|It happens to me often when I speak. I wheel my chair onto the platform, eager to see those friendly smiles in the audience. But instead I’m suddenly blinded by the painful glare of spotlights. My eyes burn and I tear up a bit. I have to scan the foot of the stage to adjust my vision, and then slowly lift my gaze up into the audience, squinting against those beams that seem as bright as the sun.
Those lights illustrate how counterproductive light can be when it is misdirected. For light to truly illumine, it must be directed toward the subject at hand and brighten it, not shine in our eyes. That’s how David describes God’s Word as operating in his life—casting a light on the way ahead, illuminating the path and the people directly in front of him.
Too often we place the Word of God in front of us, staring directly at it as if it were an object to be analyzed and venerated. True, it is every bit the masterpiece of literature, philosophy, and theology that critics and theologians proclaim it to be, but to place the Word of God before us as an object of blinding devotion is foolhardy. James described people who do so as those who look at a mirror, walk away, and then promptly forget what they look like (James 1:23-24).
Look back over the week and ask, “Have I prayed, seeking the Spirit’s help in understanding and appropriating Bible passages?” The Word of God should pose questions like “Where have I erred? What could happen today that requires God’s wisdom? Whom do I love who needs this encouragement? How might I obey what God has commanded?” Such questions place God’s Word where it was intended to be, casting its power just far enough in front of us to be of earthly and heavenly use.
Shine on that which lies before me, Guiding Light of my soul, and show me your way today.