You are the light of the world.
I know, I know. That’s a difficult concept to wrap our heads around. Even knowing it to be true, it still sometimes sounds at the very least egotistical, at the very worst blasphemous.
But it’s true. It’s what Jesus said about us.
Understanding that you are the light of the world and that I am the light of the world – not just knowing the concept in our heads, but understanding that it is true, and believing that with all of our hearts – will dramatically change the way we pray.
It raises the issue of our authority.
Let me add one more piece to the puzzle – one more aspect of our identity – and then I’ll come back to that issue of authority.
You are the light of the world. But more than that, you are united with Jesus. You are one with Him. He is in you, and you are in Him.
Jesus said this in John 14:20: “On that day you (according to the context, “that day” is after Jesus’ resurrection, when the Holy Spirit has been given – Pentecost) will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.”
So here’s what Jesus is saying: “I am in my Father.” Jesus is one with the Father. They are two, separate, distinct persons; but they are also one – one God existing as Father and Son (and of course, as Holy Spirit also). So Jesus and our Father are one.
Then Jesus says, “…you are in me, and I am in you.” In other words, just as the Father and Son are one, so too (hold onto your hats!) you and Jesus are one.
What does that even mean?
It means that you and Jesus are two separate, distinct persons, just as Jesus and the Father are two separate, distinct persons. But it also means that you and Jesus are also one, in complete union, just as the Father and Son are one, in complete union.
I know, it SOUNDS wrong. It sounds prideful, arrogant, New-Age-y; it sounds like false teaching.
But it’s all through the New Testament. Here are a few other examples:
- You are united with Christ, one with him in spirit – 1 Corinthians 6:17
- You are complete in Jesus – Colossians 2:10
- Your old life is now spiritually dead; you are now hidden with Christ in God – Colossians 3:3
- Your position is that you are actually seated with Jesus in the heavenly places – Ephesians 2:6
- You are the actual temple of God on this earth – 1 Corinthians 3:16
Now, none of those incredible statements are platforms to claim we are gods, or to walk in arrogance. All of these things are true of you and of me because of Jesus, and only because of Jesus. They are completely dependent upon His grace and His work on the cross. But they are absolutely true of every one of us who have repented of our sins, believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, and chosen to follow Him.
These truths are a gateway to absolute humility (because they are only true of us because of what Jesus did for us) as well as to incredible authority (because we are one with Jesus, and so our words, actions, and prayers carry behind them the incredible weight of the power of Jesus)!
When you understand that you are one with Jesus, your concept and practice of prayer becomes transformed. It shifts from a practice of begging God for help, for intervention, for action, for provision, for healing, for whatever, to instead being a platform for authoritative declaration.
Jesus prayed with authority because He knew He was one with the Father. He prayed powerful prayers like: “Lazarus, come out”; “Pick up your bed and walk”; “Peace, be still”; and “Be opened.” He heard the Father’s voice, understood the Father’s will, and then spoke that will through declarative prayer.
You, a person who is in union with Jesus, have the ability, capacity, and authority to learn to pray the same way, with the same effectiveness. You have the authority to speak healing, to command mountains to move, to speak peace into turbulent situations, to declare forgiveness, to rebuke and stop the work of the enemy.
We’ll dive deeper into this in our next devotional, and in our service on Sunday.
In the meantime, let me close with this quote from author Ted Dekker. Think on this throughout the day:
“Remember: it’s never what you believe about yourself that defines you; it’s your Father’s opinion of you that defines you. Your opinion of yourself only defines the experience you have in this life. Indeed, to believe in Yeshua (Jesus) is to believe like Yeshua. To believe like Yeshua is to believe…you were raised with and in Him.”