Fireflies…or as we used to call them, “lightning bugs”, are incredibly interesting little creations of God. These tiny bugs would essentially go unnoticed were it not for the fact that they light up. But, because they do, this seemingly insignificant insect becomes something we marvel at once the summer sun sets.

There are some interesting parallels between those who worship God and fireflies. I realize there are a variety of ways to worship God, which, if I were to sum them up in a single word, it would be surrender. It is yielding ourselves over to God, giving our lives to him in every way…which begins by simply connecting with him in relationship. To humbly come before the presence of God and commune with him…in prayer, praise, adoration, silence, confession, singing, listening to his word…is our initial act of worship. From this relationship should naturally flow a life lived in worship to God – our relationships, our service, our obedience, etc. It is this life of worship and surrender that is reflected in the firefly.

The heart that is connected to God in worship results in a life that reflects His glory. God’s light, or image shines though our lives as we surrender ourselves to him. Jesus said it this way in the Matthew’s gospel;

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)


  • Light up as they rise up – as it is with those ascending into God’s presence in worship
  • Light up when the sun goes down – as we ought to be light in places where the SON is not shining.
  • Use their light to attract a mate – as our light should be attractive to others
  • Have a chemical inside them called “luciferase” that causes them to light up – we have the Holy Spirit inside of us that is the source of our light. (interesting root word – lucifer…”light bearer” the anointed cherub who shined with God’s glory as he worshiped before his throne before falling to pride – Isaiah 14).   
  • Are amazing on their own, but when several of them are together in one place, it is spectacular! – together, worshipers of God are glorious and something to behold
  • Must be watchful for birds, their light makes them a target – our shining of God’s glory will attract those seeking Him, as well as those seeking to devour the light

Like this seemingly insignificant insect, God has created us to shine for him – we were designed to be glorious, luminous beings. Lighting up our dark world so that others may see it and glorify our Father in heaven.

Our worship relationship with God is the catalyst for the Holy Spirit inside us (our “luciferase”) to light up our lives for everyone to see. As we engage with God and become present with Him, we shine. We have a wonderful picture of this in the Old Testament with Moses. After spending forty days in the presence of God atop mount Sinai, he returned holding the law of God in his hands and shining the glory of God from his face! (see Exodus 34:29-30) As it is physically when we spend time in sunlight, so it is spiritually when we spend time Son-light…we glow. Spending time in worship with Jesus results in a change of countenance – our heart is changed into his image, and our life reflects it. Paul uses this same example of Moses and his radiance in 2 Corinthians 3. He concludes the chapter with these words;

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)

Being a light to the world means becoming a worshiper of God. Fireflies are simply doing what they were created to do…and the world is the beneficiary. As followers of Jesus, we simply need to do what we were created to do…worship…and the world will be blessed.

— Kent Liles