Switch on the light
That night, instead of whining about how hard and unfair life was, they prayed and sang hymns to God. We are told that, God responded to Paul and Silas’ praise and worship session by a great earthquake that shook the foundation of the prison and opened all the prison doors and loosed everyone’s chains.
It is said that when the keeper of the prison awoke from his sleep, he saw all the doors open and assumed that all the prisoners had fled.
Knowing what this meant to his job and reputation, he drew his sword so that he could kill himself. But Paul called with a loud voice, saying: “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.”
The keeper then called for a light, ran in and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas.
The biblical principle exposed here is that we should never base our actions entirely on assumptions. An assumption is something we take for granted or presuppose. Let us not duck out of our responsibility to find out the truth about the things that concern us. The most successful strategy of the devil which he uses to weaken believers is to make them believe half-truths and falsehoods. This inevitably results in wrong actions or even serious fatalities, such as death. Where people do not take time to earnestly seek the truth about issues, serious mistakes are inevitable.
I want to charge you by the mercies of God to “call for light” first before you act. Before you commit suicide, or divorce your husband or wife, please call for light. Nothing is obvious in life. Even, when things appear pretty obvious, there still remains scope for investigating the real truth of the matter.
In this particular biblical account, the fact of the matter was that all the prison doors were open and every prisoner’s chains had been loosed. However, the truth of the matter was that no prisoner had fled. Sometimes we feel as if we are staggering under a load that is enough to crush half a dozen strong men. In spite of all that, you are not crushed! Groundless fear always makes us unable to fulfil our vocations.
As humans, we naturally and regularly make assumptions about ourselves, our jobs, our mates, our students, our children and the world in general. Assumptions and inferences permeate our lives. People automatically make inferences to gain a basis for understanding and action. As we write, we make inferences as to what readers will make of what we are writing. We make inferences as to the clarity of what we are saying, what requires further explanation and what does not. Eventually we need to realise that the inferences we make are heavily influenced by the assumptions we have made. Critical thinkers take note of the inferences they are making and the assumptions upon which they are basing those inferences. The point is that we make many assumptions as we go about our daily life and ought to be able to recognise and question them.
Otherwise, we can end up paying dearly for the unjustified actions resulting from these assumptions.
Let There Be Light
The Bible opens with these four verses: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters. And God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.”
Darkness in the Bible is more than something physical; it signifies death, suffering, confusion, misery, destruction, and evil. When one acts out of assumptions, they are walking in darkness. Many hurts and wounds have been caused by people who do not get time to investigate the truth about what is going on around them. Many divorces and deaths could have been avoided, only if people “called for light” before they acted. It is your duty to tell the person who is about to act out of ignorance to first “switch on the light”. Only then can we rescue the world from vice and ruin. The Bible urges us to test all things and then hold fast to what is good.
Light is the opposite of darkness and it contains the elements of life blessings and the fullness of strength. It transmits clarity, joy, a new day, abundant life and truth. We have to seek the light ‘ cry out, as the Psalmist, “send forth Thy Light . . . for in Your light we see light” that it may illuminate our interior, that it may invade each thought, each concept, each principle of our character, each motivation of our conduct. We must long, and cry for that which will change the world of our experience as surely as the creation itself was transformed step by step after God proclaimed: “Let there be light.”
As Christians, we have received the Light of His Kingdom, but that light is not meant solely for our private edification. Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Our Christian profession becomes a holy hobby, disconnected from our lives, if we do not switch on the light. Many people’s lives run in circles because they have not switched on the light of life. We must understand that before everything else, our own lamps must be lit with the unmistakable glow of the holiness of Jesus Christ. That’s the light that leads the way.