Keep shining. It’s not a new phrase, obviously. But, from a spiritual standpoint, it’s something to look into.
Matthew 5:16. What does it say? Let your light so shine before men so that they may see your good works and honor your Father in heaven.
That’s easy. But, do we understand its meaning? What is this light?
I’m going to attempt to break that down.
The light is the Holy Spirit, in my opinion. Obviously, you have to understand why I think it’s the Holy Spirit.
When we accept Jesus into our lives, we accept His Spirit. As the Holy Spirit comes in us, we are alive. We have new life. We receive the fruits and gifts of this spirit.
Before we accept Jesus, we must imagine ourselves as candles. We are not lit. We are candles with a dry, cold, wick. Lifeless. Stiff. A corpse.
Okay, let’s pause here and go back to the Bible. When the Holy Spirit first came, a large group of people were waiting for His arrival. The disciples and a bunch of others spent time praying and praying for this “comforter” as Jesus called it, to come. When the Holy Spirit finally came, He came in like a rushing wind. One of the things people noticed about each other was that there was a fire on top of their heads. It was like they could see small flame. Yes, Acts 2:3 says this.
So, back to the candle. Before the Holy Spirit arrives, we are not lit. We have no fire. No light. Only by when the Holy Spirit comes upon and in you, do you receive this fire.
So, let’s say you have the Holy Spirit. You are now lit. And so, back to what Jesus was saying: Let your light so shine…
Hm. He wants it to shine. You know, He also made a statement about how useless a light is if it’s hidden. Makes sense. If you’re walking in the night, and you can’t see, but you have a lamp that’s covered…does that make sense? Why stumble in the dark when you have a lamp? In the end, you might as well just sit the lamp down and leave it. What good is it?
The world is dark. Very dark. The fact that it is dark makes Jesus’ words so powerful. When we enter a dark room, one of the first things we attempt to do is turn on the lights. That’s what God did in Genesis 1:3. The world was a dark place. He turned on the lights before He went to work.
So, why do we not care for the darkness? Darkness can cause confusion. You can’t see. You’re disoriented. Darkness can cause fear. You can’t see any potential dangers. You stub your toe on the chair that shouldn’t be there. In the movies, horror thrives off of dark and unknown. Countless Bible verses connect darkness to evil while light is good.
The unsaved are looking for a light. A real light. Truth. As we become a light…
Hold on. Remember the candle example? So, a lot of times you’ll notice that when it comes time to light multiple candles, usually, we light one and then, we use that one candle the light the other candles. It’s interesting because all of these lights or flames come from that one original source.
It’s the same with the spirit. The Holy Spirit is the original flame. As Jesus says it: No one comes to the Father except through Me. No one can receive this fire except through Me.
So, the Holy Spirit gives His fire…His light to us. We now have the same fire that He has. We have the same light.
Once again, we look back to Matthew 5:16. As we get this light, we have a choice. We can hoard the light for ourselves…never to share it…or we can shine brightly, so that the blind can see. So that darkness and evil can be cast out.
Our command is to let it shine, so that others may see this light and honor our Father. It makes a little more sense now, right? Our light is the light of the Holy Spirit, who is God. So, when people see this light,they are seeing God, through us..
That’s why it’s important to live the godly life. We are the light. As people look at our light, they are supposedly seeing God. Are we to put God in a negative light? What is the quality of our light?
The idea of being bold applies here. Let this light shine. Brightly. Let’s not be ashamed of it. We have…we are…a holy light.
Being a lighting designer puts me in an interesting position. I deal with light on many levels, and have quite an appreciation for it from a spiritual level to a physical lever. From the literal, to the metaphorical.
As a leader of a ministry, it’s my job to ensure that there is a clear biblical foundation. I use Genesis 1:3 as the crew Bible verse. But, Matthew 5:16 is a verse I use as motivation. Not only do we light, but we are a light.
I end all of my emails to my crew members with “Keep shining”. It’s something to remind them of their job. They are to keep shining. Again, being a lighting designer or technician that is part of a ministry is a very powerful thing.
That’s what all Christians need to remind themselves of: Keep shining. The winds of the world will attempt to put out our candle’s flame, but we gotta keep shining. People will persecute us, yet we keep shining.
Also, don’t assume that others will shine. You be the light as if you’re the only one.
I remember a time when I was with the Boy Scouts. I was new. I noticed that a fellow member of my church was there too. It was a comfort because he was somebody I could relate to from a Christian standpoint. Yet, he spoke the same way the other guys did. He acted the same way the rest of the boys did.
Me? Well, the rest of the scouts would sometimes ask why I never cussed, among other things. My answer: That’s not my style. It wasn’t who I was. What I started to learn was that you have to take responsibility for your light. Just because you know someone else in the situation to be a Christian does not mean you can take a break and not have to shine as brightly. He may need the light just as much as the rest.
Lastly, make sure you light others. Remember the candle example. A candle can light another candle. That’s why you have to be a Christian to minister. You can’t give something that you don’t have.
So yeah, spread your light. What’s that saying: A candle doesn’t lose its fire by lighting others.
Isn’t that something? You don’t lose anything by spreading your light. Your light doesn’t die. So, spread, spread, spread! And if your light is ever dimming, as all candle lights do, then be sure to go back to the source. This source never dies out. It shines as strong as the first time it was lit. But it was always lit. The flame never started and it will never end.
You know what you have to do.