One of my responsibilities in my Navy days was serving as Gunnery Officer on the USS Charles F. Adams (DDG-2).
We had been outfitted with an upgraded system for controlling the main guns and spent a few months testing and evaluating the effectiveness of the upgrades. One of the advances was to provide enhanced “night vision”. We had infrared and low-light level TV sensors added to the radars for tracking targets. After the evaluation process was completed we resumed normal deployment status, patrolling the Mediterranean in the cold war. The night vision sensors were unique at that time and in high demand by our battle group.
We need “night vision” as followers of Jesus. We are living in times when “deeds of darkness” surround us, some of it emanating from our own flaws and failures. The Apostle Paul, whose previous dark days included his cooperation with the execution of innocent followers of Jesus (Acts 7-8), wrote this guidance to disciples at Ephesus:
Let nobody deceive you with empty words, for because of these things God’s wrath comes on the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them, 8 for you were at one time darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of the light— 9 for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth— 10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Ephesians 5:6-10 (NET)
There is an interesting phrase here, “now you are light in the Lord”. We might think that the word order is mixed up and instead say “now you are in the light of the Lord”. But it says very plainly, “you are light in the Lord”. We were darkness, now in Christ, we ARE light. When we follow Jesus we not only can discern darkness, but we can dispel it. His light indwells us and when we live in fellowship with Him, we radiate it. We experience “night vision”. We see through the deceptions and destructiveness around us and in us. We not only experience it, we can dispense it to others. How’s your night vision? Is the light of Jesus’ love dispelling the darkness in you and around you?
Special thanks to Rob Douglas for launching our new series last weekend while Betsy and I had some time away. This weekend I will be bringing our second message on “____ Together”, focusing on the benefits of healthy and godly relationships.
I hope you’ve set the time aside to join us next weekend as we celebrate our 20th year Anniversary with special celebrations Saturday evening, Sunday during our services and at our Celebration Dinner Sunday after services at the Chittenango Middle School Cafetorium.
Looking forward to seeing you!