Shine on!

My pastor always uses this phrase and i just love it. Shine on! Be the light for all to see! There is more to life than meets the eye! There will be some days and situations where you do and give your best, your all, with the best intentions, and what you get in return is pure crap! At first you will get angry. You will get angry with everyone else then with yourself. You will get angry because people just don’t understand or appreciate you or understand why you are angry. I’ve been there myself. It’s a frustrating feeling to be misunderstood.
Eventually, the anger will give way to confusion. This will be the “what did i do wrong”? kind of confusion. The kind that eats away at my mind, heart, and spirit. The kind that makes me feel stupid, valueless, and worthless. I usually stay confused until doubt sets in. When that happens, i will question my motives for trying to be a decent human being! Then i get numb. I numb myself to anger, confusion, the self-doubt, and then self-judgement. At this point i have sworn to myself that i will never be hurt or disappointed again. Its a cycle i find myself in every since i was a little girl. Self protecton. Of course; i should’nt mean it! IM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD!
When you are light, you cannot complain about the darkness. The only thing you can do is shine! You must shine brightly, in everything you do, everyplace you go! That is our job! To be the salt and light of the earth.
Matthew 5:13-16
The Message (MSG)
Salt and Light
13″Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.
14-16″Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

When you are the light, you must realize that without the darkness you would have no meaning. You must also understand that just beacause there is no darkness does not mean you are not doing what you are suppose to do. You may be complaing about the darkness around you and how it seems like you are the only one trying to make the darkness brighter. Never allow what you can see with your eyes to lure you into the belief that there is nothing more. Always allow your spiritual eyes to take you beneath the surface. It is there you will see and know the truth. Until you can see yourself, your life, and everyone around you with spiritual vision, you will be confused by the apperance of lack and disorder. Everything we see in the outer world has a spiritual meaning, EVERYTHING! In the midst of every fact is a hidden and invisible cause. At the heart of every experience, every situation, every circumstance, there is invisible truth. For every single thing, no matter how unsightly, unpleasant, or disconcerting, there is true hidding meaning that represents the spirit. This applies to me and you! This is a revelation to me!! Everything i have been through in my life; God has been there all the time; but i was so focused on the problem i could not see God working in my heart at that moment. Now that i am wiser, I see the light. Im thankful for the wisdom now to see his hand in my life today!! There is a cause which we all live to fulfill!!! There is meaning beneath your physical exterior that represent spiritual activity. In order to see that activity, we must have spiritual vision. Until we do, we can always be fooled by appearances!! You may have been caught up, confused by the way things appear to be, you may have been fooled by the appearances of things and people around you. Ask God to give you spiritual insight into yourself and about all things. Just call on him; he will answer! Today be devoted to shining your light without complaining about the darkness and be devoted to developing your spiritual vision. Shine on!

But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing, among whom the god of this age has blinded the minds of those who do not believe so they would not see the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God (2 Corinthians 4:3-4, emphasis mine).

Here is an insert for those who don’t understand the meaning of spiritual vision …please read!!

“What’s my eyesight like these days?” I don’t mean my physical eyes; I mean the eyes of my heart? Do I have 20/20 vision, or am I near blind? Did you even realize that you had a set of spiritual organs with which you could apprehend God? To be sure the Bible is speaking metaphorically, but don’t just dismiss the descriptions as some creative poetic device. The Bible assumes that you have spiritual sensory organs.4 The witness of Scripture is great. Let me just give you some verses from the Psalms:
•precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes (Psalm 19:8, NASB).
•Your words are tastier in my mouth than honey! (Psalm 119:103)
•For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light (Psalm 36:9, NASB).
•Yes, in the sanctuary I have seen you, and witnessed your power and splendor (Psalm 63:2).
•Uncover my eyes so I can gaze at marvelous things out of your law! (Psalm 119:18)

Think about that for a minute. The Bible assumes that you will be able to know God with the same intensity of experience as you know your friends, your children, your wife. It assumes that you can experience God with the same satisfaction as you do a meal, a flower, a sunset. Spiritual reality is not some alternate dimension that we won’t have access to until we die. The Bible says that it is apprehended by faith with spiritual senses (Hebrew 11:1ff).

Speaking of Abraham and those who came before him, the author of Hebrews wrote,

These all died in faith without receiving the things promised, but they saw them in the distance and welcomed them and acknowledged that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth (Hebrews 11:13).

On this topic, A.W. Tozer writes,

What can all this mean except that we have in our hearts organs by means of which we can know God as certainly as we know material things through our familiar five senses. We apprehend the physical world by exercising the faculties given us for that purpose, and we possess spiritual faculties by means of which we can know God and the spiritual world if we will obey the Spirit’s urge and begin to use them… .5

Do you hear that? We have them but we must use them! The psalmist wasn’t using his spiritual eyes when he looked at the wicked with an envious heart. No, he was using his physical eyes, and what they saw provoked jealousy. The power of the physical overpowered his spiritual senses and blinded them.

Many of us are in the same boat. We look out at the world, and we only see with our physical eyes. Our spiritual eyes are blindfolded, as it were. From lack of use, they have become insensitive to spiritual realities. Our spiritual ears have heard the call of prosperity and comfort for so long that we don’t know how to hear anything else. Our spiritual taste buds have been fed a fast-food spiritual diet for so long that we are incapable of filling our hearts with nourishment. Friends, we are suffering from sensory overload. And the senses being overloaded are not the physical ones, but the spiritual ones. Like delicate instruments, fine tuned to hear the voice of God, they are easily damaged by the blasting waves of the world, and unless we keep them tuned regularly, they will quickly be unable to detect anything at all.

If you have placed your hope in this world for satisfaction, you are blind. Don’t trust your eyes. They can only see the physical side of life. They don’t have all the facts. If that view is not clarified, the result can be raging ENVY, like the psalmist. But it will lead to many other sins: GREED, LUST, ANGER, take your pick. You need the light of the Holy Spirit to restore your sight. If you sit here and claim the name of Christ, but realize that your spiritual eyes have cataracts, you need eye surgery.

Exhortation

So, how do we, like the psalmist, keep our spiritual senses in good working order? How do we go into the sanctuary and, by faith, catch a glimpse of the One who puts all things into perspective? I would like to dwell on a few suggestions.

First, spiritual eyes that“see” are eyes that hope in Christ. The goal is to “see” God, in Christ, with the eyes of faith. I must “see”! I want to understand Him to the extent that He reveals himself so that I can be truly satisfied. Think about the psalmist envying the wicked. He walked into the temple and understood that their lifestyle would never satisfy! He says, “What a fool! I was like a dumb animal!” But it took eyes of faith to “see” that. In that vein, the Apostle Paul prayed for the Ephesians that,

… the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe (Ephesians 1:18-19, NASB, emphasis mine).

Christ prayed for His disciples and those who would believe through their testimony (John 17:20).

Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, so that they can see my glory … (John 17:24).

The Apostle John reveled in the hope of seeing Christ when he wrote,

Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that whenever it is revealed we will be like him, because we will see him just as he is. And everyone who has this hope focused on him purifies himself, just as Jesus is pure (1 John 3:2-3, emphasis mine).

John Owen, the Puritan, wrote,

It is by beholding the glory of Christ by faith that we are spiritually edified and built up in this world, for as we behold his glory, the life and power of faith grow stronger and stronger. It is by faith that we grow to love Christ. So if we desire strong faith and powerful love, which give us rest, peace and satisfaction, we must seek them by diligently beholding the glory of Christ by faith. In this duty I desire to live and to die. On Christ’s glory I would fix all my thoughts and desires, and the more I see of the glory of Christ, the more the painted beauties of this world will wither in my eyes and I will become more and more crucified to this world. It will become to me like something dead and putrid, impossible for me to enjoy.6

Oh, my friends, strengthen your spiritual eyes so that Christ and the sight of Him becomes your only hope. Think about Him, dwell on what you know about Him, read books about Him. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you through His creation and through His Word. He is the only hope any of us has. And if we do not love the sight of Him, how can we love Him?

Second, the fight to see is a fight to believe. Seeing with new eyes is not just a part of your salvation experience, but part of the daily battle that is the Christian life. Ask yourself daily, “Where is my hope?” Think of the anguish of the psalmist as he went to the only place he knew would bring comfort. He was fighting to believe what God had promised! We desperately need that faith if we are going to know God and see things from His perspective. Listen to Tozer again:

But why do the very ransomed children of God themselves know so little of that habitual, conscious communion with God which Scripture offers? The answer is because of our chronic unbelief. Faith enables our spiritual sense to function. Where faith is defective the result will be inward insensibility and numbness toward spiritual things … .7

A spiritual kingdom lies all about us, enclosing us, embracing us, altogether within reach of our inner selves, waiting for us to recognize it. God Himself is here waiting our response to His presence.8

As we begin to focus upon God, the things of the spirit will take shape before our inner eyes. Obedience to the word of Christ will bring an inward revelation of the Godhead (John 14:21-23). It will give acute perception enabling us to see God even as is promised to the pure in heart. A new God-consciousness will seize upon us and we shall begin to taste and hear and inwardly feel God, who is our life and our all. There will be seen the constant shining of “the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (John 1:9). More and more, as our faculties grow sharper and more sure, God will become to us the great All, and His presence the glory and wonder of our lives.9

As you go through your day, ask Jesus to help you see things from His perspective. You need His help; you will remain blind without it. Ask for it. Don’t let anything distract you from believing Him.
•Him to help you see sin the way He sees it – and to believe what He shows you.
•Him to help you see others the way He sees them – and to believe what He shows you.
•Him to help you see yourself the way He sees you – and to believe what He shows you.
•Him to help you see your circumstances the way He sees them – and to believe what He shows you.

Cry out to Christ like Bartimaeus in Mark 10:51, when Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51a) He replied, “I want to SEE!” (Mark 10:51b, emphasis mine, NIV) Not asking Christ to help you see would be like Bartimaeus asking Jesus to fix his walking stick! The problem was that his eyes didn’t work.

Third and finally, we need to help each other see. The conclusion of this Psalm explains the psalmist’s intention to declare the wonders of what God has done to the congregation. He says,

But as for me, God’s presence is all I need.

I have made the sovereign LORD my shelter,

as I declare all the things you have done (Psalm 73:28).

That I may tell of Your works! That I may tell the congregation what You have done. That I may tell others what I see! So that I can help them see.

Oh Lord Jesus, if you don’t open the eyes of our hearts, we will not see You and cannot hope in You. If You don’t shine the light of Your glory into the dark corners of our hearts, we will remain blind and stumble about. Please open our eyes that we might see Your glory. May Your beauty outshine every other thing that promises satisfaction. May we, like the psalmist, see You by faith and thus gain an eternal perspective on reality. Then out of the abundance of that vision may we be unable to stop pointing those around us to You so that they too might see and believe. We ask this because we believe that it will glorify You to a world full of people who hear, but cannot hear, who look, but do not “see.” Amen.

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One thought on “Shine on!

  1. I had a dream in August of last year that pretty much details what you said here.

    A Walk of Faith

    I had a dream on August 12, 2011. In this dream I could see myself walking along a rocky path; one that would be easy to trip and fall on if you didn’t watch where you were going. In this dream my eyes were also bandaged so couldn’t see where I was going, which made things really difficult. The Lord was standing in front of me and He was holding both of my hands. I had to listen to the Lord for each step I took so that I wouldn’t fall. What was cool was that as I was walking forwards, the Lord was waking backwards and yet He never turned around to see where He was going, His attention was set on directing my steps so that I wouldn’t stumble or fall. What I see as the meaning of this dream is that this is the beginning of a faith walk that will require a hearing ear and an obedient heart.

    Here are some things that the Lord is showing me. My eyes in the dream were bandaged which leads me to believe that my eyesight was damaged. We humans judge by sight and not as the Lord judges which is by the heart. When you are blind, you can not judge by what you see but must rely on the one with the sight to tell you what He (Jesus) sees. I said in the dream that I had lost my eyesight in exchange for His. When you are blind, hearing becomes vital to your survival. In the above dream, I was on a very rocky road and had to Listen to the Lord to know where to place my feet. It is a hard thing when your eyes tell you one thing but the Lord’s tell you something completely different . It is about faith in the Lord’s eyes, faith in His judgements as opposed to yours, and faith in His ability to lead and guide and not leaning to your own understanding of things.

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