Shine   Leave a comment

“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.”  Matthew 5:14-16 The Message

Hiding.  It’s been a classic human response of self-protection since the beginning of time.   Every hurt and disappointment . . . another layer of self protection.  Abuse as a child . . . layer . . . wanting to fit in . . . layer . . . disappointment . . . layer . . . miscarriages . . . layer . . .  betrayal . . . layer . . . divorce . . . layer.  Don’t get me wrong, in every moment, God was always there, showing Himself.  I just didn’t see the invisible layers I was building up “just in case” God didn’t come through.  I know, not very spiritual, right?  Just hiding in fear.  I’ve decided enough is enough.  Self-protecting is EXHAUSTING.   It’s a daily choice to be brave, to not hide, to trust God, TO SHINE.

If I were totally honest, I would admit, that at times there is almost a fear that God will expose my weaknesses, that I will find myself “naked and ashamed” . . . stuck in one of those dreams where you show up at work in your underwear.  I know I’m not alone.   I look at the first instance that man felt shame and hid, He was hiding from God.  I’ve always focused on what man should have done differently, what can I learn from the mistakes of others.  I missed it until now.   Imagine, Adam and Even have sinned.  They realize they are naked and they feel the burn of shame for the very first time in all of history.  They are collecting fig leaves to hide a shame that cannot be hidden . . . by make-up, by the right clothes, by a successful job.  Fig leaves.  What are your fig leaves?  Is it working?  For me, not for a second.   I’ve always focused on the curses and the checklist of things Adam and Eve have done wrong, talk about missing the heart of God.  “21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.”. Genesis 3:21 NIV.  You don’t see God ripping those fig leaves from the disobedient pair, exposing them, shaming them.  God didn’t do that.   He covered.  He protected.  Even when they didn’t deserve it.

What a secure place to make an even riskier choice! The choice  to SHINE.  To be open, to be vulnerable, to be transparent.  Terrifying, unless you believe God that He won’t leave you exposed.  And He won’t.  Think of all the reasons God could have exposed Jerusalem . . . the unfaithfulness and idolatry . . . but listen to God’s heart.  “Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of people and animals in it. And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will be its glory within.” Zechariah 2:4b-5.  I can feel secure because GOD HIMSELF is protecting me.  HE is the wall around me.  Any other wall I build in self-protection is, at it’s root, idolatry; looking to something else to provide to me what God has clearly promised.  But God doesn’t stop at protecting us.  He is the very light that will shine from us.  How amazing that HE is the glory inside me.  Those days that I feel full of any kind of darkness . . . frustration, disappointment, fear . . .I can trust that in reality, God has filled me with His glory.   I am His, I am His temple (1 Cor 6:19).  I’ve realized that the best way to shine, is to be so full of God that He crowds any darkness out.  The more I look at God’s glory and God’s goodness, the more I reflect it.

18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate[a] the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” 2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV

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Posted January 12, 2015 by canadianmeesh in Uncategorized

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