top of page

The Absence of Light, A City on a Hill, and The Impossible Made Possible

Water so clear it appears not to be there, but for the sun's reflection

People claim Jesus was a good teacher, a philosopher, a prophet. We know, historically, He was a living man. Yet, He claimed to be The Messiah. LORD of all. The Resurrection and the Life. The Creator of the world.


Who makes that kind of claim? Someone who is either crazy or is who He says He is.


If we believe He is who He says He is, then we must also believe He makes the impossible in our life possible.


Bible accounts can seem far-fetched but they are a testament, if we believe Jesus is who He says He is. Testimony. They are evidence of something; in the case of the bible, it is a testament able to divide soul from spirit, to decipher natural from spiritual, exposing what we really think and how we really function (Hebrews 4:12). I can take strength, comfort and direction from these testaments because of who says it.


Jesus Christ. The good teacher, the amazing philosopher, the Prophet, the Priest, the Creator of all, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.


My life might not mean much to anybody else – but to God it means something special because He breathed life into me.


The reality of Jesus Christ in my life goes like this.

I know in my heart what I believe and so I set my mind on those things – things above, and I confess with my mouth the things I believe in my heart. If I don’t, my mind dissuades my heart. So, I must confess what I believe with my own mouth. Jesus is Lord. Compassionate and merciful to all. Able to create the possible from the impossible. I am His. He is good and He fills my life with good things. He can even make good from bad – because I know good things don’t come from within myself or who and what’s around me. If left to ourselves, what is good one day, can turn ugly the next.


Jesus is my sole ability to remain constant; to deliver who He is inside me. When I take my mind and my heart off Him, my mind and my heart change quickly. The fruit of His Spirit is like an odometer inside me. How well I display His character is a direct reading on my distance or proximity to Him. It changes me.


My proximity to Him will show greater love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5). Add to that humility, forgiveness and thankfulness (Colossians 3), purity (1 John 3) grace and compassion (Ephesians 4). Plus truthfulness, hope, faith and endurance (1 Corinthians 13) along with wisdom and understanding (Proverbs 4).


My distance from Him will expose the things inside me that the bible counsels to get rid of – impurity, deceitfulness, anger, bitterness, rage, brawling, slander, malice, and darkened understanding (Ephesians 4), greed (Colossians 3), jealousy, boasting, offenses, irritability, rudeness, selfishness, injustice (1 Corinthians 13) faithlessness and corruption (Matthew 17:17) covetousness, unfaithfulness and fear (Exodus 20).

 

If I don’t invest in the words of Jesus, I chase after physical pleasures, crave after things I see, or let pride rule my thinking and my heart (1 John 2). I end up deeply depressed, deprived, depraved and hopeless; I hurt myself and I hurt other people. I’m not just saying that. That has been the case. Why does anyone end up hurt and hardened?


I made a choice to think differently, based on the bible. I don't think, act, or respond the same as I used to. The more time I spend with Jesus, studying the bible, the more forever changed I become. The bible says to take every thought captive that sets itself against His goodness (2 Corinthians 10) and to renew your mind (Romans 12:12). His Word washes your mind as you meditate on it and soak yourself in it, absorbing it into your heart so that, really, you become a new person (Ephesians 5:26-27). It says it is alive and active, like a two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). That's because it is the written form of Jesus Christ.


Philippians 4:8 (LBT)

Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about.


Doesn’t that already make you feel better?


Matthew 11:29 (CEB)

[Jesus said] I’m gentle and humble. And you will find rest for yourselves. 


If Jesus is gentle and humble, that’s what I need to be. I deeply need a heart and mind that is at rest.


If you believe Jesus was a figure in history, who even divided history – BC and AD – then you know He was a living man. Not a crazy man. And not part man. Fully man, fully God (Colossians 2:9).


His life directs people to the Kingdom of God and to the Father of life. The Holy Spirit who is now the presence of Christ on earth, bears witness to Him (1 John 5:6). We believe by faith because our spirit becomes alive in Him where otherwise it remains dead. Our souls – my soul and your soul – becomes darker without Him.


Matthew 5:16 (ESV)

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.


Not everyone is going to give glory to God when they see someone else’s joy, or good works. Jealousy and pride can rear its head in people, but let your light shine anyway.


He is light (John 8:12). I like the light. The darkness of night is only the absence of light and it doesn’t have to be scary. But there is a darkness that can be felt – Abraham felt the darkness. (Genesis 15 describes his glimpse of its horror – which Christ later experienced in its fullness when He was right inside the battle over sin and death on the cross, and at that time, even a darkness manifest itself over the land). This spiritual darkness is also the absence of the light of Christ Jesus and can be manifest physically.


Basilica Sacre-Coeur/ Thanks to Paris Insiders Guide

One particular place I associate this affecting spiritual darkness is Montmartre, Paris. I love Paris – doesn’t everyone? It’s marked my life because of both wonderful and desperate experiences there. I spent a day in the Montmartre precinct and while it was a bright sunny day and aesthetically charming, full of old-world appeal, artists and vibrant life, for me it was like walking through an icy cold, shaded, damp bog. Montmartre’s history of violence and oppression remains palpable. I recall visiting a small fabric store where I spied a gorgeous, heavily embellished swathe of jewelled fabric at an exorbitant amount of money but as I stepped into the store to purchase it, I felt like I was being swallowed into a deep, black cave – heavy, oppressive and cloying – and I couldn’t get out of that place fast enough (minus the fabric).


The Sacre-Coeur de Montmartre, one of the most famous cathedrals in Paris – enormous, white and beautiful to the eye - stands on the butte of the hill overlooking the entire city. It's the one building you can see from anywhere in Paris.


Parisians are divided about the Sacre-Coeur because of its history, but the bible says this about a city on a hill:


Matthew 5:14-15

You are the light of the world. You cannot hide a city that is on a mountain. Men do not light a lamp and put it under a basket. They put it on a table so it gives light to all in the house. 


Light and dark are opposing and although darkness can seem overwhelming, it is only the absence of light. Suffice to say, light is greater and brings relief.


Jesus is the ultimate city on the hill. Light of the world. Breather of life. If we believe He is who He says He is, then we must believe He makes the impossible in our life possible. Look at all that He did. Look at who He says He is. Look at the testaments throughout the bible. If we truly believe, we should make the way clear for Him to work, giving him access to do what He says He is able to do in our lives.


At times, my life can feel like the widow in the story of Elijah in 1 Kings 17, who only had a little flour in her flour bin. She was expecting to die because there was a famine in the land. After she met Elijah and gave faith access, her flour outlasted the famine and kept her, her son, and Elijah, alive. I don't believe the miracle always looked assured. The bible doesn’t say her bin was topped up, it just says it never ran out. Meaning, she had to dip her hand into the flour bin in faith every day until the famine ended.


That daily miracle wasn’t less miraculous because she didn’t see a full flour bin. In fact, I wonder if, every day, she questioned – will there be enough flour today? Then, she would have reassured herself – it happened yesterday, he said it would happen again today, until the famine is over. So, every day she experienced a fulfilment of the miracle even though her flour bin looked nearly empty. God knows I have complained many times because of the amount of flour I perceive in my bin, so to speak. But I never come up empty.


A miracle never looks like it’s going to happen. That’s why it’s a miracle.


A miracle may not yet be the big shift you pray for. It may be the daily fulfilment of your needs met but that’s no less good. Because God sees, God knows, and God does the impossible. While I would always like my flour bin to look full so I feel more complete, isn’t dipping our hand into that nearly-empty vessel every day and pulling out what we need, every time, mighty? Just because I don’t see overflow, doesn’t mean abundance isn’t there. In fact, experiencing abundance when what I feel is the pain of my desert experience, is pretty miraculous. So what are you to believe? Scarcity? Or abundance?


What makes the possible in our life is how we direct our mind and our attention to the impossible. It’s not just about what we confess we believe in, but who. When give Jesus the room, Jesus makes the impossible in our life possible – big or small, every day, no matter what it looks like.


Like a city on a hill; like light in a dark place. The possible is always there, we just have to perceive it, and receive it, from the One who says He’s the Resurrection and the Life.

13 views

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page