I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and praying, about what God’s message is in this chaotic season we’re in, especially given the events as of late. I thought back to December 24, 2019, when we did our annual Candlelight service. After a time of music and worship, Pastor Chuck asks for all the lights to be turned off, leaving nothing but darkness.
Then, after a brief message about how the world is living in darkness, and that without our light they would surely perish, he lights his candle. A lone light pierces through the shadows, drawing the gazes of everyone within the darkened room. Then, one by one, the other candles are lit, until the room glows with a chorus of flickering lights. As we join our voices together in song and praise, with the candlelight dancing across the multitude of faces, we celebrate in one accord the hope we have because of the grace that has been freely given to all who believe in Jesus Christ. Finally, with a quick gust of wind the flames are snuffed out, and the world is once again consumed in an everlasting darkness.
The question that’s on my mind today is, have we allowed this to become nothing more than an annual tradition before the arrival of Christmas Day? Has the message behind it eluded us, or perhaps we’ve become overwhelmed by the tumultuous state of the world we live in?
People are hurting in our nation. Innocent lives are being stolen from their families and friends, all because of personal prejudice. Cities are burning. Medical professionals are still on the frontlines of this pandemic, and we as a nation are more divided than ever. The devil looks to incite chaos, fear and hate. There is a great shadow being cast across this country, and everyone is struggling to find an answer.
After considering everything that’s happening and what’s been laying on my heart, this is my message: no matter how dark the world looks, God’s light will only shine brighter. He’s not limited by the shadows, but rather will use His body of believers as a beacon to bring the lost and the hurting to Him. If we can shine our light before men, instead of hiding in our silence, then God will draw all people unto Himself. We need to focus on who the real enemy is, and fight for the hearts and souls of the lost.
God is getting ready to pour out His Spirit upon all flesh, and it’s up to us to be the ready and willing vessel we have been called to be when this happens. I’ve felt Him working in me these past few weeks regarding my personal issues with anxiety, depression, and my weight. I struggle daily to remain focused, and not allow those thoughts to distract me from my goals (because all it takes is a thought to take you off the path to God’s calling). I’ve lifted these issues up to the Father, because I want to be able to reach the people I am appointed to reach in my lifetime.
My prayer for not only myself but all of us as children of God, is that we would offer our lives in total surrender to Him, and that we will be a city on a hill that cannot be hidden, and bring the reality of God’s fierce love to those who are hurting or feeling hopeless and living in fear. I pray that we lead by the example given to us by Jesus, and serve our community with humility and grace. May we never allow the enemy to cause us to lose our hope in Christ, and may we always remember that His promises are forever, and His word never returns to Him void.
May we forever be the candle in the dark.
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works, and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.Matthew 5:14-16 ESV