You are the light of the world – like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. (Matthew 5:14 NLT)
In speaking of the light of the Lord's heavenly people we are touching again a very solemn, and serious, and important feature, something which has a tremendous history associated with it. The entire history of the Lord's people, and of the spiritual life, is one of light and darkness, of truth and falsehood, of purity and adulteration or mixture, of clearness and cloudiness, of openness and secretiveness.... Truth may be in word, in doctrine, but there has to be a corresponding truth in heart, truth in life. Light may be a matter of doctrine, but there has to be a corresponding state of light in the heart. The enemy will not object to us having plenty of the former kind of light and truth, but, if he can, he will seek to destroy its real value by introducing a lie over against it, a contradiction....
Remember that God never builds in the dark; that is, there can be no constructiveness where there is not light. Before ever God would bring this world back into order and fruitfulness He said: "Let there be light." God is out for the manifestation of the truth. God's works are never darkness, and we can never know constructiveness and progress unless there is absolute light. You know quite well that you cannot go on with people who are not straight, people who are crooked, people who are all the time furtive, not open, not frank, who have somewhere in the background a secretiveness. You have to say, "I cannot go on with that one." God is like that. He would say to any one of us who might be there, "I cannot go on with you until you are absolutely out in the open, until you have come to a place where you are going to be perfectly honest." Reality is God's demand for any kind of work that He will do. There may be many weaknesses, many imperfections, but if there is genuineness, reality, and openness before God, where the spirit is clear and pure, God can go on with His work. But immediately we begin to lock something up inside, hold something back, cease to be perfectly open before God, the work stops. Light in the sense of clearness is an essential for the building of the city of God, because the ultimate purpose for that city is to shine forth with that glory of God in character. With Him there is no variableness, neither shadow cast by turning. That means that God can be relied upon. The Lord make us like that.
By T. Austin-Sparks from: The City Which Hath Foundations - Chapter 8
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