“The wise people will shine like the brightness of the sky. Those who teach others to live right will shine like stars forever and ever.”
Daniel 12:3, NCV
“So our faces are not covered. They show the bright glory of the Lord, as the Lord’s Spirit makes us more and more like our glorious Lord.”
2 Corinthians 3:18, CEV
In my teenage years, my mom and I attended a series of services in a Christian commune. (This would’ve been in 1972 -73.) They all lived in a single house and had started a Christian rock and roll band. And they knew how to pray.
I was impressed with what I saw. When they gathered together for worship, they began to ‘glow’. I would stare at them and they became ‘illuminated.’ I had never seen anything like this before. The presence of Jesus was there making Himself known in the hearts of His disciples. I had been given eyes to see the supernatural.
Since then I have heard many testimonies of that same dynamic at work. Confessing believers engaged in prayer and worship, have their countenance changed while in the Lord’s presence. Peace and joy and confidence affects them in a profound way. Their physical appearance is altered, and they proclaim ‘a peace that passes understanding’ that can’t be explained in any other way.
Since I became a Christian in 1982, I have retained those images in my thinking. I’m now very aware of the “witnessing presence’ of Jesus in the lives of His people. And scripture itself, on several occasions, points to this wonderful dynamic in action in the lives of consecrated believers.
When the light comes, it can’t help but transform those of us in darkness. Our faces, hearts, and countenances change. We’re the human vessels for peace and joy (especially knowing our sins are forgiven).
The prophet Daniel talks about ‘shining like a star’. This isn’t possible in the mechanics of normal life as an unbeliever (at least for any real length of time). That simply can’t be manufactured. The only possible answer is the Christian’s faith. Namely, that Jesus Christ who is indwelling every believer, reflects His presence out into a dark world.
A few winters ago I was out walking on the Alaska Bible Institute campus. Twilight was settling in and 20-30 yards ahead I saw a child’s sled left in a snow pile. In the monochromatic world of an Alaskan winter, the ‘shining’ sled glowed and couldn’t be missed.
You and I who bear His presence are to be fluorescent. His activity in our hearts is to make us astonishingly conspicuous. We can’t hide His presence (even with sin) We have been irrevocably changed by the Spirit’s residence. We have become ‘glow-in-the-dark’.
Perhaps this is how it works?
You are the light of the world. A city on top of a hill can’t be hidden.