“The only way to get rid of the darkness is to add more light” (Holly Gerth)
We Need More Jesus
I think we can all agree…the world needs less of us and our opinions and way more of Jesus and His TRUTH!
You only need a weak pulse to sense the tension and be choked by the blanket of fear and uneasiness that has descended upon us over the last few weeks. Hate is hijacking our newsfeeds. Our smart phones are blowing up with the latest political debacles, text messages are riddled with fear, anger and dissatisfaction and our conversations are seething with strong opinions, ugly words, differing standpoints and uncomfortable interactions. It all seems so dark and depressing.
Where is the light?
The sun rises and resumes its assigned position in the sky but oh how my soul yearns to see, feel and experience the powerful, comforting rays of THE SON.
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life”(John 8:12, NLT).
The world is losing its luster. What was once full of bold color and life, seems to have digressed through time to feel more like the picture on a 1950s television screen…grey, full of static and void of vibrancy. Darkness is scary. It can be overwhelming and paralyzing. I feel so small and insignificant in the midst of it all.
What Keeps us From Shining?
According to Paul, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:2, NLT).
As believers, we are reborn to stand out! The Lord set us apart from the fallen world by infusing us with the unique and powerful gift of the Holy Spirit. The light we are called to share however, is not ours, but His. “Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father”(Matthew 5:16, NLT).
Where Do You Draw Your Power From?
What happens when we plug our lives into alternative “sources” other than the Lord? We find our lights growing weak, dim and even on the verge of burning out. Our Holy Father is our everlasting source of light and eternal life that will never fail us, lead us astray or disappoint. Instead of plugging our precious lights into our smart phones, tablets and things of this world, we must look to the endless power source of love, strength, and TRUTH…JESUS.
In times of trouble and uncertainty, negativity and cynicism become powerful magnetic forces. If we are not vigilant, we fall victim to conformity. Instead of being a bright spot in the world, we fade into the background, becoming unrecognizable and undistinguishable from the rest of the world.
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world”(Philippians 2:14-16, NLT).
To protect our lights from dimming and burning out, there are things we can do to proactively safeguard our spiritual flames. Before we can shine outward, we must plug in to our life giving power source.
How We Can Re-ignite Our Sparks
- Take time for a spiritual check-up. Are you harboring any sin that might be keeping you at a distance from the Lord? Unrepented sin will dull our lights and make us less effective in doing our Kingdom work. Spend time in prayer and ask God to reveal anything that might be standing in the way.
- Turn to Scripture NOT Social Media. Are we nourishing our souls with life-giving fuel or are we draining ourselves by plugging into our culture or our devices? Try spending more time in prayer and in the Word before turning towards the news or social media to fuel your spirit and meet your needs.
- Spend time in Worship.
We must infuse ourselves with Jesus before we can radiate Jesus to the watching and waiting world.
As believers, we are able to be a contagious spark that can ignite the stagnant sparks of others through the power of the Holy Spirit. Sparks jump and carry great potential and power to lift heavy burdens, heal wounds and abundantly bless weary and wounded souls.
How to Make Your Spark Jump and Light Up the World
Be Mindful of Your Words:
Words are powerful. They can heal or bring harm. Speak life and infuse truth. We not only speak with our mouths but we exchange words with our fingertips. What we say via text message, email or on social media, is just as important as the words that physically cross over our lips. Build others up. Encourage those who are hurting. Bring hope to the hopeless. Speak truth into the darkness.
Guard Your Attitude:
Make a choice to choose gratitude over grumbling, choose joy in Christ over despair due to the world’s circumstances. Our attitudes are a reflection of the power source of our souls.
Have a Servant Heart:
Prayerfully ask the Lord to lead you down a path of service. In addition to asking in prayer, we must remain alert and aware of our surroundings. There are opportunities all around us to use our time, talents and treasures to serve others. You have the potential to dramatically impact lives for Jesus with small random acts of daily kindness.
Simply offering a warm smile to a stranger, leaning towards someone while they are speaking, and making eye contact with others are all simple things that we can do to share the light of Jesus that does not require more time or cost us money
There is not one “how” but there is only one “WHO.” The goal of discipleship is the same; bringing others into a more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Discipleship requires creativity and stepping outside of our comfort zone for the sake of the Gospel. Many times, our most transformational work occurs outside our self-limiting sphere of comfort.
Go out and be a beacon of light to the world. Let your sparks shine brightly in the darkness and may you never grow weary of igniting your spark and setting the world’s heart on fire for Jesus Christ!