"Who is among you that fears the LORD, that obeys the voice of His servant, that walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God. Behold, all you who kindle a fire, who encircle yourselves with firebrands, walk in the light of your fire and among the brands you have set ablaze. This you will have from My hand: You will lie down in torment." (Isaiah 50:10-11)How do we respond when we don't know what to do? Even people who fear God and love His Son have times when they seem to "walk in darkness." There are times when our path is clear, we know what we are suppose to do and where we are suppose to go. It's as if we have in our heart a map that outlines God's purpose and destiny for our lives, God's path for us is clear and it's full of light. There are other times, however, when our path is shrouded in darkness. We cannot see where we are going and we are unsure of our next step. What do we do when, facing times of decision, we have no clear word from God? When things don't make sense and we cannot understand the events that are happening around us, what are we to do? These verses tells us that we are to trust in God.
When darkness envelopes our path the worst thing we can do is to walk by our own light. It is tempting to convince ourselves that we can figure it out on our own. "We're smart people, we can solve this problem, we can figure it out." Yet, without God's wisdom, we are destine for failure. This reminds me of the story of Abraham. Abraham had been promised a son, but as the years passed by, no son was forth coming. He had a promise, but he didn't know how to bring the promise about. So he and Sarah cooked up a plan. "So Sarai said to Abram, 'Now behold, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Please go in to my maid; perhaps I will obtain children through her.' And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai." (Genesis 16:2) It was a good plan, but it wasn't the Lord's plan. From this one act of impatience has come thousands of years of conflict and struggle in the middle east. When we cannot figure out what to do, we need to wait on the Lord and trust His to show us His plan is in His own time. We need to wait for His light instead of trying to make our own light.
There is one other way in which many make their own light. It happens when we find a discrepancy between what the Word of God says and what our experience tells us. The Word of God says that, "by His scourging we are healed." (Isaiah 53:5) Yet we don't see anyone being healed around us, so we invent doctrine to try and explain away what the Word of God says so that we can harmonize it with our experience. We conclude that healing must have been for then and not for now, that's why no one is getting healed today. We see the early Christians being baptized in the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts and we see the dynamic expressions of the Holy Spirit through them. Yet we ourselves have never experienced anything like it in our own lives, so we invent a doctrine that not only allocates the Baptism in the Holy Spirit to the first century church but also condemns those who claim to have received it today. In these, and in many other ways, we are living our lives by our own light, by doctrines invented in our own minds, and not by the light of the Word of God. Walking by the Word of God takes faith, especially when it doesn't make sense. But God has given us His promise, "Those who hopefully wait for Me will not be put to shame." (Isaiah 49:23)