When I was a kid, someone gave me a book on how to make hand shadows. So, at night, I’d make hand shadows and say to my sister, “Look at the bird I made.”
But of course, I didn’t make a bird. I made nothing . . . in the shape of a bird.
One could make an entire world that way. Actually, the Greek philosopher Plato said, we kind of do make a whole world that way and we see our whole world that way.
Plato said we’re all like men chained in a cave so we can only see the wall at the back of the cave. The fire behind us casts shadows on the wall in front of us, and we mistake the shadows for reality, when in fact they’re only shadows of eternal reality. Plato then talks about how difficult it would be if someone broke those chains and called us to come walk in the light.
Well, imagine if I were like a man chained in Plato’s cave and someone said, “Would you just look at yourself? See yourself. Judge yourself. Find yourself.” Well, I’d look at the shadow and say, “There I am. I am that particular dark thing, for that thing expresses my will.” I move, and it moves. So, I would think that me—the me I make— is actually me. And yet, the me I make, is not me, but only a shadow of me. I would watch that me and think, “That me is free.”
But if it’s free, it’s only free to do nothing for it is nothing. It’s free to move nothing around. Think about a shadow. It can look like it is moving something around, but in reality, it moves nothing.
Some say that we all have “free will.” Well . . . I think we’re all free to will nothing in different ways. We’re all free to do nothing but not free to do something, for a shadow can’t shine light or bear the fruit of light.
Jesus is Light. He said, “Apart from Me you can do nothing.”
So, the me I make is free to make darkness but not free to shine light.
It’s free to not love but not free to love.
It’s free to choose evil but not to choose the good.
You know? Light defines darkness and judges darkness, my shadow is defined by the light around it. The light is the substance and the shadow is its absence.
And this is counter-intuitive for us, but if space and time are created realities, dependent on light somehow, then there would be no space or time for darkness, if not for light.
God is Light, and God made space and time.
God, who is Light, made time for darkness.
Light is Eternal. And darkness is temporal; it had a beginning and does have an End. The Beginning and the End are the Light.
In Ephesians, Paul wrote, “At one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord” (Eph. 5:8). Prior to that, he wrote, “Put off the old man, corrupted by deceitful desires, and put on the new man already created in true righteousness and holiness.” “Already!” (See Ephesians 4).
“At one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.”
And how does Paul know that those who hear this word are light in the Lord? Because the Word he speaks is Judgment… and Creation…and Life…and Light. Jesus said, “You are already made clean by the word I have spoken to you.” (John 15:3) So, if you hear the Word, you can know you are light and light is eternal.
Paul sure seems to be saying you have an eternal you, not just a you that lasts forever, but a you that is not even stuck in time. He already said that we were chosen in Christ Jesus from the foundation of the world and that we are already “seated in the heavenly places with Christ.” So, you see? The moment God began to make you in time, you were already finished in Christ and at home with the Father.
So you are created in time and revealed in time, yet eternally secure and at home in Christ with the Father. You are light in the Lord and were darkness.
Now, that raises an important question:
Can God who is Light make darkness?
Can God who is Love make “not love?”
Can God who is Good make evil?
In other words, can God will what He does not will?
I don’t think so.
But maybe God could will to make creatures that would will what He does not will, and thus know what He does not will, and thus be able to one day will what He wills in freedom: creatures that know evil but will the good, creatures that know not God but forever choose God, creatures that know darkness but forever choose the Light.
It seems that in order to do that He’d have to find a way to make darkness and then fill it with Light. But how could God, who is Light, make darkness? How could a star like our sun make night? The sun can’t make night, but maybe the sun can make the earth, and then the sun could shine on the earth and the earth would cast a shadow and that would be night.
Maybe God can’t make evil, but God can make us, and we might cast a shadow.
See? Maybe my old man is a shadow cast by the creation of my New Man or the revelation of my New Man–Eternal Man. Maybe this man that I think I have created, with cheeseburgers and hard work, degrees, and various accomplishments is just a temporal shadow of what God has already created and is revealing in time.
“Whatever is exposed to the light becomes light.” So, maybe the shadows that we create, the empty space we create with our self-centered arrogant dreams are the very space in which God reveals His dream, and His dream is us in His image, loving Him eternally in freedom.
We were darkness, and we have created an entire world of darkness. Yet, we have inherited a new world filled with light, a new heaven and a new earth filled with the glory of God. We are filled with the glory of God and God is Light.
If we put ourselves in the spotlight, we cast shadows, but if we let the spotlight shine within us, there are no shadows; we have knowledge of the dark, but now there is no dark.
Maybe that’s why we were born into this world.
Maybe that’s the purpose of these evil days—that we would be enlightened—in-Lightened, filled with the Light.
Maybe that’s the process of our salvation and creation in the image of God.
Well, today if you see your shadow, you don’t have to hide the darkness in more darkness. In joy, you can expose the darkness to light and it will become light, and you will see that you are truly clean.
We don’t have to hide our darkness because it’s not who we truly are . . . it’s who we were.
But if we think darkness is who we are and we hide in it, God will not let us hide forever: “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?… If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,’ even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you” (From Psalm 139).
Light annihilates darkness.
Light is wrath on the old man, the shadow man, the false man.
One day, we will feel like we’re being annihilated. Our old man will totally fail. He will die. The me that we think we created with our will, and our work, and our dreams (that dark me) will be filled with uncreated Light. And then we’ll laugh like we’ve never laughed and begin to party and the worst day will become the best day!
And that can begin right now—when eternity invades time as faith—when the eyes of the heart are enlightened.
Then we no longer dream our own dreams; we dream God’s dreams and His dreams are called reality, not shadow but Light.
“Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will enlighten you.” (Eph. 5:14)
This devotional was prepared by Kimberly Weynen, Peter Hiett’s assistant. It’s primarily a compilation of excerpts from Peter’s sermon entitled “The Spotlight On Me” & a few devotional thoughts from Kimberly. To read, watch or listen to the sermon in its entirety click here: The Spotlight On Me
*To obtain discussion questions click here: 5.5.2013 Discussion Questions