This photo is not faked. It shows a real shepherd…
Jesus said it Himself. “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12, NIV).
Notice that Jesus didn’t say, “I teach you about the light” or “I help you find the light,” although He does those things. No, He said “I am the light. . . ”
Everything about Him and in Him and of Him is light.
So, the short answer to “What does spiritual light look like?” is: Jesus Christ’s words, actions, love and more.
But have you ever wondered what He was really talking about? I mean, to understand “light” in terms that we can relate to in our own lives?
What is this “light of life?”
We often learn best by contrast. Jesus said if we follow Him, we “will not walk in darkness.”
We bump into things and hurt ourselves. We might even seriously injure or kill ourselves if we’re in deadly terrain.
We don’t enjoy the beauty of our surroundings because we can’t see.
We feel anxious, fearful, and disoriented.
We can’t see people well; we may hurt others unintentionally, including those we love.
We end up in dead ends, sometimes over and over again.
Spiritually speaking, the Bible teaches this about darkness:
“The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble” (Proverbs 4:19, ESV)
“They have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk about in darkness” (Psalm 82:5, ESV).
“Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness” (1 John 2:9, ESV).
“People loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed” (John 3:19-20, ESV).
“. . . those who rebel against the light. . . do not want to know its ways nor abide in its paths.” (Job 24:13, NASB)
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the . . . powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil . . .” (Ephesians 6:12, ESV).
In simple language, living in darkness means we lack understanding and we do eternally foolish and harmful things that lead to tragic consequences. But some people love doing evil so they resist the light.
Failing to love other people is also darkness because it is 100% opposite the character of God, who is full of light.
Those who love the light are engaged in a “wrestle” against darkness (because there really are unseen, evil forces fighting against us).
Light originates from the presence and person of God. It is communicated to us today by the Holy Spirit, which directly interacts with our own spirit. (See John 14:26.)
When we receive spiritual light, we experience it as incoming knowledge of godly things, understanding, the wisdom to act well, and loving and doing what is good. Consider these beautiful scriptures:
“In [Christ] was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (John 1:4-5, KJV)
“God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5, NIV)
“Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105, NIV) Recall that “my path” always refers to things that we do in life.
Being a Light for Others
Have you ever noticed that certain people have a “light” about them? There’s a positive, energizing presence about them that makes people feel happy and motivates them to be their best?
We can be “points of light” for others. In fact, Jesus taught us that we should do that.
“Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16, NIV)
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life.” (Philippians 2:14-16, ESV)
I love this quote from BillyGraham.org:
Our goal should never be to bring recognition to ourselves, but to bring glory to God. There’s a fine line between being a light and putting on a show to get attention. It’s a matter of the heart.
Can You Relate to These?
In the book, Jesus Christ, His Life and Mine, I presented these simple pieces of evidence of spiritual light entering our lives.
Even a child can understand and recognize these.
When we begin walking into the bright light of God by believing and following Jesus, we think and feel things like these:
I care more about doing what’s right than I used to.
I notice and admire the good, courageous, and decent people around me more than I used to.
I understand and like the scriptures more lately. There are a lot of dots being connected between my heart and mind.
I have a clearer sense of my true identity as opposed to who the world has told me I am or what I should be.
My view of what really matters has changed; my worldview has changed. I see the earth as small and eternity as large and very important.
I see how small I am compared to the greatness of God; I want to kneel before Him and praise Him for all that He has done; my gratitude knows no bounds.
I honestly trust that God is smarter than I am. I’m a fool if I try to resist Him.
I suddenly understand how to deal with a problem that’s been tormenting me—because I now see how to do it Jesus’s way.
I figured out what it means to follow Jesus.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I believe and follow Jesus. I’m definitely willing to take a stand when it’s not easy, and I feel good about that.
I want to teach others about Jesus and His Gospel.
I want to help people more now. I want to be kinder and more willing to sacrifice. I want to stop getting so angry.
I have hope that God can save me from my addictions; I see that the stories and miracles of Jesus are symbols of His saving power in my own life.
The stories of Jesus have inspired me to tackle hard things in my life.
I see God as my heavenly parent. I know He wants me to obey Him because He’s looking out for my well-being. I truly get that.
I feel God’s love more than I used to.
I want to give glory to God and do what matters to Him.
I want to do the right things for the right reasons.
I want to be like Jesus (and not just because I’m supposed to).
Can you relate to these examples of spiritual light in your own life?
All of these feelings and insights are the effects of spiritual light awaking and enlivening our spirit with the light that originates from Jesus Christ.
When Jesus said “I am the light of the world,” it was a bold but awesomely true statement.
Believing in Him turns on the light in our souls. Sing it aloud, say it forever, believe it without a doubt, because it is true!
All of the enlightened, positive changes listed above come to us when we believe in, trust, and follow the true Light of the world.
Learn more about the revolutionary approach for getting to know Jesus—a short and sweet book specifically written for modern readers who are busy, skeptical, or maybe aren’t sure they really care right now.
Walk with Him—from birth to resurrection—like a guided tour with rich historical context yet simple, easy-to-understand language.
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Estimated Reading Time:
3 – 4 mins