The Illumination of God’s Accomplishments

“But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be shown to be accomplished by God” (John 3:21, HCSB).

Light speaks of revelation. When God causes His light to shine in our hearts, then we can truly see. We are entirely dependent on Him to do this for us; otherwise we are still “stumbling in the darkness” (John 11:10). In John 3:21, we learn that we also have a choice to make about the light that He provides: whether to draw near to it, or not. Verses 19-20 describe those who prefer darkness to His light, and therefore stay away from it. However, you and I are not children of darkness. We are children of the Light!

Therefore, we draw near to Him, the Light of the World. We want His light to shine brighter and brighter in our hearts, until the full of light day. We want to see Him, to know Him, to perceive who He is with ever-increasing clarity and depth.

When we do so, He draws near to us too (James 4:8). As He does, His light illuminates our inner being. In this same verse, we learn something else that happens as a result; something vitally important: our works are shown to be “accomplished by God.”

In other words, the closer we get to Him, the deeper the revelation we receive – that those good things that we have done in our lives? We didn’t actually accomplish them. He did. Absolutely all of the good fruit that has grown so far… He produced it. He made it grow. All we really did was yield ourselves to the flow of His power.

We see this principle at work here too: “If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 4:11, NIV).

Let’s break this down:

  1. If we truly speak for God the way this verse describes, what comes out of our mouths is not even our own words. They are “the very words of God.” How is that possible? Because it’s Him speaking. It’s Him doing it, not us. Holy Spirit will carry us along, flowing through us with words, if we simply give ourselves to Him and yield to His flow.
  2. If we truly serve God as mentioned in this passage, likewise, it’s not our own strength. At all. It’s the strength that He provides. It’s His strength. His ability. It’s Him doing it. We are just along for the beautiful ride.
  3. The result is that God gets praised. Do you see that here? “To Him be the glory… forever…” To Him. Not to us. To Him. Because we didn’t do it. He did.

The more Daddy shines His light in our hearts, that we might assimilate this truth, the freer we will be. It’s incredibly liberating to understand that producing fruit, and producing results, is not up to you. It’s not on your shoulders, at all. You just nestle into His presence, give Him your day, and follow His flow. Move as He moves. Speak as He speaks. Serve as He strengthens.

Come into the light, dear child. Come in closer. Come in and understand more deeply… that everything good done through your hands and your heart today… it’s Him. And in understanding, be free.


Has living for God sometimes felt like a heavy thing? How do these verses help inform your perspective?