers, the universe, the moon, the stars, what does that lead you to? This man, how staggering it is that you care about us when we're so little that you would care in your purposes and plans to redeem us so the more we learn about our universe, and by the way, we're not going to get to the edge of it because it is intended no matter how far out we go to reveal his glory so that we get even that much smaller and he becomes that much greater.

And by the way, then, his grace for us and his love for us and his plans for this little planet are staggering. That newest telescope, by the way, man, I love those pictures. The James Webb telescope. Again, it's openly in search of another planet to move to. It's openly searching for other species, alien species. It's searching for some clue to the origin of who we are and where we came from.

We're not going to let the light of God's word shed any exposure of truth in that. It's interesting if you're reading these journals how that powerful telescope and the images it is sending back are surprising our evolutionary world, troubling it. In fact, one secular scientist wrote a dissertation already and he simply entitled it, Panic. I was reading a journal a few months ago where one evolutionist scientist admitted, and I quote, I am now lying in bed at 3 a.m. wondering if everything I believed was wrong because the images aren't supporting the evolutionary theory of galaxy formation.

What if I'm wrong? Dismay over Earth's destruction, fear of the future. You heard the testimonies of teenagers are labeling the teenage world today as one filled with despair and fear. Disillusionment.

I thought of another. Disillusionment over personhood and identity. Our world is disillusioned and confused over gender, sexual morality, personhood. It all stems, by the way, when you reject the creator, God, who made us in his image, male and female. When God is removed from the public square, mankind must take over. Now, it's up to you to create your identity, your own gender, your personhood.

Gender is no longer set. Since there is no creator, how discouraging is this? You now must create yourself who you are. Even children today are now being thrust into this propaganda where they must make decisions that are staggering to my mind. I mean, when I was in third grade, my big decision was whether I wanted Fritos or Cheetos for lunch, and my mother gave me neither one, which was disturbing. Now, an elementary school child has to tell their teacher their preferred pronouns, their identity. One author wrote, tongue in cheek, she wrote that if eight-year-olds knew what they wanted to be when they grew up, the world would be filled with cowboys. I had a man come up to me a couple of weeks ago after church, and he said his eight-year-old granddaughter began school and was given a survey by the teacher where they had to announce their gender and the pronouns they preferred. This is the third grade.

His granddaughter, he told me, wrote rather confidently that she was a girl, and the teacher after class challenged her on how she was so confident that she knew she was a girl, and she responded, because I've got all the right parts. How brilliant is that? That's just stunning brilliance to me. What does the believer do in a darkened and confused culture? You know, start sermon series on how wicked the world is, inundate ourselves with the latest news reports on everything going wrong. Now, Jesus actually gives us the answer here at the end of his sermon. He writes in verse 36, if then your whole body is full of light, that is, if your lifestyle is filled with truth, having no part dark, you're not believing the propaganda, it will be holy or entirely bright as when a lamp with its rays gives you light. He's simply inviting his audience to receive his word, to allow his truth, to remove their blindness, to allow the light to come in and take residence.

What will happen? Your life becomes light. Jesus not only said he was the light of the world, but he said you as his followers are light. So turn on the light. Live in the light. Walk in the light. The challenge for the believer is not to get all stirred up over the latest matter of cultural confusion and disillusionment and despair. We are to expect it.

Expect it. But turn on the light. Peter says, here's your focus. Proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Not proclaim the darkness. Proclaim the excellencies of your God who brought you out of darkness into marvelous light.

That's our mission. Wherever God has placed you, wherever God has posted you, whatever career, whatever neighborhood, whatever classroom, just turn the light on. Live the light. In fact, the apostle Paul reminded the believer in Ephesians 5, 8, 4, at one time, you were in darkness. Or, I'm sorry, you were darkness. Which is interesting. He's not saying you walked in darkness.

Other texts say that. But he says you were darkness. There was no light about you. But now, he says, you are light in the Lord. So Christians act like Christians. Demonstrate the fact that you've been delivered. You're going to sound really old-fashioned. You're going to sound odd to believe in a creator God who set this universe in motion, who maintains it. That is more and more anti-cultural. But you believe the radar of his revelation.

You understand that carrots are counterfeits. And we understand that we must follow him. His light is the only thing that allows us to see well in the dark.

I close with this. I went to our family optometrist last year, Dr. Bird and his wife, one of our member series, one of our deacons. He gave me that exam. I knew I needed to see him because I was having to tilt my head higher and higher to just fix the thermostat. So I know I needed an adjustment. So I went in there.

And you've been there, perhaps. And he brought that contraption down in front of me. And I was to look through a series of lenses. And he would flip them. And he would ask me, which one is better? This one or that one? And I'd say that one.

And then he'd flip another one around. He'd say, well, which one is better? That one or this one?

I'd say this one. And you know, it never occurred to me before, but I slid back in my chair and I looked at him and I said, I think you already know what I'm supposed to say, don't you? And he smiled and he said, yes, I do. In fact, a couple of lenses later, he said, all right, which one's better, this one or that one? And I said, that one. And he just paused.

And I said, oh, no, this one. Right. Well, if I can make the point that we need God's word more than ever, because when you get into the word, beloved, you're going in for an eye exam. You realize you've got perception issues. You need clarity.

You need vision. And the Lord already knows which way you ought to go. And that's why when we get into his word and we ask his spirit for wisdom, we can truly say with the psalmist that his word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our pathway. This allows us to see in the dark. And so, Lord, we need your truth more than ever. We need it to change and refresh and clarify our perspective and to repair our so easily distorted viewpoints. Even as believers, we need updates. And then, Lord, we need this truth to shine through us to a world that is confused and dark, a world that is our mission field, not our enemy.

So enable us by your grace to act, to demonstrate our deliverance and to reflect to our world around us so that they know there's something different. There's something bright. There's light. There's certainty. There's hope.

There's assurance. There's a future. There's a reason we exist.

There's a purpose for life. And there is a lamp for our feet. And we thank you for that. And we thank you in Jesus' name.

Amen. That was Stephen Davey, the president of Wisdom International. He has a message for you from God's word each weekday, and I hope you'll join us every day and be encouraged by God's word. Stephen has a collection of additional resources to help you grow in your faith.

One of those is his smartphone app. The Wisdom International app contains the entire library of Stephen's Bible teaching ministry. You can listen to or read each message, follow along with the daily devotional and much more.

The Wisdom International app is available in the iTunes and the Google Play stores. It's a discipleship tool that God will use to help you grow in your faith. Please join us next time for more Wisdom for the Hearts. Amen. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-30 01:35:45 / 2023-08-30 01:44:14 / 8

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