Important Note: the words of Jesus are in red.
It is written in the Gospel of Matthew 5:16:
~”In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” ~Matthew 5:16, NIV~
Lately, I’ve been feeling too discouraged…….
My light feels like it has been blocked. Blocked by Satan. Blocked by the principalities of this world and those who are of this world and who are not in it to glorify God. Blocked by the thoughts of myself.
One of my old friends from college from my past told me one time, “There is only so much of you that I can handle.” A family member told me, “You are an ingrate.” Two other family members scolded me and called me a, “Bible Thumper,” for quoting 1 John 4:19 to them when I was defending my faith while simultaneously trying to explain to him and her that Jesus loves them.
For a while, all of these thoughts produced negativity in me that left me feeling discouraged…..defeated…….silent in the worries and cares of my own mind while forgetting the victory that I have that is in Christ Jesus my Lord and Savior. This negativity caused my light to become gloomy. This negativity left me feeling alone. This negativity left me feeling dead on the inside (not literally speaking.————but figuratively———-as I left myself in isolation from my friends and my church family because of the power that I allowed for my own thoughts to leave me captive and in bondage to myself and the enemy).
~”For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”~2 Corinthians 10:3-5, KJV~
Until one Sunday morning, I was at church. I ran into my friend, Tina. It was unexpected, but a divine appointment nonetheless. I called her name and she came to me and we both talked. I told her what I told you, dear reader, about the thoughts that I was feeling and how discouraged and defeated that I was feeling. She encouraged me, yes. But she also empowered me to step out on faith and be more honest with my church family about how I was feeling. She made a profound statement but said it out of all meekness and humility, “We all need each other.”
She was right in making this statement. We do all need each other. We need each other because we are called to bear each other’s burdens, as a body of Christ. I need my church family and they need me so that we can encourage and support each other. I thank God for using my friend to convict me of this Biblical truth.
~”Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”~Galatians 6:2, NIV~
With that said, I added the following to my new year’s resolution: to be more open and honest and to not let the fear of what others say or could say to hurt me to hurt me.
I know that I am loved by God. I am thankful for the ones who choose to love me out of selflessness and not use me for selfish motives. I am grateful for the ones who have not left my life and for those who have stayed in the midst of the past brokenness that I previously felt. I am thankful to God that I can serve others in the midst of the pain that I feel at times. It is moments like these that are specials as I lean on a person and he or she leans on me and we can walk and bear each other’s burdens together.
For me, this is very healing. It is healing for my spirit and soul to be of service to another wounded soul in need. It is healing for me to serve others who are in pain. It is healing for me to serve those who are sick and who need the caressing love of the Heavenly Father I serve in their lives.
~”Worship the Lord your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you.”~Exodus 23:25, NIV~
I remember when I went to a senior nursing home to serve there one Sunday afternoon with my church. Liz, a good friend of mine from my church, led us to the senior nursing home and we went there to make the day of the seniors special. There were many elderly people. Even though they were dealing with a lot of ongoing pain in their lives, they were able to count it all joy and smile as I and others from my church gave them hugs all around. 🙂
I remember when I greeted one of the elderly people. She looked up at me and smiled. She told me, “You have such a sweet smile.” In the midst of the pain that I was feeling, what she told me made my day. What she told me made me want to shed a couple of happy tears. What she told me made me hug her back and tell her (in the midst of the pain that I was feeling from hardships I was dealing with at the moment, but will not go into them), “Thank you!” She even took the time to pray with me as I prayed with her. After praying, she gave me a kiss on the cheek. This totally made my day. 🙂 When this happened, the Spirit of God broke through and caused my light to shine again as I let Jesus in to heal me. It was bright, but when the Spirit of God used this kind elderly lady to tell me these words that I needed to hear, my heart felt all joy and my light shone….Brighter and better than ever, as I let the light of Jesus into my life so that my light could shine not to glorify myself but to bring all of the glory to Jesus, my Heavenly Father.
~”When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” ~John 8:12, NIV~
You see, dear reader, the point that I am trying to make in telling you these two stories is that your light that the Holy Spirit of God put within you to shine cannot shine unless you take every thought captive to God the Father and put that enemy out of place and away from your life as he is meant to be. You literally have to silence the enemy through constant and fervent prayer in order to get rid of him from all of your self so that your light can shine in the calling of your life that God has handpicked you to serve in: for God, yourself, and others around you who need you, dear reader, to be there for them, and who need Jesus.
~”Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.” ~Colossians 4:2-4, NIV~
Whether it is waitressing, working in Corporate America, traveling for business, or working locally or abroad, you have the power to silence that enemy and tell him to shut up all while showing him that Jesus is the only God that you serve.
You have the power. And the power of God is what empowers you with that willpower He gave you. God gave you a mouth. He gave you a mouth to make declarations of the truth against the enemy. He gave you a mouth to silence the enemy altogether. He gave you a mouth for the sake of using your words and speech to glorify God the Father above. This is what allows a breakthrough to take place from within and on the outside of you.
~A very wise man of God once told me, “No light shines like you.”~
And this statement that my friend told me is true. There is no light that shines like me because God made no one else like me (this is not vain, it’s just the truth because I am unique and wonderfully made by the God of the Universe, who loved me). And like me, there is no light that shines like you because God made you to be set apart and for a purpose and to be that bright light that He has called you to be….for Him and in this world and not of it.
~”I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”~Psalm 139:14, ESV~
I now want to take this moment to pray for you, dear reader, that you will let your light shine in 2018 and beyond:
Thank You for all of the readers who you ordained to read this blog post today. Thank You that each one of them is special and made for a purpose. Thank You for putting Your light in each of them so that they can be light for others, whether they be Christian or non-Christian, so that they can all witness and testify to You and of Your great love as they serve You. Thank You that Your hand is molding each reader to be that spark for 2018 that you have called him or her to be in 2018 and beyond: in the workplace, missions field, for friends, for family, and for all of the world to see. May those who see the bright lights of each reader be touched by them and by the light of Jesus in and through them as You use them to be the hands and feet of Jesus in and through their lives to the natural world around them. May this cross over into Your heaven as what they do from the natural crosses over into the spiritual and from the spiritual into the natural through fervent and effectual prayer. Let each light of every boy, girl, man, or woman shine brighter than ever before this year and beyond. Let each light shine for Jesus and Jesus only so that others around them who see each light know that when they see him or her that they see Jesus and that they serve no other god besides Jesus. May each reader be blessed for reading this blog post and for joining me in prayer today. I give you all of the glory, the honor, and the praise.
In Jesus’ Name,
Thank you so much for reading this blog post, dear reader. Know that your light is what makes you special and God knows this. Stay encouraged and in the Father’s love today! ❤
~”We love because he first loved us.”~1 John 4:19, NIV~