I want to encourage you today to continue running the race. Not for yourself, but for others. Whether you walk according to God’s will or your own, you have an effect on those around you.
As you walk in the light as He is in the light, you are in essence expelling darkness with every step in every place. the power of Jesus in you always has victory over the enemy.
“You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”1 John 4:4
Not only are you expelling darkness, or at least confronting it, you are also providing a covering for those who aren’t walking in that light as you follow Jesus in word and deed. In the same way, however, if you are not walking after Jesus, you are also bringing about problems for those around you.
Take a moment and consider your purpose. You are called of God to be a child of light, His light. You are the fragrance of Him in every place (2 Cor 2:14). Every time you walk into your office, a restaurant, your home, your local salon, your grocery store, you are bringing the Presence of Almighty God with you and all that that entails. Consider that as you follow Jesus, you are providing blessing and safety for those you are around on a daily basis.
Think about it: Paul used to walk around and people would be healed by the power of Christ in him that seeped even into handkerchiefs that touched him (Acts 19:12). Why is that? Because he followed the Word of God and stayed in constant communion with Jesus and fellowship with the Holy Spirit! As he lived out an obedient life, those around him benefited. That’s you! You make a difference to those around you.
Two stories in the Bible prove this point well. Both have to do with a boat.
Jonah got on a boat in rebellion to God. He didn’t want to do God’s will and ran away. As if anyone can actually run from God and get away. Remember the verse that says, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your Presence?” (Psalm 139:8). Yeah, you can’t get away from God. Jonah’s rebellion made a mess for everyone on board. The storm came and eventually Jonah told them to throw him into the sea or they’d all die. So they did. I would have, too. And we all know the rest of the story. See the Book of Jonah.
When we walk in darkness, rebellion (which is as the sin of witchcraft – 1 Samuel 15:23-25), and enmity with God it affects everyone around us and removes the cover of protection they would have had if we were walking with God.
Paul, on the other hand, gets on a boat in chains because of his faith and his preaching Christ. A storm comes and everyone freaks out. They start throwing the cargo overboard and fear for their lives. But Paul is able to calm them (because the peace of Christ guards his heart and mind because he rejoices in God and trusts in Him fully – Philippians 4).He had warned them in the beginning of the journey not to go to Crete, but they didn’t listen. But he says, “Take courage! None of you will lose your lives, even though the ship will go down.” (Acts 27:22) An angel had come to him the night before and told Paul not to be afraid because he would surely stand trial before Caesar. AND…(but wait, there’s more!) “God in his goodness has granted safety to everyone sailing with you.” (v24). The next day, they made it to shore and all the prisoners were spared because the commanding officer wanted to spare Paul (they wanted to kill all the prisoners so they wouldn’t escape).
Even in the thick of it, God can use you to minister to others. He can use you in an impossible situation to be a vessel for Him. And because you are following after Him, the others you are around will reap the benefit of the obedience and faithfulness to God that you sow in your every day life.
So…go to work, be a righteous example in your home, go to the grocery store. Pray in every place in your heart. Be an example and be a covering and a light to those around you. You don’t know what would happen to them or what wrath or terrible situation you are holding back from them or protecting them from by being right where you are. It may not make sense, you may feel like this is a terrible place for you, you may want to quit or move or whatever it may be. But you are a covering. You are a blessing bringer. Know you are God’s possession and He is using you in ways you can’t see.
Don’t quit. Be encouraged. Run the race set before you well. It’s not all about you; others are counting on you and watching and needing your light to shine for them. I pray you shine bright in Jesus’s name and don’t give up your perseverence. <><