God’s Thoughts to Me
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16, NKJV).
The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord (Proverbs 20:27, NKJV).
Religious To-Do Lists
The world commends busy people. Being without a to-do list as long as your arm at least, brands you as a failure, disqualifying you quickly from climbing the ladder of success.
To have a fulfilled life and to experience the satisfaction of a job well done, you need to be able to tick off the last item on your list by the end of the day or run faster tomorrow!
A list to help you organize your day is good, but our Lord advised us not to be worldly-minded as far as His Kingdom is concerned.
I have observed this peculiar ladder-climbing phenomenon in the Christian world as well. And it just gets progressively worse with all the new programs entering the Christian scene left, right and center.
Every true believer often experience a spiritual dryness or winter season. It is necessary for the deep inner growth, which cannot happen during times of prosperity.
Do we suffer the germination process of new seeds in our lives gladly while we allow our roots to grow deeper into the life of our Lord?
Do we eagerly look forwards to the lush new growth or do we mumble and grumble, if not complaining bitterly, when we experience suffering?
The only result we get from complaining and resisting the discipline of our Pappa is harming and stunting the growth of the fragile new sprouts!
The colder the winter and more severe the drought, the more we are sorely tempted to revert back to a “religious to-do list”. We hope that being especially good will make Pappa smile at us again.
It seems as if we believe that our God’s presence is a bartering commodity with which we can earn His love and blessings by submitting to a few religious exercises!
We suffer from this life-threatening disease that makes us susceptible to thinking God needs anything from us before He would look at us with love and favor or rejoice over us with singing.
Yet, Solomon tells us that mans’ spirit is the lamp of our Lord. In the same way Jesus told us to let our lights shine before others so that it will bring all the glory to our Pappa and not ourselves in a crooked world and perverse society.
Paul told the Corinthians,”But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us” (2 Corinthians 4:7, NKJV).
We need to do stock-taking of all the items on our religious to-do lists to keep our Lord happy and to fill up the empty lamps of our hearts.
A long repertoire of things to do can effortlessly cause us to stand out like sore thumbs by our weird expressions and programs of piety.
It is so easy to become a social nuisance when our lamps burn with the religious oil of the world.
Our evangelical zeal and our insistence that others do things our way, have caused so much spiritual abuse that people don’t want to have much to do with that god.
Does the fruit of our lives bear the stamp of Jesus or do we strive in our own strength to be a light in the darkness or salt to give flavor to those around us?
Do the lamps of our hearts burn with the oil of church attendance every Sunday as well as a few times during the week and serving in a ministry? Can our lamps even begin to burn on that fuel?
Do we rely on good things like Bible reading, having long quiet times, praying for a certain amount of time per day, being kind to the poor, tithing, attending all the new conferences, memorizing scripture, etc. to enable us to bring glory to our God?
It is so crucial not just to know of, but also to experience our Lord Jesus living His life and godly character in and through us.
Only as we come to Him with empty hands and He draws us ever closer, are our feeble hearts readied and opened to be filled with the oil of His Spirit.
Only as we empty our hearts of the oil of our own efforts, can we shine as godly lights in the world and be a pinch of salt that adds a flavor to a tasteless existence.
Much love and sweet blessings.