My other blog. Yes, St. John Studies is not the only place where I share my thoughts. I was told that expressing my journey of recovering from trauma is good psychology, so I have done that at shinelight [shameless promotion, sorry].
Really, I bring this up because I did not choose the name shinelight on a whim. I wanted my thoughts to help others trying to recover. I wanted my little light to shine in someone else’s life, someone trying to bounce back from a setback.
Jesus declared as Christians we are to be “the light of the world” [Matthew 5:14]. He did not do this just once; see also John 8:12, Acts 13:46, Romans 13:12, Ephesians 5:8, 14, Colossians 1:12, Philippians 2:15, 1 Thessalonians 5:5 and 1 John 1:7 and 2:9-10.
Many Christians are content to put their light under a basket or so many Christians are willing to let others shine their light for them as they are perfectly happy to sit on the sidelines, just enjoying a comfortable spot as “observer.”
This sideline view is not what God intended for you. Romans 11:36 states “For everything comes from Him; everything exists by His power and is intended for His glory. To Him be glory evermore.”
There you have it. A Christian exists in order to glorify God. That’s your purpose. That is why God created you.
When a Christian is content to do nothing or almost nothing to further God’s Kingdom, he or she has decided not to shine their light, not to fulfill their purpose.
What can little ole me do? I have no great skill. I am no student of the Bible. I have no ministry.
With that attitude we will never break out of the status quo, we will never surpass the norm, we will never influence others for God. John Bevere in his book Good or God? says: “Not only are we to rise above the adverse circumstances of life, but we’re also to outshine those who don’t have a covenant with God. We are to be leaders in the midst of an unenlightened world.”
The power is there.
Why don’t we try to use it?
It is not from us; it is from God.
“When the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power and will tell people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria and to the ends of the earth” [Acts 1:8].
Bevere cites Daniel as the Bible character who exemplifies the believer who turns to God for his power. Daniel was taken captive from the tiny nation of Israel and sent to Babylon, one of the most magnificent civilizations of his day. The Babylonians had the best economy, best political system, the best military, best scientists, artists and educators. In the midst of this culture, Daniel and three other Israelites were put to the test. They were asked to perform in the same circumstances as other young men from Babylon. They were given the same food and drink and then compared to exemplary Babylonian youth.
In short, they thrived, they compared favorably, especially Daniel.
What was the secret? Daniel made sure that he was ritually clean even though he was surrounded by a culture that encouraged him to adopt new ways. Daniel turned to the Lord for guidance even though his new culture did not want him to pray. He prayed anyway, even when they made a law banning his daily prayers. In Bevere’s paraphrase of this story he writes: “These [Babylonian] leaders were baffled and probably consulted each other, saying ‘we don’t get it! We were trained by the most knowledgeable, most gifted and wisest teachers, scientists and leaders in the entire world. He’s from this insignificant country, so where is he getting these ideas? How is he so much better than us? It must be the praying’” .
Maybe it was that Daniel made himself available. He worked hard to hold to what he knew to be true and he said to God “lead me.” He believed and felt nothing was impossible. He put himself in God’s hands and accomplished the “immeasurable and unlimited.” He allowed his light to shine.
Instead of saying “What can little ole me do?” Daniel says what can I do today, God? I have always felt that the most powerful three word prayer in the world is this—“use me God”.
God will find a way to use you the best that you can be used in your sphere of influence. You will find yourself glorifying God through your life.
Dallas Willard [one of my favorite authors] wrote the following words that challenge all Christians to do better: “Live your life the way Jesus would live your life if He had your life to live.” Shine your light.
Glory be to God.