The Light bulb is nothing without electricity. It was designed for illumination, but cannot, without energy, displace darkness. The Light from a Light bulb is a combination of three things: an incandescent filament that is part of an unbroken and uninterrupted electric circuit and electricity. Several simple things must occur To ignite the Light bulb. The bulb must be appropriately connected to an electrical source (thus closing the circuit). The power switch must be turned on. And the filaments within the incandescent bulb or the gases within the fluorescent tube must be intact. Similarly, whenever Christians shine forth, there must be spiritual equivalents to the Light bulb and spiritual equivalents to what makes the bulb work.
Our spiritual filaments are broken beyond repair. The Holy Spirit brings a new filament to each believer and then also makes new electrical wiring and connections within them; our old circuitry is inadequate for His electrical system and, therefore, needs replacing. Once the new equipment is in place, and the Holy Spirit properly connects the Christian to the spiritual energy source (God), he or she shines.
We can see it may take the Holy Spirit some time to set everything in place. In reality, we limit how He can work through how much space we give Him. Once all is in place, it should work continually, unless we find ways to interrupt it. Interruptions (for example, switches) can stop the electric flow. When we turn the switch off, we disrupt the flow of the hearing of faith and the believing of the Word. The smallest cracks in the fluorescent tube or the tiniest breaks of an incandescent filament can destroy the bulb's lighting capacity. So can a break in the wiring. We should clarify that unlike our earthly electrical sources, The Holy Spirit never has an outage. Therefore, when our spiritual bulb ceases to shine, it is not His fault, it is ours.
In principle, this metaphor is very similar to the one Jesus used in John 15. Which we refer to as the Parable of the Vine and the Branches. Christ told His disciples,
"Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love."
What is the fruit? We find it in Galatians 5:22 – 23,
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."
In the same chapter, Paul contrasted the fruit of the Spirit with the works of the flesh. These works of the flesh are the fruit that those refusing to abide in Christ - be connected to the Holy Spirit - will produce. Let us read what they are from verses 19-21,
"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."
If we were to see this passage in the Light of the Parable of the vine and branches, these branches produce no spiritual fruit, and the works of the flesh are evident. The Father, who is the husbandman, cuts these branches away to make sure the vine or tree does not waste resources that the good branches could be using (John 15:1). These "fruitless" branches refer to those of which Christ says, "depart from me you workers of iniquity, I know you not" (Matthew 7: 23); Christ is speaking here to professed believers. They attended church; they participated in church activities and programs, they sang hymns, taught Sabbath School, returned tithes, even did evangelism. These professed believers were Sabbath School leaders, elders, deacons, etc. Christ says to them, "I do not know you. Go away." They did not allow the Holy Spirit's daily indwelling to enable them to live a God-honoring life. Only the infusion to the vine allows the Holy Spirit to produce fruit in them. Only being supernaturally wired to the "electric circuit" enables the Spirit to shine the Light. How do we stay fused so the Holy Spirit can work through us? Through the hearing of faith (Galatians 3:1).