“Watch what God does, then do it…God is strong and He wants you strong…” Ephesians 5:1-21 & 6:10-18 from The Message
Whether your shoes are on, or you’re walking around barefoot, stick your toes back out of the way, because the Holy Spirit is going to step on your toes. It’s inevitable. I have the sore toes to prove it.
The Holy Spirit wants to change us, and sometimes it hurts.
We’re all God’s children. We’re the light and love of Jesus that will consume the darkness. How can we do that without allowing God’s light to change our darkness first? We need to be light. Do you know what the darkness in someone’s life is like? People in darkness always have a crisis, because they can’t see. They have no light.
We must be their light. Don’t condemn them, Jesus didn’t condemn.
Tell people you’ll pray for them, or pray with them…they probably haven’t heard someone say that to them in a long time, if ever. Don’t be critical, encourage them. Be light.
Whether we’re a small light, a deep penetrating light, an illuminating light, or a glaring light depends on the differences in our personalities, but be light. We can illuminate and expel the darkness around us.
What kind of light are you? I’m a pretty steady light, but I know that in the past, I was just a flickering light going off and on, trying to stay lit by myself. Now I know that the Holy Spirit wants to help me be a brighter light.
Church, we need to be many, many lights that merge into a great force in our society. Even if we’re little lights that think our influence doesn’t go too far, all our little lights together across the world will chase the darkness.
Think of a map, lit up with every Christian in the world. How awesome! It’s like global networking, or a gigantic Charlotte’s web, connecting hearts.
I live in Florida where almost everyone is originally from somewhere else. Do you know how much influence that gives us around the world? It’s mind-boggling. How far does your influence extend? Let your light shine through to all your family members, friends and acquaintances. Visit, call, write, text, e-mail, we’re all just a prayer away.
When the darkness is gone, people will see Jesus. Eyes that have been blinded will see, ears that were deaf will hear, sickness will leave. People will believe and bow down to Jesus.
We’re not strong. We’re weak. We have issues, we have baggage, myself included. I used to think people needed to meet my pastor to be saved. Or, go to my church. I talked mostly about programs or activities. Now I know they can learn about the goodness of God through me.
We pray and ask for change on the inside. Amen. Ask for that, receive it and be better. But, here’s where the Holy Spirit is going to step on our toes. And it hurts. Tuck your toes way back out of the way and remember there isn’t anyone God doesn’t love, so it’s not a finger pointing game.
Please hear the Holy Spirit. If our inside is filled with God’s joy, we should let it come out in how we look and act (which includes what we say).
Are we trying to please man? No. We want to please God. We’re THE CHURCH. We believe in Jesus, we’re saved; we’re filled with His Holy Spirit.
WE NEED TO LOOK LIKE THE CHURCH. WE NEED TO ACT LIKE THE CHURCH. WHEREVER WE GO. WHATEVER WE DO.
Who else do we think can do the work God has given us? We’re THE CHURCH. Who else can truthfully say to those in darkness, “Life is hard, but God is good.”
It’s not about fashion. I like to look nice. It’s not about etiquette. I like to act nice.
It’s about something burning inside us that comes out and radiates all over us and spills out onto someone else. Onto the world.
Why us? Why NOT us? Why can’t we change the world? Why couldn’t God use us? Right now, in the place He’s planted us.
What’s stopping Him from using YOU? What are your obstacles? What’s keeping you from shining? Close your eyes. Visualize the obstacle. Is it finances? Is it your spouse? Is it your children or your grandchildren? Is it schooling? Is it work?
Ask the Lord to help. Talk to Him about your passions. I believe He will find a way through those obstacles, so that your passion can be used to light the world. Pray about it. Go for it. Pursue it. Do it. The Holy Spirit will help you.
Taking your child to Gymboree or to a play group can be your mission field. Going back to school or starting a new job can be your mission field. At one time, going to therapy for my shoulder was my mission field.
It’s not about “looking the part of a nice Christian lady or gentleman.” It’s about looking the part of THE CHURCH. We’re THE CHURCH. People need to listen to us. They need to hear what we hear from God, they need to see what God is showing us, they need to feel the love of God we feel in our hearts. They’re lost, they’re in darkness. We’re the Body of Christ. Bring them the Light.
How can we get their attention? And why would we want to turn them off? We need to listen to God. We need to do what God tells us to do to reach the lost at work, in our neighborhoods, at the marketplace, and in our schools.
Bring the light of Jesus with you wherever you go.
We must dress the way He tells us to dress, fix our hair the way He tells us to. We should be healthy and weigh what He tells us to weigh. If we don’t know, we can ask Him. “Lord, what is your will for me? What can I do to show Jesus’ love to those around me?” We can’t fight God about our body. We told Him He could use us, let’s let Him use all of us. If He tells me to wear glasses, so I won’t be squinting all the time, until He chooses to heal my eyes completely, I need to get glasses. If He says I lose my glasses all the time; go get contacts, so be it. If I can’t hear and have to constantly say, “What?” and He says get a hearing aid, until He heals my ears, I’ll have to make an appointment to get my ears checked.
We’re vain. Do you think I like getting older by the minute? No! But, I’m telling you, if I couldn’t control my bladder, until God chose to heal my condition, I’d wear those diaper things and be happy to have them. It’s not easy to take care of ourselves. It’s not always fun. It’s time-consuming.
But, God wants us to be witnesses for Him, so He can save souls. He put us in the world. If someone tries to witness to me and looks and acts weird, I’m sorry, I’m from New Jersey and I’m going to be suspicious. Let’s ask God how we can show them Jesus, not simply how religious we are.
Pray about it. How does God want each of us to look and act? We…who are His CHURCH? If we’re not yet the BEST we can be for God, He can help us change. Listen, I DIDN’T SAY “PERFECT”! I’m still working on all this! But, let’s be the best we can be…be the best weight, eat the best foods to fuel our body, do the best exercise we can do, wear our hair the way it looks best on us, and find the best style of clothes for ourselves.
God can empower you to reach higher, so you can reach more lost souls for Him. Extend your influence. Take the confidence God gives you in Him as His child and let it consume your whole being, so what you project to others is His Light and His Power.
People want to see the God you see.
When they’re in a crisis, they’ll look directly into your heart. Give them every reason to suspect He’s in there.
Be assertive. Look the part of the Glorious Church, the Bride of Christ. A bride’s life is about to change and she’s headed for a honeymoon. That’s how we should feel. Be radiant. Be joyful. Be the best you can be, pray, fill up on the Word of God, be constantly filled with His Holy Spirit, put on your armor, be warriors dressed for battle, joined together, marching forward against the enemy. That’s how you dress for spiritual warfare. Amen.
Being the best we can be will allow us to finally get ourselves out of the way, so the Holy Spirit can move. Be you, but be the best you, you can be. It’s not about us. We can’t be stubborn. We need to listen to God when He says, “I want you to change.” He wants us to go up to the next level in our service for Him. Do it. Believe me, it’s better. Don’t be afraid, and even if you are afraid, do it anyway. As Joyce Meyers would say, “Do It Afraid!”
He knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and not to hurt us.
We don’t like change, but I believe God is positioning His Church to be a mighty force in this world. Can you feel it? Things are changing, God is moving. Have you noticed that God has been putting people in your path and your light is starting to dispel their darkness?
Show God’s love. Seeds have been planted, we need to water those seeds, and shed as much light on them as possible, so they will grow. Don’t hold back…share God’s love by shining.
Line up with God’s plan for you to reach the world. Some of you may be just starting out in your walk with the Lord, no problem, keep asking Him for more light. Some of you are at a higher level already, but I believe the Lord is ready to move you higher. Your light needs to penetrate farther.
It’s very exciting!
Church, some of the darkness may come to us and sit right down in the pew next to us. Be ready. It’s your light from Christ that will make their darkness disappear. They need to see your light shining…point the way to Jesus…the Light of the World!
As God is positioning all of us, He’ll be calling some of us to go deeper into the darkness to expel it with His light. We can’t do it without His Holy Spirit. Be immersed in His light.
What will you allow God to change in you? Don’t dwell on things that can’t be changed. At five foot two inches, don’t you think I’d like to be taller, if for no other reason than to reach upper kitchen cabinets? Don’t dwell. Get a step stool and go on. Be happy and celebrate the things about you that God loves.
Ask Him to change the things He needs to, so you can be who you are meant to be in Christ. Then, see yourself as God sees you, a child of the Almighty God!
Okay, you can uncurl your toes now!! God loves you very much.
Gracious Heavenly Father, forgive us for not seeing ourselves as You see us and for not allowing You to help us be the best we can be. Show us areas that we can change with Your help, so we’ll be confident in rising to the next level of service for You. We want to show Your love to others and tell them about Jesus. Position each of us to do an awesome job for You. We’re ready to stand up and stand out in Your Kingdom. In Jesus Name we pray. Amen.