Rulers of the Night
Author: Margaret Ashmore
The Christian’s Purpose
“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to
bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.” John 1:6-8
Mark Twain may have been at least partially right, that “the two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” But his proverb has nothing in it of the eternal, without which all purposes and discoveries come to an end. So with an added spiritual dimension, I will say that the two most important days of my life were in being born again and then discovering why. Why a holy, righteous God would inhabit my darkened soul, lighting me from within like the glow of radium – so light is not something I have, it is something I am. I know, because that is the name Jesus gave me, “the light of the world.” (Matthew 5:14)
In the first chapter of Genesis we read,“And God made the two great lights – the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night – and the stars.” As the fixed point of our solar system, the sun’s bright corona gives light, warmth, growth and energy as its incandescent blaze effaces all other lights, the moon and stars dimmed by its effulgent lamp. It rules the day. But what will illumine the night when the sun withdraws into its chamber? The moon, the lesser light who with the reflected rays of the sun can make distinguishable roads and signs that help disoriented people find their way home in the dark.
I was saved for a purpose. I was saved not only to enjoy God (now and forever) but also to represent Him, to glorify Him, to reflect His light to a world groping in humanistic darkness so they could see clearly a Savior Who is the way, the truth and the life. I wasn’t saved for myself. I was saved to encourage the people of God and to illumine the road Home for the lost. I was saved to rule the night.
As John Piper says, “That’s the plan. The Word and the Life and the Light are coming into the world. But they are not going to conquer this darkness the way a bolt of lightening brightens the night. They are going to conquer it by lighting millions of cold, dead human torches with the oxygen of the gospel and the mysteriously spontaneous combustion of the new birth. And that gospel will come through human witnesses.”
So, as human witnesses of the glorious gospel what lessons can we learn from that which would otherwise be a blank orb hanging in the sky without the borrowed light of the sun? There is really only one. The moon knows what it is. Dust. Just dust. But it is composed of particles (none of which are organic which means it is thoroughly lifeless) including various kinds of glasses, making it highly reflective. Likewise, Christians who are “highly reflective” know their frames are dust and depend entirely on the Spirit of God through time in the Word and time on their knees to walk in a manner worthy of their calling. As lesser lights, they know that “the one who plants and the one who waters is nothing but the One Who causes the growth is everything”. They count others as more important than themselves, living gladly to make others glad in God.
They are happy to serve, using the gifts God gave them build up and minister to the body of Christ. They are good listeners. They see themselves as conduits of God’s love, not receptacles. They forgive because of all they have been forgiven. They deflect unjust remarks and ill treatment by others to the One Who judges righteously. They are honest. Their speech is seasoned with understanding and kindness. They know they are the lesser to magnify the Greater.
But above all, they are grateful. Eternally grateful that God would take a person, dead in their transgressions and sins without one particulate of life and not only regenerate them to newness of life but to adopt them as His Own child, bestowing all the riches of the glory of the inheritance of the saints upon them. Christians who live for the glorify God are in constant wonder of the condemnation they deserved and humbled adoration of the One Who set them free.
“Humility” comes from the word, “humus” which simply means, dirt. Dust. But oh, how it catches the divine rays of God’s glory and love and mercy and goodness that witness to the lost in this present darkness. Dear saint, never for a moment entertain the thought that you have no purpose. You have been chosen by God to shine the rescuing beam of His light into the deep caverns and pits of those trapped in sin. Is there a greater value to assign to one’s life than being a part of redemptive history? A redemption that means heaven instead of hell? Eternity has no end, nor will the results of fulfilling your purpose in ruling the night as you cast crowns at the feet of the Lord Jesus in glory. (Philippians 4:1, I Thes. 2:19)
Might that be our great occupation. Shining. Reflecting. Illumining. Rejoicing. Because we are infinitely happy to be saved, redeemed, accepted and destined for mansions palatial with eternal joy and the very presence of the Lamb. Might we lose ourselves in the glory of God, un-eclipsed by pride, full face to the Son and “let our light shine before men so they can see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven.”
Posted on April 18, 2012