I just got back from a mission trip to Honduras, and let me tell you: EVERYONE is looking for the light. I don’t care who you are, or where you live in the world – you want to know what real love and light is. People are tired of being tossed by the sea in the darkness.
The Sunday before I left, my Dad said something that really struck a chord with me:
“You are a Lighthouse.”
First of all, I’ve just got to say that I love my Dad. 🙂 Second of all, what is a lighthouse and what does it really mean to be one? According to Britannica, a lighthouse is for “coastal navigation, warning mariners of hazards, establishing their position, and guiding them to their destinations.” Literally, a light house is a house of light; light that points others towards home.
Jesus says to His believers: “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). He is the Light, but He chooses to make US His carriers. God wants us to live so brightly that there is no denying we are not of this world; to keep loving, to keep shining, and to be unashamed like Jesus.
“For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, despising its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” – Hebrews 12:2
Jesus only cared to please the Father. Even before the cross, He despised the shame of looking weird or crazy or too godly, pure, or obsessive…for us. He didn’t care about the stark contrast in which He was shining, or about what other people thought of Him while He lived on the earth. In fact, He was not concerned with Himself at all! He was only concerned with housing God’s light, and pointing His people towards home. He despised the shame of His devotion because He never lost sight of the joy set before Him – His coming and dwelling inside of our hearts with His light, which leads me to ask myself: Am I willing to despise the shame of being different for the joy set before ME – being filled with Him even more?
Everything in the world makes us think that we need to fit IN and not stand OUT, but where is the power in that? I’m realizing that my power lies in living purely for the Lord and actually being as different as possible. The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy our gifts, our talents, and our personalities – what God has given us to make us shine for His glory – by making us hold back for the sake of trying to blend in. Therefore, if you realize that this is his strategy, you won’t be surprised when you are hit with the most insecurities in the places where you are actually the most gifted, anointed, and powerful.
For example, I used to be fearful of being “too spiritual” or “too happy.” I was afraid of people looking at me and thinking I was inauthentic or fake because they didn’t know me. I felt I needed to suppress my personality, and be a little more “normal” to be relatable to people and honoring to God. What I didn’t realize was that the enemy was lying to me, slowly eating away at my boldness, and making me insecure in the very thing that God had given me – my personality – to shine His glory the most. How do I know this? If anything, and I mean ANYTHING – no matter what it is, lowers your standard of living confidently in the Lord, or takes away from your relationship with Jesus instead of adding to it, it is not from Him. And if anything is pure and points others to Him, it is nothing to be ashamed of. God moves in power no matter what we do because that is who He is, but when we choose to carry His Presence (His light and love) boldly and intentionally, crazy stuff starts to happen. For example, do you believe that someone can…
…be healed by a hug you give?
…be radically saved by looking at a painting you made?
…encounter the Presence of God through a song you wrote?
…be forever changed by an encouraging word you say?
It may sound extreme, but if we really believe that the Light of the world lives inside of us, do we not believe that He wants to light up even the simplest things we do as well? It’s not complicated to shine God’s glory and be used of Him! When you’re focused on the Lord, you don’t even have to try; you just shine. I can’t tell you how many times people have told me recently that, as a worship leader, I wasn’t even leading a song of worship at church, but simply standing on stage or in the audience WORSHIPING, and when they looked at me they were touched by Jesus. That is so humbling to me, but why is that? It’s because when we fix our eyes on Him, people look at us and no longer see us…they see Him! I don’t think there is a greater blessing or privilege on this earth, and we are ALL called to shine no matter what we do. We are lighthouses that house His glory! Why would He not use us in crazy, random, intricate ways that we’ve never even thought of before to reveal Himself and bring glory to His Name?
So, what is the moral of the story here? You don’t have to look like the darkness to attract it. You do not have to be ashamed of the light or goodness inside of you because it’s not your goodness – it’s God’s! It is Jesus’ love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, and patience. From Him, to Him, and through Him are ALL good things. God wants you to shine because He is the light and it glorifies Him. The enemy will try to get us to self-consciously focus on ourselves, but it’s actually not about us at all. Whether it’s pride or insecurity, both are a focus on self, neither are from God, and both distract from His true purposes. However, if we can fix our eyes on Jesus, all pride and insecurity will fade away, and we will be able to truly stand firm in our calling and purpose without any false motives or flesh interfering. As a lighthouse that is solely concerned with the Light, we can partner with Him in our faith and be an example for others of what it looks like to follow God, and walk out His calling. What it looks like to be natural, but supernatural at the same time. Finite and infinite. Confident, but still completely reliant. Burning, yet still constantly in need of fuel. When we let God shine His light through us, we are practically living in such a way so as to intentionally worship Him in everything we do.
I definitely don’t get this right all the time, however, isn’t part of being a lighthouse needing to be constantly refilled with light?! It’s the only way to keep shining! The light doesn’t come from me, but from Him inside of me. If He is not ashamed to dwell inside of me, I am not ashamed to need Him.
“Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.” Hebrews 2:11
“Without holiness, no one will see God.” Hebrews 12:14
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8
“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” John 8:12
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14
“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God which is in you…” 2 Timothy 1:6
“But Christ was faithful as a Son over His house–whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.” Hebrews 3:6
“Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16
So, what is your calling? What do you have faith for? How does God want to use you to point others to Him? Don’t let the enemy put out the light God put in you. You can’t change what’s happened in the past, but it’s never too late to start shining for His glory. 🙂