When I followed God's lead and started brainstorming for this series, questions swirled my head--of course, with "This Little Light of Mine" floating in the background.
What does it mean to let our little lights shine? What do our lights look like? What things put them out, and how can they shine brighter? How do we go about letting our lights shine 'til Jesus comes?
Then, I went to the only place I knew that had answers...
Starting in July, I worked my way through as many texts on light as I could find. From the beginning when God created light and it was good (Gen. 1:3-5), to the end when the new city doesn't need a sun or moon because the glory of God will light it up (Rev. 21:23). I still only know dimly all that God is teaching me about shining for Him, but I'm baby steps closer. I'm thinking about it more and finding more connections.
Psalm 119:105 says that God's Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. God leads us when we read the Bible. This is an all-important first step to shining brighter in our everyday and preparing for the plans He has for our futures of shining 'til He comes.
Spending time in God's Word prepares us to be His light. It's a necessary preparation. One that Jesus Himself went through. In all of His life, Jesus' ministry totaled three years. The rest was spent in the family business (some sort of carpentry) and learning at home and in the temple. Learning about God and His truth. Preparing to be the Light of the world.
My friend Tori put it this way...
My friend Tori put it this way...
|tori + mic|
>> I notice that when I am not reading my Bible, I have nothing to Shine. Even though I know about Jesus and have a real relationship with Him, it seems to get very dim if there is not constant flow from Him though me. Like with a flame, if there is not enough oxygen it just begins to flicker and not really have a light bright enough for anyone to see. <<
Tori's husband Mic is currently in the seminary, learning and training to become a pastor. I admire their passion for God's Word. He shares a bit about the balance between wanting to shine for Christ, and diving into His Word to truly be ready to shine for Him.
I asked, What are some ways you let your little light shine?
This is Mic's response...
Just last Friday night, as I stood before all the proper fixings for haystacks, an atheist friend of mine asked me if there has ever been a time in my life when I have not been happy. My mind flooded with the 5,872,981 things that week that caused me to be unhappy, but I didn't share them.
Instead I embraced his complement and tried to give glory to God saying, “That’s so funny you ask because just today I was praying that God would fill me with more joy. I’m often very unhappy, but you seem to only see me on Sabbath, at Small Group, during parties, or outside. Those just happen to be my favorite things.”
Two days later a friend of mine told me that my excitement for life fills her with a strange peace and sense of happiness.
Perhaps it’s self-pity, or a straight attack from the father of lies, but even as I write this I feel a deep sense of guilt that I know I could be doing more for my God, yet I’m not. But the simple encouragement I received from an atheist and a dear sister in Christ this week gives me hope that I am on the path God has set me.
So I pray. For the last year I've been spending a little more than an hour each day praying, reading, journaling with God hoping beyond hope that my time with Him is transforming me into a light for Him. I just want to stay open and listening so that when He calls me down the street to encounter others, I’m willing and prepared. <<