As the Hanukkah season rapidly approaches, I find that its call to be “a light in the darkness” has taken on a whole new meaning in these end times. Personally, I know it’s impacting me in a more serious, somber way this year.
So what does it mean to be a “light” in these last days and why is it more difficult now than ever before?
There are more reasons than I have the space to write, but I’ll list what quickly comes to mind:
- The enemy is unleashing spirits of fear, apathy, powerlessness as never before.
- Most are caught up in fear (which blocks God’s light) of terrorism, persecution, rejection, losing their jobs and ministries.
- Some feel powerless (which blocks God’s light) in the midst of the rapidly increasing prevalence of evil.
- Many are apathetic (which blocks God’s light), just waiting for Yeshua to rapture them away, thinking “why try to impact this fallen world, we’ll be out of here soon anyway!”
- We are all busier than ever — over-worked, over-committed to too many activities and trying to meet too many expectations. This keeps our eyes on ourselves and our circumstances and the enemy loves it. When we stay focused on our “busy-ness,” (which blocks God’s light), we are no threat to him.
- The vast majority are more stressed than ever (which blocks God’s light), and deceived into believing that stress is just a “normal” part of life in our culture.
- Many have adapted a tolerance for sin (which blocks God’s light), and a hesitancy to call sin “sin,” even in our pulpits.
- Yeshua’s words: “You are the light of the world…let your light shine before men” (Matt 5:14-16) have become so “over-familiarized” with Hanukkah that perhaps they no longer penetrate our hearts in a meaningful, life-changing way.
How do you break through these “blocks” to God’s light?
I believe it’s by focusing on who God is, who you are in Him, and how He sees you. Then, you will experience deep joy and intimacy with Him that will never change, no matter how dark your world becomes (Jer 17:8). The other day I felt that I wasn’t being taken seriously, that my skills and experiences were not being valued — and I allowed it to control how I felt about myself, my mood that day, and how I reacted toward others. God reminded me the next morning in my prayer time that how He sees me and how valuable I am to Him MUST be the source of my joy, and the determinant of how I feel and act. I cannot depend on others or my circumstances for my security, identity or happiness.
Intimacy with Him, which is the primary desire of His heart toward you, is the only thing that cannot be taken away from you and should be your primary focus each day. Also, I focus on the Millennial Temple and I picture ruling and reigning with Yeshua from Jerusalem during the Millennium, teaching His Word and increasing righteousness throughout the whole earth. I become very excited and hopeful about the future and you should too!
Although it may be more difficult to be a light in these end times, it is more critical now than ever!
I believe it is a key to revival. When you are a light in difficult times – when you have joy and love no matter what the circumstances, when others see His presence and power in and through you in displays of His glory, healing, signs and wonders – then they will be drawn to Him, repent, and revival will break out. However, when you react just like everyone else in hard times – stressed, fearful, angry, self-focused – others will fall even deeper into deception, rather than being drawn to revival.
I feel very strongly that just “getting by” as a believer – attending services, praying and reading the Word occasionally, being nice – is not going to cut it in these last days. Without deep intimacy with the Lord, Matt 24:10 tells us “at that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another.” In 1 Tim 4:1, we find “the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.”
At the same time I was typing that exact verse into this blog, the National Cathedral in WDC announced it is holding Friday Muslim prayer services claiming “we worship the same God.” This is serious business. God is calling you to be a warrior – to take up your weapons of warfare and take a stand for righteousness! Take a stand for growing deeper in relationship with Him, commit to deal with whatever barriers block His light in you, commit to intercessory prayer, fasting, praise and worship that will pierce through the darkness.
I believe you have to make that choice to be a warrior NOW before we head any further into these last days. Are you going to be a light in the darkness or are you going to blend in with the darkness?
The choice is yours this Hanukkah season.