Editor’s Note: The AMI QT Devotionals from Aug. 15-21 are provided by Cami King. Cami, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania, has recently completed her M.Div. at Gordon Conwell Seminary. She is currently serving as a staff at Journey Community Church in Raleigh.
Devotional Thought for Today
Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”
This is the second of Jesus’ “I am” statements in the Gospel of John, and when the Great I Am starts explaining who He is, we had certainly better listen. There are many powerful layers to the important analogy Jesus makes between himself and light (and countless commentators have plumbed the depths of them). But what struck me most as I read this passage today was this question—“Do we even realize we are in the dark?”
One pastor told the following story of a friend’s experience with darkness:
I remember a story told to me by a friend who flew combat choppers in Viet Nam. He was radioed to a secret mission one night which required him to fly in total darkness, totally by instruments. Hovering above a jungle under heavy cloud cover, he told me that it seemed you could cut the darkness with a knife. He radioed to his man on the ground and said “what can you give me?” The guy had not even a flashlight. The landing had to be so precise, in a small “postage” stamp in the middle of the jungle-an error of five feet could crash the chopper and kill them all. Finally the man on the ground said “I have a zippo [lighter]!” He said “Light it and hold it up.” So in the middle of the jungles of Southeast Asia, on a top secret warfare mission, a combat chopper pilot landed by the light of a zippo lighter that pierced the darkness. (John Jones)
What if this captain was oblivious to the fact that he was in the dark? What if he had relied on himself and what he could see instead of his comrade with the lighter? The story would have ended very differently.
Apart from God we wander around in blinding darkness. But in Christ we have light! Yet so many of us rely on ourselves, forgetting our condition and need for Him. Today, may we remember our utter dependence on Jesus. He is our guiding light, granting us sight and guiding our paths.
Prayer: Gracious God, thank you for your forgiveness in Christ. May I take hold of it today and live anew through the power of your Spirit. In Jesus’ name.
Bible Reading for Today: Psalm 147
Lunch Break Study
Read Proverbs 3:5-12: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil. 8 It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones. 9 Honor the Lord from your wealth and from the first of all your produce; 10 So your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine. 11 My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord or loathe His reproof, 12 For whom the Lord loves He reproves, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.
Questions to Consider:
- According to verse 5, when we rely on our own ways of thinking, what are we also implicitly declaring?
- What promise is given in verse 6? How should this encourage us all the more to trust in the Lord?
- What are some areas where you “lean on your own understanding”? What would it look like for you to acknowledge God in those specific areas?
- We are implicitly declaring that we do not trust God.
- That the Lord himself will lead us in straight paths. All we have to do is trust in Him. This should give us great comfort because the burden is no longer on us to find the best way or to figure everything out. We simply trust and our heavenly Father does that work for us.
- Spend some time in personal reflection.
We typically lean on our own understanding when (1) our wisdom and our way differs from the Lords (what we find in Scripture) – in other words, we think we know more than God – or (2) we find it too hard to surrender and to trust in a certain area of our lives (often accompanied by anxiety). We feel the stakes are too high to give control over to God. In the face of these realities, one helpful way to acknowledge the Lord is to meditate on any promises or teachings of scripture that speak to those specific areas, declaring God’s truth over and against our wisdom and fears.
What are some passages of Scripture that speak to the areas where you struggle to trust in God? Spend some time praying through them tonight, asking the Lord to help you surrender and trust in Him.