The Father of (Red and Green) Lights

Michael Beck

“Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:16,17)

The devil always presents God as the hardest of taskmasters. He would have men believe that the Father’s rule is oppressive and the Son’s yoke is hard. Such slander started early when the serpent sought to sow a sense of deprivation in Eve’s mind. “… Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” (Genesis 3:1) Poor thing! You have all these luscious and lovely trees surrounding you and you can’t have one of them can you? At least at this point, Eve was able to rebuke him, letting him know that only one tree was off limits. But was the damage already done? The idea that her Maker was a “Thou shalt not God” had been planted.

The god of this world presents himself as the very opposite of heaven’s God. To follow him means that nothing is off limits. From the earliest time he has defined himself and his nature as Unlimited. No boundaries. No forbidden territory. No “Thou shalt nots.” Only: “Do as you please.” He would have man rail with him against the God of the NO; while they bow before him as the god of the YES, the god of ALL possibilities, and the giver of ALL things, without exception. His philosophy is that you are only limited in where you can go, what you can gain, and who you can become by your own inhibited imagination and self-doubts. His spirit is the very spirit of antichrist. He would have none wear the yoke of Him who said, “I do nothing of myself.” He is power unleashed that cannot and will not answer to anything other than his own whim and desire. He is the runner of every red light. The hater of every stop sign. And if you would in any way try to stop his progress toward the destination he wants to get to, he will run you over.

The deception of the god of this world is found in his presentation of himself as man’s benefactor, liberator and ally; while the Judeo-Christian God is painted as man’s enemy, jailor, and oppressor. The exact opposite is true. While he, and his serpentine henchmen, promise life in the “freedom” to “take and eat” whatever we choose, those who are seduced with this brand of liberty end up dead. On the other hand, those who listen to God and deny themselves when He calls something off limits end up abiding in life and peace. They discover that God is not a cosmic killjoy who loves to keep good gifts from His children. They come to know Him as the giver of every good and perfect gift, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. (James 1:17; 1 Tim. 6:17) They abide by His law but they joyously move forward through a thousand of His “green lights.”  They seek His permission in all things, and with a good conscience, they hear His, “Sure, go ahead!”

The deception of the god of this world is found in his presentation of himself as man’s benefactor, liberator and ally; while the Judeo-Christian God is painted as man’s enemy, jailor, and oppressor. The exact opposite is true.

Truth be known, there are so many things that are NOT evil, unclean, or off limits, that God has no problem with us partaking of. As Paul said to the Corinthians who were questioning the limitations of their new God: “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” (1 Cor 6:12) Those who believe in the goodness of God know that whatever He forbids is done for only one reason: He loves us and would keep us from what would harm us. He would have us live in true freedom and an abundance of peace and everlasting joy.

All things are indeed ours who are in Christ. Not all things without exception; but all things that will not destroy or enslave us; all things that Father knows are good and worthy of our partaking. Adam and Eve found out the hard way that the devil is a merchant of death and deception, and it is the worst folly to run God’s red lights. Father knows best and wise children trust and obey Him. They believe that His yoke is easy and His commandments are not grievous.

Receive not an accusation against the Ancient of Days. Yes, there are “no’s” and “stop signs” under His rule; but they are there for our greater good. Remember always that the “yes’s” and “green lights” far outnumber the “red lights,” and the trees you can eat from with delight far exceed the ones you shouldn’t taste.

Do not despise the NO of your benevolent Creator. Focus more on His YES. Enjoy the abundant life, with with His law in your heart and your spirit in tune with His Spirit. He is the Father of lights. Be grateful for both His red and green lights.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.