It can always be a little unnerving walking into a dark room. Even if it’s a room we’ve walked into numerous times, the first thing we always do is reach for the light switch. Even if we’re carrying seven reusable grocery bags or three suitcases from a week-long vacation, before we do anything else, we want to find the light switch.
There’s something comforting about going from darkness into the light. Instead of worrying that we’re going to step on something, we can see what’s in front of us. Maybe we watched too much of The Walking Dead on Netflix and we’re worried that there’s a zombie waiting for us; we turn on the lights, realize that zombies aren’t real and think that maybe we should watch something else.
When we flip on the switch, the movement from darkness to light is instantaneous; the room is transformed immediately. That same transformation happens when we come to Christ; when we commit our lives to Christ as our lord and savior, we are immediately transformed. As the Bible says, if we confess with our mouths that Jesus is lord and believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead, then we go from the darkness into the light.
For those of us who have crossed into the light, though, we may wonder why it sometimes feels like we’re still in the darkness. We want our lives to be completely in the light, we’ve committed ourselves to Jesus, but there are still areas of darkness, behaviors and habits that we want to keep out of the light.
We want our faith to be like a light switch that goes from off to on. We want our decision to follow Christ to be the final step in our faith journey. Who wouldn’t want to pray a prayer or make a confession and be a finished product?
Unfortunately, though, our faith isn’t like a light switch, but it’s like a dimmer switch. When we come to faith that dimmer switch gets turned on: we definitely go from darkness into the light. But, as we grow in our faith, we realize that we can actually get brighter. We start to see more darkness in our lives and as we bring those areas to Christ he transforms them, and then we get a little brighter.
Our faith isn’t a stagnant thing set in stone once we come to Christ. When we come to Christ we are absolutely transformed, the old is gone and the new has come, but there’s still a lot more transformation to go through. This process is called sanctification and it really is what following Jesus is all about.
So in that process, we should find practices, habits and people who will help turn our dimmer switch a little brighter.
Is there something you could add to your life that would make you shine a little brighter?
Is there a habit that, if eliminated, would help your dimmer switch go up a little more?
Is there a person that could make your light shine a little brighter by spending more time with him or her?
We need to praise God if we’ve turned on the dimmer switch and gone from darkness to light, death to life. We also need to praise God for his desire to continue working in our lives, for helping our lights to shine more brightly as we chase after him.