After our Hanukkah celebration each night, I love to sit and just gaze at the lights of the burning candles of the menorah. There is such a quiet strength in the way that they break through into the night atmosphere.There is also a strength and reassurance I feel from the continuity of a spiritual experience that is almost 3,500 years old, dating back to the Tabernacle lampstand in Exodus, and then to the 1st and 2nd Jerusalem Temples.
I am reminded that light overcomes the darkness! I need that reminder! Especially in these ever-changing, ever increasingly dark times in which we live, it is easy to get caught up in fear of the darkness; and in bitterness, resentment and blame toward those we view as contributing to this darkness. We may even feel justified in doing so.
However, we need to remember that we are not called to curse the darkness, but rather to be lights in the darkness that draw others to Him.
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Even so, let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”(Matt 5:14-16)
Everything we do and say, should glorify our Father in heaven (1 Cor 6:19-20). So we need to ask ourselves, “How does fear, bitterness, resentment, and blame glorify God?” Instead of glorifying Him, they actually give Satan a handle to influence and have power in our lives. They cause us to show forth Satan’s nature, instead of God’s. We end up looking no different and oftentimes worse than anyone else. We become part of the darkness, rather than drawing others to God’s light within us.
Remember, Satan has been trying to block God’s light ever since the garden, and loves to block His light in us through our strongholds; and our fears, bitterness, resentment, blame, criticalness, anger, rejection, etc. If he can get us focused on these things, then God’s light within us is blocked, and we are of no threat to him. The good news is that Yeshua has already freed us from our strongholds, from being controlled by these negative emotions (2 Cor 3:17). He rescued us out of the darkness (1 Pet 2:9). He’s freed us from having to take in, take on, or show forth anything that is not from God (Gal. 5:1).
We are the ones, through what we choose to believe, think, feel and say that lose this freedom when we give Satan a handle in our lives (Eph 4:27). However, when we focus upon who God is, who we are in Him, and how He sees us – we experience deep joy and intimacy with Him that can never be taken away no matter how dark our world becomes (Jer. 17:8). That unshakeable joy, love and hope, regardless of our circumstances, is the light that will draw others to Him.
A deep, intimate relationship with the Lord – focused on who He is, who we are in Him, and how He sees us – is the only thing we can depend on for happiness and security, not others and not our circumstances. When we find ourselves frustrated because someone has disappointed us or because our circumstances have not worked out as we planned, then we realize we have been depending upon someone or something other than God for joy, happiness, and security. God never changes (Mal 3:6; Heb 13:8), whereas other people and our circumstances are always changing and are never perfect.
Our purpose for being here each day is not just to get our to-do lists done. Our purpose is to KNOW Him, to experience intimacy in relationship with Him and to be a light to draw others to Him.
So let’s be aware of what we are allowing in our hearts, minds, and words. We need to be as committed as disciplined athletes (who practice and compete whether they feel like it or not) to run the race using our weapons of warfare (whether we feel like it or not, whether we’re justified or not) to deal with anything that might block God’s light within us. (Heb 12:1-2)
What’s blocking you today from being a light in the darkness? Is it fear? stress? disappointment? frustration? anger? bitterness? resentment? unforgiveness? rejection? blame? dread? shame? trying to prove your worth? Use your spiritual weapons of warfare and deal with it today. Run the race with the discipline of an athlete. You are in this place for such a time as this (Esther 14:14). Don’t waste it. Don’t let the enemy rip you off from all God wants to do in and through you!
Chag Sameach! Happy Hanukkah!
Matt 5:14-16 – “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Even so, let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
1 Cor 6:19-20 – Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
2 Cor. 3:17 – Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
1 Pet 2:9 – But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
Gal 5:1 – It is for freedom that Messiah has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Eph 4:27 – and do not give the devil a foothold (or place, or opportunity)
Jer 17:8 – He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.
Mal 3:6 – I the Lord, do not change.
Heb 13:8 – Yeshua the Messiah is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Heb. 12:1 – Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Heb 12:2 – Let us fix our eyes on Yeshua, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Esther 14:14 – … And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?