A few years ago, I started to write another book, and got as far as Chapter 6. However, in light of how hard it is to get a publisher, and how many books are out in the marketplace, I decided to begin to feature it here on The Christian Woman. Titled, “Living in the Light of God’s Lamp,” this book is about “the lamp of God,” which is mentioned a handful of times throughout scripture, in both the Old and New Testaments.
Each chapter is very long, so it will have to be broken up with each installment. Today, I’m featuring the Introduction to the book, and on Monday, the beginning of the first chapter. I hope you enjoy it, and would love to get your comments.
Living in the Light of God’s Lamp
Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow. (James 1:17)
There is a picture above my fireplace mantle in my living room that is one of the most beautiful pictures I have ever seen. It is by an artist by the name of William Breedon and the picture is titled, “Season of Peace.” The picture is painted in such a way that you find yourself gazing through a multi-paned window onto a snowy small-town street at twilight. It is Christmas time, and across the street, a general store festooned with garlands across the upper story has its evening lights lit from within. Next to the store is a small chapel, dark inside, but with a lamp post burning brightly in the oncoming darkness. There are no people in the scene because everyone is in their homes for the evening.
However, the element that is most prominent in the picture is a lighted candle that sits on the windowsill inside the window. The picture is painted so artfully as to make you feel as though you are standing inside a warm older home, with golden aged wood separating the panes and framing the window, looking out onto the snowy scene, as the candle flickers and dances in the twilight.
It occurred to me recently as I gazed at the picture for the hundredth time, that we are like that candle. God is the flame that sets our lives alight, bringing life and warmth to it. If we went about our lives without Him—and many do—we would be merely candles standing in windows, unable on our own to pierce the twilight, or shine in the coming darkness.
We were made to live as conductors of God’s flame. At the same time, we were made to be receptors of His provision. When we acknowledge that our beings only come alight with His provision, then and only then do we become conductors of His flame and light the way for others. Just as a candle is just wax and a wick without a flame, so, too, we are just individuals trying to make our way through our own personal twilights where often the light is dim, the road is deserted, and we feel alone and afraid in the darkness.
Only God can provide our light—light from within ourselves—and light to illumine the uncertain twilight times of our lives. The light that God gives us is like candlelight in more ways than one. Candles only illumine a small part of the path before us. It is not like headlights on cars, nor spotlights, nor even flashlights with a 20-foot reach. That’s because God doesn’t want us to see more than a few steps ahead. He wants us to depend on Him and His provision every step of the way.
There is yet another reason why the presence of God in our lives is like the beauty of a real flame. It is the kind of light that draws people to it; draws the eye, draws the heart and even draws the hand to cup its sacred warmth. What room has not been made more welcoming with the yellow cast of a dancing flame? And have you ever seen what candlelight does to a person’s face? It softens the hard edges, the lines of aging, and provides a warm, soft glow. A candle flame seems to have a life of its own, and, if it is a flame from God the Father, it actually does.
In the Bible verse at the beginning of this introduction, God is called “the Father of lights.” The Father of lights. Think about it. He is the one who provides the light in each one of us, but only if we ask Him to. That’s because God’s flame in our lives is unlike anything we could ever manufacture on our own. In fact, the word “lights” in the verse above is the Greek word, “Phos.” It means that God’s particular light “is never kindled, and therefore, never quenched.”[i] We cannot “kindle” this light, just as one would strike a match. We must take His flame and light our wick with it, because God’s flame is the only way to set us alight.
And because God’s flame is never quenched—never put out—we can know that when God’s light is within us and lighting our path, we don’t have to fear it going out—not in the darkest night, the strongest gale, the fiercest storm. God’s light and provision will still be there, burning brightly, warming us, feeding us, showing us the way, no matter what.
God is our light and our life. Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift comes from His hand. He is our perfect provider. I pray that this book helps you to turn to God for His provision and to trust that He will do as He promises. If you are even now standing in an uncertain twilight in your life, feeling as though the darkness is closing in, know that He is as near to you as your very breath. Ask for Him to shed His light upon your path and show you the way. Let Him light your candle and then, simply, shine.
[i] Keyword Study Bible, Lexical Aids to the New Testament, page 1886.