Let There Be Light

No matter what changes in management or name happened to Nigeria’s electricity company in recent and not so recent times, the name is always NEPA to me. Until I begin to experience  uninterrupted power supply in Nigeria, it is N.E.P.A.

It has been argued that, could Nigeria have uninterrupted power supply, more than half of its unemployment problems will be solved; Olupohunda, in his newspaper opinion article addressing unemployment noted that:

Perhaps, the major cause of unemployment in our country today is lack of electricity. Widespread epileptic power supply means that major companies have to spend huge sums of money generating their own energy for production and other operations.

Poor electricity supply has also had negative effects on small businesses. It is the reason why manufacturing companies could not produce to capacity; it is the reason why major companies had packed up and relocated to Ghana and other African countries in recent years. It is the reason why our youths continue to roam the streets. The situation in moribund textile industries across the country provides a sad example of how unemployment has deepened over the years. Textile companies used to be a major source of employment. For more than two decades, textile companies gradually shut down production because government promoted the importation of foreign fabrics. Hundreds of textile companies were forced to lay off workers when they could not compete with the influx of foreign fabrics. Millions of jobs were lost. Several attempts to reverse the policy have failed. Since the advent of democracy, all the policies that should have helped the economy and provide jobs for our youths have not been successful. The power problem has not improved; corruption is still very rife. It is one major reason why Nigerian youths suffer so much deprivation.[i]

Another research conducted by some university professors in Nigeria also found a relationship between poor power supply and unemployment in Nigeria. “The study which covers the period of 1970 to 2005 discovers that power supply to the industrial sector was lower than the supply for residential consumption. The study also establishes that the major cause of unemployment in Nigeria can be traced to inadequate and unstable power supply to the industrial sector. The study advises the government and the policy makers to invest more in electricity power generation and ensures that the industrial sector is given a higher priority in the supply of electricity if the high unemployment rate is to be abated.”[ii]

The major cause of unrest, violence and insecurity of lives and property in Nigeria is the high rate of unemployment which has been tied to poor power supply. It is thus safe to say that more than half of Nigeria’s woes would be solved if there is light. The cry of many Nigerians who are not benefitting from the inadequate power supply is “Let There Be Light”.

Let there be light are the first words to be recorded as said by God in the Bible. The earth being “formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep” (se Gen. 1:1); God knew that the first thing the world needs in order for the earth to be out of that state of chaos is LIGHT!, just as Nigeria needs LIGHT in its chaotic situation.  Then the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the deep and God said “Let there be light and there was light.” (Gen. 1:4).

This sequence and order of things at creation brings to bare the process of Biblical inspiration as explained by Peter: But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. (2 Pet. 1:20, 21 NASB)

After the fall of man from Eden where direct communication existed between God and man, there was a communication gap [darkness and voidness] but God would speak His Word through His prophets through the agency of the Holy Spirit. The world has faced so much moral and physical degradation—then and now; the Word of God is the Light the world needs.

John, in His gospel introduced Jesus Christ as the Word and the light: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.  In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. (John 1:1-5 NASB). It corroborates what the Psalmist says: Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path; The unfolding of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple. (Ps 119:105, 130 NASB).

There is crisis in our world today and people are seeking answers and solution. In the family, in the church, in the society and in the corporate world, There is a form of darkness producing disaster in every department of life. People killing people. Greed of a few leaving a majority in the world in poverty. An interest in the spiritual is on the increase, but people still need light.

In Christ was life, and the life was the Light of men. (see John 1:4). Christ placed some people in the world and said to them “You are the light of the world.” (Matt. 5:14). The life of Christ which was the light of men is to be seen reflected in these ones as a witness to the world that Jesus is alive. It’s Jesus saying to them I want to light up the world through you.

Paul describes it this way: For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. (2 Cor. 4:6, 7 NKJV). The light of God was to shine through earthen vessels [man made form earth or clay] so that the transforming power of God may be revealed.

A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. (Matt 5:14-16 NASB). God wants to work in His chosen people so that their good works will shine as light.

Inspiration says through Paul: so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain. [Philippians 2:15, 16 NASB]

Not by more educational degrees, not by acquiring more money, not by technology shrewdness, not by [new] media awareness, not by fashion trendiness will this light shine. It is by holding fast the word of life that we can be the light of the world.

“True character is not shaped from without, and put on; it radiates from within. If we wish to direct others in the path of righteousness, the principles of righteousness must be enshrined in our own hearts. Our profession of faith may proclaim the theory of religion, but it is our practical piety that holds for the word of truth. The consistent life, the holy conversation, the unswerving integrity, the active, benevolent spirit, the godly example—these are the medium through which light is conveyed to the world.”[iii]

Let there be light. Let there be light means to live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Every word. It’s as simple as a grand idea expressed in a song generally regarded as children’s song. Jesus loves me, this I know…How? For the Bible tells me so.

You can’t live by the Word, if you don’t believe the word. “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”…“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?  and how shall they preach, except they be sent? (Rom. 10:17, 14, 15)

  • Hear the Word, [you can’t give word you don’t have]
  • Believe the Word [you can’t believe it if you don’t hear it]
  • Live by the Word. [you can’t live by it if you don’t believe it] and
  • Share the Word [you can’t share if you don’t believe and live by the Word]

In hearing, one must be diligent: Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding; For if you cry for discernment, Lift your voice for understanding; If you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will discern the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Prov. 2:2-6). Being diligent means being persistent and hard-working in doing something.

In hearing, one must also be teachable: At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. (Matt. 11:25). One must approach the study of the Word of God with a surrendered, teachable and prayerful spirit.

Ellen White writes: “There is much reading of the Bible that is without profit and in many cases a positive injury. When the word of God is opened without reverence and without prayer; when the thoughts and affections are not fixed upon God, or in harmony with His will, the mind is clouded with doubts; and in the very study of the Bible, skepticism strengthens. The enemy takes control of the thoughts, and he suggests interpretations that are not correct.”[iv]

In believing, one must accept the Bible as a unified ultimate truth. I have more insight than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation. (Ps. 119:99). Who are these teachers? Human Teachers, Culture, Science, Education, Experience etc. To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. (Isa. 8:20). Many wait for science to prove the word of God right before they believe it while they blame the Nigerian president for waiting for the intervention of a 17 year old girl before he could believe what was right.

“Those who desire to know the truth have nothing to fear from the investigation of the word of God. But upon the threshold of investigation of the word of God, inquirers after truth should lay aside all prejudice, and hold in abeyance all preconceived opinion, and open the ear to hear the voice of God from His messenger. Cherished opinions, long-practiced customs and habits, are to be brought to the test of the Scriptures; and if the word of God opposes your views, then, for your soul’s sake, do not wrest the Scriptures.”[v]

In living by the word, one must be obedient. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does. (James 1:22-25).

And one must be consistent as well; If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. (John 8:31, 32). One must be consistent in living by the word in order for his/her light to shine. If you live according the word of God in relation to murder as a sin, you must also live according to the word of God in relation to lying as a sin or covetousness as a sin. Jesus summarizes this by saying to you to “Live by EVERY Word of God”.

In living by the word, one must also be Bold and confident. The apostles said: for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard… And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence (Acts 4:20, 29). And Paul says, For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Rom. 1:16). The zeal to evangelize in the church today has dwindled because many are not sure anymore and thus cannot boldly proclaim what they are not sure of. But I dare say, any religion you are not sure of, is not worth practicing. We cannot disciple the powerful if we’re not bold like Jesus before Pilate, Paul before Agrippa, Festus, Felix, and Nero.

When we live by the word, we will be able to effuse the light which we are called to shine to the world. We will be able to show the world the proper culture and not be swayed by every wind of doctrine. (see Eph. 4:14). The world never respects those who can’t live out what they believe. Gay people and terrorists have the world’s attention, because they’re not ashamed of what they believe, even though they have believed a lie.

When we live by the world, we will be able to show the world what I call “primitive civility”. We will show the world that living like Jesus (primitive godliness) is the most civilized way to live. God seeks a people in the last days who will be representatives of true spirituality and true religion.

Let there be light.

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;  nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. (Matt. 5:14, 15)

Like men seek real unadulterated honey today, God, men and angels seek true and unadulterated biblical religion.

Let there be light.

_____________________________________________________________________

[i] Olupohunda, Youth unemployment: Why Okonjo-Iweala is wrong. http://www.punchng.com/opinion/youth-unemployment-why-okonjo-iweala-is-wrong/

[ii] E.O. George, Ph. D, J.E. Oseni, Ph. D, THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ELECTRICITY POWER AND UNEMPLOYMENT RATES IN NIGERIA,

[iii] Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 307

[iv] Ellen G. White, Steps to Christ, p.111

[v] Ellen G. White, Review and Herald, March 25, 1902

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