“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.”
–Matthew 5:14 (NLT)
When trying to correctly do a job of any kind, we are subject to several variables, but I only want to talk about one today. I invite you to take a mental journey with me.
Start off by asking yourself this question. Just how important is lighting anyway?
We can probably think of jobs we’ve done around the house which required a great deal of light. For example, you may have had to crawl under a dark sink to fix a plumbing problem, or you may have been forced to change a flat tire at night. Did you want a small flashlight which only gave off a weak glow? Of course not! I would venture to say that you wanted the brightest light possible.
Aside from getting a larger flashlight in order to obtain the lighting that you need, you may discover that you either have to recharge or replace the battery. But if you are like me, you probably left your charger at home, and–wouldn’t you know it?–the store you went to was out of the batteries you needed. Sighing, you threw up your hands, figuring you’d just have to muddle through with what you have.
It is much the same in our Christian lives. For whatever reason, we choose to run on spiritual batteries that are either almost dead, or have already become toast.
Right about now, you may be shaking your head, but it’s true. In life, all of us get so busy that we make excuses. The store may not be out of batteries, but we may say we are too busy to go there, and our charger doesn’t do any good. We are so caught up in deadlines that we don’t have time to replace our spiritual batteries. Our lights grow dimmer and dimmer, and finally they go out altogether, as we obliviously hurry on our way.
Instead of finding reasons to be excused for our hectic lifestyles, we need to be infused with God’s power. This isn’t just useless palaver, my friend. Let me share a story with you about something that happened a couple days ago.
My wife and I were about to finish eating in a fast-food restaurant. I was calling the taxi company when we were kindly offered a ride home by a good friend and her husband. We decided to take them up on their offer, so we thanked them and got in their car.
However, There were a lot of misunderstandings during the ride, and we soon got lost. Although our friend and her husband had the best of intentions, I was in a bad mood after we finally got home.
As we walked toward our apartment, I ranted and raved about all the work I had to do, and how the trip home had gone on for too long. Finally, my wife reminded me that my bad mood was my own choice.
I might have known this, but I wasn’t living like it, and my light wasn’t very bright at that time. So let’s examine my mistakes, see how they could have been prevented, and learn a few things from them.
To do this, the idea of recharging and/or replacing comes into play. First of all, God may use a brother or sister in Christ to point out something in love that we need to change. God’s Word says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” These wounds may recharge us for a time, but usually our batteries just need to be replaced.
Thanks to my wife, I knew that the battery in my own light was dead. Unfortunately, just knowing that didn’t do the trick. I had to make a choice. I had to choose life, and let Christ replace my battery altogether.
The Bible says that you and I can do nothing without Christ, so I realized I needed to yield to Him. When I do this, His power is released in my life, for His Word says that I can do all things through Him.
It is the same way with you. When a physical source of light no longer shines brightly, you may examine and compare each brand of battery, but often you just need to replace the power supply. Unless you make the choice to do that by depending totally on Christ, nothing fruitful will happen in your life.
Instead of being busy for busyness’ sake, be fruitful, and allow Christ to replace the battery in your light. You can do this by yielding to His Lordship today. Let Him enlarge your vision, your dreams, and your goals.
Having a light which burns brightly for Christ means having a life that overflows with peace and joy, because you know that He is in control. If you need Christ to replace your battery today, don’t stay where you are. It might be easier to remain in a state of complacency, but Christ wants you to travel with Him to the state of freedom.
While you may not feel like it, don’t let yourself be controlled by your own complacency. Make yourself pull down God’s Word from the shelf of your mind as you go about your day. Let Christ begin to conform you into His image, in good times and challenging seasons.
All of us need to see life as a ladder, and in order to take the steps of faith which allow us to grow in Christ, we need to make decisions based upon scripture. To put it another way, we need to take steps of obedience, which may not always be easy for us to take. According to the Bible, however, Christ is the ladder that bridges the gap between sinful man and a holy God. He is also the steps of obedience, which He helps us to climb. The Bible says that God’s Word lights our way and gives us direction, so we need to allow it to shine brightly in and through our lives.
In order to climb higher and higher while reflecting His light, we need to see each step clearly. So lastly, there are two ways you might look at what I have shared today. Instead of thinking of a battery, you may want to picture a mirror. If you want to look your best, I don’t recommend looking into a dirty mirror. It gives off a poor reflection, which produces an inaccurate image.
In the same way, as Christians, we need to polish our mirrors frequently. We can do this in several ways, but two of these are confession of our sin, and the act of living in agreement with God’s Word. We are His mirrors, and we need to realize that we are reflecting the Light of the world.
Or, think about it like this. Someone who is afraid of heights cannot enjoy the view. While it might be a spectacular view from above, this person is terrified by the thought of looking down. But instead of pointing fingers, all of us are often afraid when the waves of life are rocking our boat.
While the Christian life might seem similar to the person who can’t look down, our motives for continually looking up at Christ are totally different. The inability to look down is based on fear, while looking up to God is based on a love which has your best interests in mind. In order to shine our brightest, then, we need only gaze into the light of that love at all times.
Jesus assured us that He had every hair on our heads numbered, and while fear repels, His love draws us closer to Him, and encourages you and me to look up. I pray that you will allow Christ to help you shine a little brighter every day through Him.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870.
Finally, you’re always welcome to join our Tuesday night Bible study. These studies are conducted by conference call, and they take place at 5:30 PM Arizona time. Our conference number is 712-432-6498. When prompted, press 1 for live chat rooms, and we’ll be waiting in room 31. You can press pound to bypass our friend Sharon’s intro message once you’ve entered room 31. We hope to talk with you soon!
If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 507-369-6861.