Radiant. What a fabulous descriptor! It definitely makes my top 5 list of preferred (but sadly rarely heard) adjectives used in conjunction with my name. When we think of radiant women, we think glowing flawless skin, bright smiles, shiny hair, and twinkly eyes. To achieve radiance we think, proper nutrition, regular exercise, eight hours of sleep. This measure of radiance is temporary at best. To achieve true radiance, the kind that transcends mere appearance and penetrates to the marrow of our very personalities, we need to get to soul level.
Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness. If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light. Luke 11:35-36
Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness…
Have you embraced the notion that law plus grace is truth? That’s legalism and it usurps the beauty of grace alone and adds to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is darkness disguised as light.
Have you embraced your own goodness as proof that you are a kingdom dweller? That is idolatry. That is darkness disguised as light.
Much like empty calories give a temporary illusion of energy, do-gooders and right-talkers give a temporary illusion of light. Both, when put to the test of endurance, fail miserably.
If you are filled with light, with no dark corners…
The thoughts and feelings in the mind and spirit of one who is surrendered to God should be treated as if God were walking through one’s personality with a candle, directing one’s attention to things one after the other.1
As we submerse our mind in the Gospel and allow the Holy Spirit to ruthlessly tear down our idols of pride, self-sufficiency, legalism, over-commitment, praise of others, and reputation, it is like God moving through our personalities with a candle, illuminating the dark places, allowing us to see clearly where we have been mistaking darkness for light.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
And lead me along the path of everlasting life.
…then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.
Can you imagine being that kind of radiant? That kind of radiant changes everything. It is palpable and effective. It is magnetic and other-worldly. It blesses others and reflects a clear picture of Christ to any who fall under its influence. It is the kind of radiant you were made to be. Don’t settle for less beloved child of God. Surrender to the candle of the Holy Spirit and see what freedom follows and feel what it’s like to be filled with light. And then do it again and again, each time illuminating more pieces of previously undiscovered darkness until it is as though a floodlight were filling you with light. And then bask in the grace of it all.
Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God, Dallas Willard