Devotions From the Heart
“LORD, Shine on Me”
March 8, 2017
How beautiful and lovely in heart and mind are the promises of God in His Word that His light shines in us, guides us, protects us and gives us the glow of the light of His countenance upon us. We, like our God and Saviour, shine because He has made it so. “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” Matt 13:43a The “Light of the World” has given us joy unspeakable and full of glory to shine forth for Him and His Kingdom. We are His and He is ours forever. Today, let your “light shine” so “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.” Matthew 5:16 _TheologyGirl-ReformedWomen*
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In The Light Of Thy Countenance
“In moments of tense joy the human face is radiant. When the soul is cast down the face expresses gloom, the eye becomes darkened, and it seems that instead of showing itself in the face and speaking through it, the soul turns the face into a mask and hides itself behind it.
So there is a relation between color and states of mind: with joy we associate light, with sorrow somber shades, and mourning expresses itself in black.
This same contrast presents itself when we enter the world of spirits. Satan is pictured in greyish-black tints; good angels appear as kindly appearances of light.
In the Father’s house above there is everlasting light; for Satan is reserved the outer darkness. The righteous shall shine as the sun in the firmament, clothed in garments of light. And when on Patmos the Christ appears to S. John, the Apostle beholds a sheen of glory that blinds him.
Could it be otherwise than that this selfsame rich thought of light as the expression of what is exalted, holy and glorious should likewise find expression for itself in the world of our worship by application to the Majesty of God? God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. He dwelleth in light unapproachable and Father of Lights is His name.
Hence after the creation, God could not appear in the world that He had made save as He first sent out the word: “Let there be light.” The Majesty of God revealed itself in a column of fire at the Red sea, in a cloud of light in Jerusalem’s temple. When Moses is marked as ambassador of the Lord, a blinding splendor shines forth from his face. On Tabor the Savior showed Himself as in a radiating light enveloping His entire Person. When the new Jerusalem is portrayed, its highest glory is that there shall be no sun and no moon there, because of that world of glory God Himself shall be the Light.
Sacred art for centuries expressed this by portraying the head of Christ and of saints surrounded by a halo, and their person in glistening robes.
We do not treat this from its material side.
It is well known that certain people are strongly impregnated with magnetism and can make electric rays of light to radiate from their finger-tips; and doubtless in moments of great joy, the radiancy of face is connected with material operations; while the source of this facial light is not in the magnetic current but in the spirit, in the soul, in the hidden self, and all the rest is merely used as vehicle and means of direction.
He who carefully watches a child – who never conceals anything – in moments of its exceeding gladness, observes in the outward play of countenance that the eyes dilate and increase in brightness; that the complexion heightens so that it glows; and that it is by supreme mobility that this expression of the soul portrays itself in the face.
In part, this portrayal of the soul upon the face is even permanent. In contrast with the noble countenance of self-sacrificing piety, there is the brutish, dull, expressionless face of the sensualist.
Especially with young persons of constitutional delicacy, with the fire of youth in their eye, and of transparent complexion,the expression in the face of true nobility of soul is sometimes unsurpassingly sympathetic.
Thus the language of Holy Writ that speaks of “walking in the light of God’s countenance” (Psalm 89:15), receives a voluntary explanation from life itself.
With God everything material falls away, but what remains is the utterance of the spiritual, the rich, full expression of the essential. God can not step forth from His hiding, save as everything that reveals itself of Him is Majesty, animation and glory.
It is evident that this revelation may also be an exhibition of anger, but this we let pass. We here deal with a soul that seeks after God; a seeking soul that finds God; a soul which, happy in this finding, looks into God’s holy Face, in order to watch in blessed quietness everything that goes out from it. This brings but one experience, to wit: that that which beams out from God is never darkness, never somberness;,that it is all light, soft, undulatory, refreshing light, and in that light of the Divine countenance the flower-bud of the heart unfolds itself.
This is the first effect.
Gloomy people may be pious but they do not know the daily tryst with God. They do not see God in the light of His countenance and in its brightness they do not walk.
When they who are otherwise brave of heart get hard lines in their face, it only shows that they have wandered out from the light of God’s countenance – and how difficult it is to regain it!
A human face that beams with genuine kindness and sympathy is irresistible, and draws out the glow from your face which expresses itself first of all in a captivating smile.
But this is far more strongly the case with God the Lord. You can not look adoringly at God in the light of His countenance without the gloom in your face giving way to higher relaxation.
In the light of His countenance you learn to know God. When this beams forth, His Spirit emerges from its hiding and approaches your soul in order to make you see, perceive and feel what your God is to you. Not in any doctrinal form, not in a point of creed, but in outpourings of the Spirit of unnamable grace and compassion, of an overwhelming love and tenderness, of a Divine pity which enters every wound of your soul and anoints it with holy balm.
The light of God’s countenance which shines on you also envelops you. It encloses you. It lifts you up into a higher sphere of light, and you feel yourself upborne, as it were, on the wings of this light by the care of your God, by His providence, by His Almightiness. In the light of God’s countenance everything, including your whole life, becomes transparent to you, and from every Golgotha experience you see glory looming up.
The light of God’s countenance penetrates every part of your inmost self and leaves nothing of your sins covered in you, though these are covered by grace.
Of course it can not be otherwise than that as soon as you are aware of the light of God’s countenance shining through your person, every effort to hide sin is futile; altogether different from X-rays, the light of God shines through your entire self, your life, including your past. Nothing is spared. It is an all-pervading light which nothing can resist.
The light of God’s countenance ought to frighten you, but yet – it does not do this. It can not do this because it lays bare to you the fullness of the grace that is alive in the Father-heart of God.
Hence, if there is one who does not yet believe in the perfect forgiveness of his sins, from him God hides His face; only when fullness of faith in the Atonement operates in you, does the light of God’s countenance shine out to you, compass and penetrate you.
And then follows the walking in that light. Walking here implies that not only occasionally you catch a beam of that light, but that it has become constant to you. That it is there even when you do not think of it, and that it is ready at hand whenever your soul longs for it.
And then you continue the walk on your pathway of life from day to day in that light.
No longer led by any phantasies of your own, or spurred by worldly ideals that have proved themselves false, with no more darkness of sky above you in which at most a single star glitters, you pursue your way by the light that is above the light of the Sun – even by the outshining of ever fuller grace in the light of the countenance of your God.”**
*TheologyGirl-ReformedWomen, Editor-Publisher Copyright: Heavenly Notes & Devotions From The Heart ©1984-2017
**To Be Near Unto God, Abraham Kuyper