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Why a lamp, and not a light-switch?

Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.”

Psalm 119:105

If you are anything like me, you read this verse and say to yourself, “Um, no. I don’t think so. I need more than just a lamp God. A lamp is what people take with them into the woods in horror movies right before they get taken by the aliens. I need you to just turn on that light-switch so I can see everything before me and around me.” You see, I might be just a little afraid of the dark. Have you ever noticed, that when you look around a dark room with just your phone screen lit up in front of you, that all the things around the edges of that light become menacing and threatening? Just me? It would make sense in my mind, that God’s Word (The Bible) would light up everything in my life and make it make sense. If I saw the whole path I wouldn’t be afraid to fall right? If I saw what was just around the corner from my sickness, financial instability, or calling to ministry I might be more willing to take that next step. So why does God just give us a lamp to show us one or two steps. A lamp leaves so much unknown out in the darkness that genuinely scares me and oftentimes paralyzes me. Maybe, just maybe, God is trying to teach us something here. Something that he has been teaching His people for thousands of years.

In the book of Genesis we see Abraham being told by God to go into a land that God would show him. God tells him to leave everything he knows and just go (Genesis 12). Go where? God would show him, he just had to follow. When God rescues the nation of Israel from slavery in Egypt, he leads them to the same land he led Abraham to, but he does this in a very strange way. He leads them with a pillar of fire by night, and a cloud by day. When the cloud/pillar moved, they moved. When it stopped, they stopped (Exodus 40). All they had to do was follow. In the New Testament we see Jesus calling his disciple to what? To follow him (Matthew 4). In lighting just a bit of our path, by making His word a lamp, and not a light-switch, He is teaching us to follow Him. Hebrews 12 tells us that when we fix our eyes on Jesus we will be able to run on this path! We won’t just fearfully take each step, but we will run with confidence in the one who ran this path before us!

Have you ever noticed that, when you look at the light in a dark room long enough, you stop being able to see the darkness? It just fades out of view.


My Prayer for You Father, I thank you for teaching us to follow you. I thank you that you give us your light through your Son Jesus. I ask that you would help us to follow you, with our eyes focused on your Son, so that we can run without fear, the path that you have set before us. Help us to live without fear of the darkness, or what might come next. Help us to follow you.


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