Light just shines

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.  -Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)

It was recently pointed out to me that light does not discriminate. Light just shines. When the sun is out, it shines on everybody. When I flip the switch in the bathroom in the morning, my wife is quick to remind me that "some of us" are still trying to sleep. I can cover my head or hide from the light, but that won't stop the light from illuminating everything in its proximity. And so it is with a Spirit-led life. 

If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.  -John 14:15-17 (ESV)

Every Christian is promised access to the Holy Spirit. But the scripture also talks about grieving the Spirit (Eph. 4:30) and quenching the Spirit (1 Thess. 5:19). Could it be that my reluctance to give the Spirit full control in my life is what Jesus is talking about when He says my light was never meant to be hidden? I sometimes picture the Spirit, living within a fearful follower, like a leopard I once saw pacing back and forth in a cage at the zoo. It was beautiful - muscular, powerful and majestic to see. But it made me sad because you could tell it wasn't happy in there - it wasn't free to do what it should've been doing. Only in releasing the Spirit am I released.

 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.  -John 8:36 (NIV)

Abiding leads to transformation. In the transforming, I am set free. I learn to love what Jesus loves. I grow to love like He loves. As that happens, my light starts to shine, and the shining is not selective. Everyone in my radius gets exposed to the light. It's noticeable. It looks like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal.5:22-23). Doesn't the world need to see that light? Don't you long for that freedom?

The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”  -John 3:8 (ESV)

Scott Thompson