THE LIGHT BULB!
BY: MARVIN E. COPE
First Published in “Union Life Magazine,”
No one ever told Edison how to make a light bulb. No one gave him a book outlining the procedure, told him what materials to use, or supplied him with the necessary machines. No one dropped the “know how” into his lap.
Many today want to know how to live the spiritual life. They want the “know how” of Christian living. But as it was with Edison, so no one can make your discoveries in the kingdom of God for you. If they could, you wouldn’t need faith because you could walk by sight. You would simply need to follow an external formula or pattern. But the life of the kingdom isn’t based on sight, but on inner revelation through faith.
Edison began with nothing more than desire and inspiration. All of the great discoveries of science have been made through much trial and error, and through exploring every avenue available. Finally, the discovery has been brought into being – the realization of an inner dream.
But such discoveries, even the greatest of them, are of small account compared with the most significant discovery of all, the “know how” that enables us to live fulfilled and worthwhile lives. And like Edison’s discovery of the light bulb, this “know how” is an unfolding from within, for it is not an external book or formula, but the recognition of the fact that God Himself can live in human flesh.
The ultimate discovery we can make in life – the only discovery needed to make life complete, overflowing with abundance and love – is to discover one’s Creator within.
No one – not the greatest human leader alive – can make this inner discovery for you. “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” (Heb. 11:6) Faith is the vehicle for this fulfilled life. When we discover the Lord and Christ within, leading us in the exploration of His Kingdom, we find that we are the Word made flesh as Jesus was. We no longer crave signs externally, because we find that we are the “sign” through which His life is manifested.
The world will then look at you as the light of God manifest, as Jesus was the light of the world. You are the light bulb, and He is the light, but they will see you as the light. You like He, will be the evidence and substance of faith – the sign of Christ given to the world, and God’s gift of His love to the world.
Life becomes a daily discovering, exploring and experiencing of God’s treasure house, thrilling with His glory. It is the manifestation of the mind of Christ, lifting us from glory to glory.
This discovery comes more easily than Edison‘s discovery of the light bulb. We have the Master Plan within us – the living Christ himself. The written Scripture without and the Author within writing it in flesh. (II Cor. 3:3; Heb. 8:10). We have the true example of the new life, the first model of it, the image of it, dwelling within and supplying all we need. He shows us not how to make a light, but how to BE a light.
Through faith we have spiritual inspiration and revelation which gives us insight into how life can be fulfilling. It is an inside education, with the Lord within again becoming flesh. This is the great eternal discovery – a God who lives within! A live-in God. One who leads by Spirit, speaks by Spirit, whose children hear Him through the new spiritual mind. Are we wondering where to start, what human leader to follow? There is only one name that can be named: Jesus the Christ! The leader is inside, not outside, a fact which must be received by faith. He dwells within each son or daughter, to teach, guide, be spoken to and be listened to. (I John. 2:27)
But, do His children make mistakes? Yes, they make mistakes until they make the real discovery. It is a life of spiritual discovery, therefore many mistakes are made, and His children are chastened by those mistakes until they yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness, (Heb. 12:10) – the real discovery. Eternal life is lived by doing it – trying it, discovering it, exploring it – making each move by the faith of the mind of Christ in us. Fear not! He will never leave you nor forsake you. You may make mistakes as you take your first stumbling steps on this new way, but He is eternally present to correct And He causes even your mistakes to become leaves of the tree of life for the healing of the nations.
Do not fear to discover, explore, experience the kingdom. Make the discovery of that kingdom within you. He thrills together with you as you walk with Him in Spirit in His kingdom. Then it becomes not just His, but yours. It is ours, to be shared among us as brothers and sisters.
We have the Light of Life Himself dwelling in us, to light the world through us. And still we hesitate to go forward! We stop short of letting our light really shine. Why? Because we are afraid of mistakes. Because we are afraid someone will discover our mistakes. Because we fear the Lord will be angry at us. This is all the foolishness of the fleshly mind working its fear and bondage upon us. First and always our Father is love. True love will correct and chasten for our good. If an earthly father accepts the mistakes of his child, how much more our spiritual Father whose very nature is love! Whoever can discover and explore even the physical world without making mistakes? Could Edison? How then can we discover an entirely new dimension without making mistakes?
Christ and you live eternal life together. He experiences it with you and in you. Spirit and body joined in union are the evidence of the faith that is in you – the manifestation of the Lord and His kingdom. You are the sign, the evidence of faith. As Jonah was the sign for Nineveh, and Jesus the sign for Jerusalem, so you are the sign for this generation. Christ is the one sign given, and you have become as Him to the world if you are grown in faith.
Let your light shine, without fear of mistakes. Explore and experience the kingdom from glory to glory. The sun gives physical light and life, but your light shining from the higher spiritual dimension creates a new world. You give spiritual light and life! Because we are one with the Lifegiver, we become spiritual lifegivers.
The kingdom of God is made up of many parts. It is a body, and each of us must discover the part given us, explore that part, and become the Word made flesh as that part. Each is a living member joined in perfect union with the other members. No human leader can discover your part for you. No one can show you how to begin to function as the part you are to be. It took Jesus thirty years of discovery, exploring and listening to the voice of God within, before He was manifested to Israel. He became the manifestation of faith, the evidence and substance of the Word made flesh. We are His brothers, in His image, created to manifest Him.
Very, very few have made these spiritual discoveries – explored the kingdom, and become the living experience of the Word made flesh. This is the joy of the Lord, that we follow in His footsteps of faith, and that we walk in Spirit with Him in Our kingdom. Let nothing hold you back. Walk boldly in faith. All things – including your “mistakes” – work for good, leading you to discover your part in His kingdom. There you will find eternal spring, and springs of water springing up, as you discover that you are God’s gift of light to the world!
LIGHT BULB, THE [Marvin E. Cope] Year 1981 1