Ephesians 5:11-14 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret.But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible,for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper,and arise from the dead,and Christ will shine on you.” –ESV
Many times we explore light in the form of a beacon seen from a distance. To draw people, as in the parable of “a lamp on a stand.” Or “a city on a hill,” or the pillar of fire that guided the Israelites on their journey to Canaan. Whether it is light that draws people corporately or light for our personal path, this is the sense in which it is usually discussed.
In the verses laid out above we find another application for light that we don’t hear of much. As much as light can bring hope to the gloomy dungeons of our mind, it is not seen as a friend by all people at all times. The reason for this is, many times we are not prepared to deal with the things light will inevitably expose.
But if we are committed followers of Christ and fully surrendered to His plan, then light is ultimately a friend to us. Without it we would never find and deal with those things that trip us up. There would be no way to trace them if they were hidden in darkness.
That is on the personal side of things. Most Christians understand this process to some degree and are thankful for it though it is painful at times. However, there is also an implication of shining the light we have, on things outside of ourselves. When this is done it causes strife many times and is therefore not something a lot of people rejoice over. But according to the verses above, it is not optional, but a command.
Not only are we not to partake of the works of darkness ourselves, we are to expose them with the light we have been given. The church has been very slack in this over the course of the last century. Certain things have been made controversial through the movement of political correctness and tolerance. Because of this, the church does not touch certain issues with a ten-foot pole. But we have failed to see that this is just a tactic from the enemy to keep us quiet.
Maybe this is why God eventually gave the job to a person in the executive branch of our government. Look at all the evil deeds that have been accumulating in the United States alone during the period of the church’s relative silence. Many things we don’t even know about. But we have a president now who does expose the deeds that have been done in darkness by many organizations and people. The strife that has ensued was predictable.
The longer we ignore darkness, the more it accumulates, the greater the strife will be when it is eventually exposed and confronted. This is all part of the church’s job in bringing God’s Kingdom to earth. We are to bring even a Kingdom influence on our society.
So let’s not be shy in involving ourselves in subjects and issues the enemy has chosen to make controversial. If we avoid these topics, we are heeding his voice and not the voice of our Shepherd. We obviously can’t go about it in a vindictive way or walk around with a chip on our shoulders. But we can certainly walk, talk and write in the truth of God’s word without compromise. He has commanded it and will give us the strength to do it.