Lights vs. The Light

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Lights

 

“Am I not trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” – Apostle Paul, Galatians 1:10 (NIV)

I see it. So do you.

The famous. The celebrities. The popular. The trendy. The next big thing.

If you have a pulse, it’s extremely difficult to avoid the constant barrage of media coverage of those in the public spotlight. The entertainment networks and shows have wall-to-wall coverage of their every move: who is getting married, who is getting divorced, who is having a baby, who is starring in the next big film or ready to release new music. The celebrity industry has proven to be profitable simply by reporting on what well-known people are doing that don’t know you (i.e. TMZ anyone).

Our culture is fascinated by the spotlight of popularity and fame. The growth of social media has only exacerbated the growing trend through a plethora of shares, likes and reposts. Yet, this celebrity culture has swept through the Church as well. Stars are being born and groomed in the pulpits, on the stages of major conferences, and in the latest popular song of worship (and sometimes it makes you question — who are you worshipping?).

God is using this generation to proclaim and declare the Gospel to every corner of the earth and people of all walks of life. I applaud Christ-followers who use their gifts and anointing to reach the celebrity that everyone thinks they know. But, we must clearly differentiate between the lights of men and THE LIGHT of the world!

As I read the Scriptures, I see Jesus as a man and servant who did not coddle to the whims of men but the will of God. As a result, His popularity waned and even those that used to support Him turned their backs on Him. Jesus fully understands the blowing winds of being popular. But, He came to point people to His Father, not His fame. He came to show the world full of darkness that His Light could pierce through the abyss of sin. He came to set you free.

As tempting as it can be, watch out for the lights. The lights of men can shine on you but also shine on your pride. It can suck you into the never-ending cycle of appeasement and compromise. There’s nothing wrong with using your influence to share the Good News, but make it a priority that you are sharing His news, not yours. The comparison game must end. The subtle or direct competition amongst Christ-followers must cease. We have a world desperate for the Gospel message.  This message is not relegated to a sermon or a song, but it’s a life message we can all live.

For it’s THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD that’s needed now more than ever. With the racial tensions in our cities, the catastrophic events around the world and the apathetic disposition binding our generation, we must ask ourselves the question: Are we caught up in the lights or THE LIGHT? When you are caught up in THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD, you have identity, purpose, destiny and significance. Be encouraged to know that God will use you right where you are and He will raise you up at the proper time. But, when you are raised up for purpose, remain humble. Stay connected with Him. When His Light shines through you, you will never have the need for “the spotlight”. It’s already in you. – RF

Amazing Adventure with God!

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AmazingAdventure

Boring. Status Quo. Dull. Redundant. 

The above words should never be used to describe our relationship with God. Too often, followers of Christ seem to be drowning in their own despair, exhibiting signs of a mundane existence. The hope we confess has been silenced by the challenges of life. The joy that is meant to be our strength has alluded too many. Faith in God was never meant to be a chore — but an amazing adventure!

God is an adventurous God! He invites us on the adventure of life to discover unknown territory and to experience unforgettable moments. For God, there’s nothing hazardous or risky for Him. But, for us, this amazing adventure should represent faith-filled risks and taking daring steps into the unknown. In God’s infinite wisdom, He knows that taking an adventure with Him will change our lives forever.

Doesn’t the Scriptures tell us that…

“Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain or what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1)

When you make the decision to take an amazing adventure with God, there will be things you do not see. You will not have complete understanding of the terrain. That’s the plan! We are placing our faith in God who is leading us, not placing our faith on what’s ahead of us. In the Gospel of Matthew 14:22-33, if Peter kept his eyes on Jesus rather than the reckoning winds around him, he would have no doubt walked completely on water to Jesus. But, his fear prevented this from happening and Jesus made it clear — you have little faith.

But, here’s the key: Jesus never said Peter didn’t have any faith at all. This experience for Peter was the precursor of him taking even more risks and becoming a Kingdom builder! If you have rejected the adventure before because of fear, anxiety or doubt, take heart! God offers this adventure everyday you wake up and every moment you use your faith to believe in His unrivaled power.

How do you begin to take an adventure with God?

1. Speak words of life! 

Your words will inform how you live. If you keep declaring your life is boring and dull, guess what? It will become boring and dull. Speak words of life over you — that you will prosper, will succeed, and will accomplish the will of God for your life.

2. Pray for new adventures from God!

Seek God for new adventures and new opportunities to grow in your faith. I must caution you though: It may not come the way you expect. It may arrive at your door by way of challenge, crisis or conflict. It may come in an unexpected way. Stay connected to the Jesus — the vine — and receive His strength to accept the challenge.

3. Discover how to give God glory through the unknown!

It can be downright frightening to be led into new opportunities or challenges that you may feel unprepared for. Yet, without faith-filled risks you cannot take ownership of faith-filled rewards. As you use faith to embark on this adventure, always give God glory for the lessons learned and opportunities given.

Jesus was attractive too many not solely on his mastery of doctrine or theology. His appeal was the endless adventure He pursued and accepted. Our attractiveness to others is not about how many times we say Jesus, but live like Him. Take an adventure with God! Go for new dreams and new goals! Don’t hold back because of fear. God has too much in store for you to live in boredom. Your life in God should be marked by the exciting adventure that awaits you. Go for it! – RF