called to be lights
Arise, shine, for your light has come!
And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
We are called to be lights. There are so many scriptures that call us to this, but how do we do that exactly? How do we shine?
Think of a lamp. The lamps that were used in the time of Jesus were oil lamps. It was just a little clay vessel, filled with oil and a wick. An ordinary vessel that, when lit, produced a flame to illuminate the darkness.
What makes us vessels ready to be used by God?
First, we need to be emptied. Through prayer, in worship and surrender, we call out to God and ask Him to cleanse us of all corruption and sin.
Then the Lord fills us with His Spirit—He is the oil for our lamp! God fills us up, and He continues to fill us up with His Holy Spirit as we ask, seek, and know our need for Him. We need faith to be filled. When we call to the Lord in faith, we can trust in His faithfulness to fill us up.
Think of a modern lamp. What good would that lamp be if we plugged it into an outlet without power? If we try to plug into anything that this world offers, it will fail. There is no power in this world that can fill us like God’s Spirit and illuminate our path like God’s Word. In fact, this world does the opposite—it drains us.
May I ask, what are you filled up with? What are you plugged into? Plug into the living Word of God, for it is powerful and effective in us. Fill up with Jesus, our true Light.
So, once a lamp is filled with oil, or plugged in, what next? Light the wick! Flip the switch! How useless a lamp would be if it was left unlit. No help at all! This is our obedience to the Spirit within us. This is our obedience to the Word of God.
Are you filled up and ready to shine?
Are you ready, but lacking in obedience? There is a great need for light in our world right now. We are called to be lights—a city on a hill that cannot be hidden. A beacon of hope to weary travelers in the dark.
Someone walking in darkness sees the lights of a city and knows there will be shelter, help, food, rest. What can you do right now to shine light into the world around you?
Jesus commands us to love God and love others. Not sure where to start? Maybe it’s checking in on your family and neighbors. Send a card with words of love, encouragement, the Word of God. How about doing some things around the house as an act of service and love for your parents? Set the phone aside, spend quality time with your kids.
So go ahead, do it. Be cleansed. Be filled. Be ready to “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
Those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky,
and those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever.