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God Gives Us A Candle, Not A Floodlight

lantern in a dark room on table
September 9, 2019
Laura Smith

In Psalm 119:105, the Psalmist describes the Bible as a “lamp” and a “light” that will guide us through life.

“Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105

What does it mean for God’s Word to be a lamp to our feet and a light for our path?

A lamp during the time this Psalm was written would have been very similar to candles in today’s culture. They were typically small clay bowls that would hold oil. They had a small fold in one section where the wick could sit so that one would be able to light it. It looked sort of like a clam shell.

These lamps did not give off much light. It would have been just enough light for the person carrying it to see one step at a time. You would have to move carefully and slowly in order to see where you were going.

God’s Word is like a small candle that steadily burns to illuminate the path before us and to show us where to go, and we have to keep it close to see where to step.

When I am walking through life – especially in the seasons that feel hard and dark – I want a flood light, like one of those back yard motion sensor light systems. I want the kind where all the lights shoot on when an ant walks through the yard and you can see miles in any direction because that’s how awesome the lighting system is. A small candle? Not exactly what I am looking for.

I might believe that a flood light is what I need, but clarity or an ability to see is not what I need. Jesus is what I need.

When I spend time in God’s Word, He gives me the small glow of a candle rather than a massive flood light so that I have to depend on Him. I have to keep coming back to the source that provides light so that I can see. It requires me to stay close to Him and rely on Him rather than trying to be self-sufficient and figuring it out on my own.

Mark Batterson says, “He gives us just enough revelation, just enough grace, just enough strength. Why? So we will live in daily dependence upon Him.”

I am learning to rely on what God provides and to believe that He will give me exactly what I need at every step, even when I feel like I am walking through life blindfolded.

I am learning to spend time in His Word, even when I don’t feel like it, because He alone is the One who will bring light in the midst of the darkness.

I’m not the one who creates the light for me to see or figure out where to go next – that is God. What I need to do is get in His Word and allow Him to light the way. 

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