You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. – Matthew 5:14-16
In these scriptures, Jesusexplained how believersshould be a light to others,illuminating the magnificenceof God. Unfortunately, sometimes it feelslike an impossibility. Do certain thoughtsricochet in your mind? “I can’t be a light toothers. I’m too stressed out, burned out, worn out.” Does your lamp cower under a bowl because you are smothered in sin, extinguished by worry, doused by low self-worth, or suffocated with fear? Multiple reasons cause our flame to grow dim. The lack of fuel manifests through the challenges of work, family, disappointment, sin, and relationships. How do you feel at the end of your day?
If you chose any adjective that doesn’t resonate with positive emotions, then something is out of balance. We have calendars bursting with urgent tasks while our hearts wither and shrink, unable to care deeply or experience pleasure. We live on Novocain. How do we relight our flame to reflect the glory of God? We follow the directive in 1 John 2:6 – Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. We must follow the example of Jesus.
We are quick to notice the miraculous acts of Christ arising from the written pages. We envision Him standing at the tomb in Bethany and crying out “Lazarus, come forth!” and we picture His friend shuffling out, grave clothes unraveling behind Him. We witness the desperate woman, reaching out to touch His hem, immediately feeling the healing power of the Almighty. We are mesmerized by the thousands of people who hang on His every word passing baskets of loaves and fishes.
The actions of Jesus among the crowds easily amaze us, but it is His solitary moments with the Father that should astound us. Why don’t we focus on those moments more? Jesus was never in a frenzy, hurried, stressed, or burned out. What was His secret?
1. Jesus spent time alone with God – He knew when to say no even when the needs were pressing. Often times in scripture Jesus dismisses the crowds in order to refuel Himself with God’s presence before serving and ministering. He chose best over good.
2. Jesus prayed before decisions – He never selected the wrong path. Why? He prayed for clear guidance before moving forward in any situation. He wrapped each choice in the will of the Father.
3. Jesus knew when to rest – In the midst of witnessing the excitement of the disciples after they had healed and cast out demons, His first response instructed them to come away to rest. He valued solitude.
4. Jesus ministered to others – Selfishness was not a problem with Him. Jesus focused on others not Himself. He embodied servanthood.
5. Jesus always followed God’s timetable – He walked in unison with God’s desires.
Jesus didn’t attempt to rush God’s plans or stifle them. He acted in faith and lived in trust.
My friend, the only way to light your flame and keep it burning bright for all to see is to continually go to The Source. Only through God’s rekindling can you illuminate His glory. Jesus called Himself the light of the world. Bend your wick towards Him, and He’ll cause spontaneous combustion!
About Shelley Pulliam
Howdy! (A girl from Oklahoma has to use this as her greeting) I’m Shelley Pulliam, executive director of Arise Ministries and former teacher of hormone-filled 8th graders. But my real claim to fame rests in my award as second grade spelling bee champ and my recent gun-handling skills as I train to competition shoot. It helps me be on guard when Satan comes knocking. I’m a voracious reader and can frequently be found at the theater enjoying movie marathons where my record stands at six in one day. I’m a single, never married, who loves to pour into children at every opportunity. Let me know if you have any for sale. You can connect with me on social media. https://www.instagram.com/shelleypulliam/