“The true light that enlightens everyone was coming into the world.”
This is a powerful word. Jesus enlightens everyone? How? Even before He came into the world, He enlightened everyone? What does this mean?
Inside every one of Adam’s children, at the deepest core of our being, inside, where the spirit of man dwells, the spirit that was breathed into Adam at the creation, the spirit that died (was separated from God) through sin, the spirit that distinguishes us from the animal kingdom, “the true light enlightens.”
In every culture of the world there is that residue of rightness and wrongness on our internal hard drive. That residue may be polluted and warped, but it’s there, waiting to be touched by God’s Spirit, brought back to life, born anew in Jesus so that the Spirit is restored to us as the original intended control panel of our anatomy.
This is particularly important as we pray for people to come to know God, to know Jesus. This is why God said that only a fool says in his heart, “There is no God” (Ps. 14:1; 53:1). That faint residue of faith is still present even in the heart of an atheist who dares to move past the mind into that intuitive core of one’s own self-identity. This is why, when on the streets of Communist Russia, after the fall of communism when evangelists were out on the streets with Bibles talking to people who were trained as atheists, many received Jesus the first time they heard the good news. Why? The message of God, the message of Jesus, is self-validating to the fallen human spirit.
This is also the reason why, even in the most decadent culture or sub-culture where killing and all forms of sexual immorality are rampant, there is still, within that sub-culture framework, certain “codes of ethics” beyond which members of the sub-culture dare not tread. Polluted “enlightenment?” Yes, but still that residue of God.
Lord, yes! We pray for those who have heard the message of Jesus, but who have rationalized the message away. We pray for Jewish people all over the earth to know their own Messiah, the One Who is the Fulfillment of the words of the prophets. We pray for the nations of the world to know this Jewish Messiah/World Redeemer. You who enlighten everyone, shine brilliantly even into the hearts of the most vicious enemies of the cross. Give revelation in the night hours when the world is still. Give revelation in Jewish liturgy. Give revelation when the message is preached. Give revelation amidst the rituals of Muslims, Buddhists Hindus, animists! Shine brilliantly into the darkest recesses of our being.
And Lord, yes! Beam brighter in and through believers throughout the world! Enlighten us more! Enlighten others through us! In Your Name Jesus we pray! Amen!