Next time you are lost in the woods at night, being chased by bloodthirsty monsters (Happy Halloween!) notice that a flashlight might keep you from tripping, but it can’t show you the way. That’s because you are holding it and you are lost! What you need is to follow a guiding light from a safe place, a light that doesn’t change it’s direction if you get confused or turned around.
In ordinary life the same principle applies, even though it is sometimes harder to see the monsters and we don’t realize how lost we are. Isaiah knew the problem with trying to light your own way:
But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches, go, walk in the light of your fires and of the torches you have set ablaze. This is what you shall receive from my hand: You will lie down in torment. (Isaiah 50:11)
And he had the solution.
Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on their God. (Isaiah 50:10)
John Newton discovered the truth of that and was later inspired to write, “I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.” (Amazing Grace)