Growing up in church we enthusiastically sang, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.” But, my favorite verse was “Don’t let Satan blow it out…NO! I’m gonna let it shine.” Looking back, I can see that I enjoyed being able to yell as loud as I could the word “NO.”
Jesus reminds us in Matthew 5:14-16 that “You are the light of the world – like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.”
But, so often, we are used by God, we shine His light in many places and then something happens, and our light goes out. Unfortunately, those who are in the “spotlight” are often a target for the enemy! He knows if he can diminish their light he can do the most damage to the church and weaken their witness to those in the world watching our lives.
The Bible tells us that “Satan comes as an angel of light!” His goal is to take us down! And he is good at doing just that.
“Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. But, when you eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is.” Matthew. 6:22-23
In my own life I have discovered that there are two crucial ways Satan attempts put out my light and you may relate to these as well…
1) A focus on the NEGATIVE: defeat, discouragement, disappointment, division, destruction, and devastation.
2) A focus on OURSELVES: First we focus on our failures and mistakes and simply give up being a light out of the feeling of unworthiness. Or, he gets us feeling empowered, entitled, and pride over our achievements enter in, and we can no longer shine because it is no longer Jesus shining, it is our flesh. It becomes all about YOU not Jesus! That may last for a while, but even the ungodly recognize self-promotion and our light goes out.
The good news is that God is here to help us to shine brightly…
Psalm 27:1 “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?”
We don’t have to FEAR Satan, but we do have to know his tricks! So how can we prevent Satan from blowing out our light that the world so desperately needs to see?
God helped me to see the ‘light’ (no pun intended) by pointing out a spiritual insight about my NIGHTLIGHT that is run by ‘light energy.’ All day long while daylight is available, my nightlight stores up energy so when it is needed, it is ready and will work for hours in the dark! When the room starts to dim, the nightlight automatically turns on!
You can’t be a light unless you spend time with the light!
Jesus called us “a light” but in reality, He is the true light! Jesus said, “I am the LIGHT of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life” John 8:12 NLT.
We lose our light the moment our focus on Jesus is gone and our focus goes in other directions. Don’t let the enemy destroy your light. Keep your focus on God, his purposes and getting others ready for eternity.
It happened to me – I lost my light when my 4th grade class was taken from me. I loved teaching those children. It was my joy to watch them grow in confidence and develop in skill, but most of all to work together and encourage one another. When the principal that hired me retired, the new principal brought with him his own team of teachers and those with least seniority were let go. I was devastated and struggled with how God could allow my light to be snuffed out. I obediently submitted my resume to the school district and was later hired as a remediation teacher over 32 High School students that were failing and would not graduate unless they passed the six required competency tests. These students often skipped class, failed to do homework and caused trouble when they did show up. The school was short on classrooms, so they cleaned out a large media closet with no windows and assigned me to use that as my room. It was damp, dusty, and had no windows. I cried. I prayed for wisdom.
God said, bring in floor lamps, create your own windows and decorate this room as if it was your home! I actually brought in window frames and changed the pictures mounted behind them to reflect the seasons outside. God changed my view. He brought light to my heart and light to that school. Not only did 28 of the 32 students graduate from school that year, but the art teacher in the High School asked me to perform her wedding. After six pre-marriage counseling sessions, the couple prayed for Christ to be the Lord over their lives and union. They asked me to give a declaration of their newly found faith during their wedding where the superintendent of schools, the High School principal and most of the faculty attended. In one year, three of my students prayed to receive Christ simply by asking me “why I cared so much?” After the wedding, teachers would stop by during my free period just to “check out my room” and then ask for prayer.
John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me and I in them, will bear much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”
It became so clear to me, that when I lost my focus, my light went out. But, when I allowed God to change my focus and simply obey what He asked of me, stay connected to him and allow Him to work in me…His light in me, would shine. It wasn’t even MY light. It was all HIM. I couldn’t do it on my own. But, with God’s help, staying closely connected to Him, we can be a light in a very dark place!
When you have been with Him…You will SHINE!