In a World of Glow Sticks, Be a Light Bulb!
In one of my favorite movies, The Lion King, Mufasa and Simba are having a conversation about the kingdom.
Mufasa: “Look, Simba. Everything the light touches is our kingdom.”
Young Simba: “Wow.”
One of the main reasons I love this movie is because it reminds me of my walk with Jesus and the Father’s love. As I was thinking about this particular scene one day, it occurred to me that this is like the Kingdom of God. Everywhere the light touches is within our domain as children of God. Where there is darkness, we have the ability to bring the light.
Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever. -Daniel 12:3
Sometimes I tend to forget that I have power through Jesus, especially in places out of my comfort zone. It’s like I think to myself, “I can show the light when I’m at my house or around my people,” but I forget I can bring it to ALL places.
In my own personal life, I have really seen the effect of Jesus-light lately. About a month ago, I moved across the country to live in California for 10 months. I knew no one. I was starting a new job. I was attending a new church. I was in a new city. It was terrifying, but I knew this was where God placed me for this season. Consequently, one of my prayers was to grow in Jesus. I don’t want to grow just a tiny bit, but exponentially -- to abide in Him.
A lot of the people at my work aren’t followers of Jesus, and I have been praying that my life would demonstrate Him to them. Last week my boss, who is a self-proclaimed atheist, and I were talking about some changes going on at work. She told me, “You have been a godsend here. And I don’t even believe in God, but you are almost making me believe…what an excellent job you are doing. Everyone here really respects you.” As I walked out the door, the following verse came to mind:
And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. – Colossians 3:23-24
1 Corinthians 10:31 says something similar: “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
On another day, my recruiter from the agency I work with texted me and asked if she could give a new person my contact information to ask me some questions. I said yes, and I received an email from the new person asking questions. In the email she put “I am new to traveling and have some reservations about accepting the school…position and [the company] said you would be a great reference since you’ve been out there.”
These are only two of the many examples from the past few weeks in my own life. I don’t say this to brag myself up because it is not about me. People notice excellence. I can’t stress this enough. It is so vitally important to how we live our lives. You and I have an opportunity to reach people around us by the way we present ourselves. It is a testimony to the character of Jesus and to the light we have through Him. Our behavior and our presence open doors to tell people about why we are the way we are. We need to try to do our best because Jesus deserves nothing less than our best.
I looked up “light” on Dictionary.com. Here are a few of my favorite definitions.
- “something that makes things visible”
- “The radiance or illumination from a particular source”
- “the aspect in which a thing appears or is regarded”
- “the state of being visible, exposed to view, or revealed to public notice or knowledge”
- “to set burning, as a candle, lamp, fire, match; kindle; ignite”
- “to give light to”
- “to cause (the face, surroundings, etc.) to brighten, especially with joy [or] animation”
- “to guide…with a light”
We can spark a fire in others. We can bring light to dark places. We can be visible and transparent to the people around us. We can look at situations from a Godly perspective. Most importantly, we can illuminate Jesus.
First, pray for God to infuse you with Him. That no matter where you are, at home or traveling, at school or work, that you would be listening to His voice.
To bring the light, you have to be IN the light. Rest in Jesus. Seek Him. Take time out of your busy day to worship, thank, and speak with Him. If you aren’t in the habit, get in the habit. Have people hold you accountable. Write scriptures everywhere (I have some on the dashboard in my car). Set aside Jesus time. Read the Bible.
You can bring the light through your words. Take every opportunity to spread the light. Speak life into people. Whether it’s encouraging someone on Facebook or encouraging a cashier as you are buying groceries.
You can bring the light through your actions. Do all things for the glory of God. It shows. Like Abel in the Bible, give God your best, not your leftovers. Actions speak louder than words a lot of times.
Brainstorm ideas of what you personally can do to bring the light to others. Send a card if you feel prompted. Go out to for coffee with someone who's been on your heart lately and talk to them. Volunteer at soup kitchens, youth centers, and other outreach ministries. The ideas are endless.
As Jesus-lovers, we should be constantly growing and stretching ourselves out of our comfort zones. The more that I press into worship, reading my Bible, sitting and listening, and reading Christian books, the more Jesus permeates into me and my life.
A glow stick is a “self-contained, short term light source.” We don’t want to be self-contained and short term. We want to be light bulbs. Like electricity powers a light bulb, we want Jesus to empower us so we shine bright and light up the darkest places during our lifetimes.