Today I read an awesome and vulnerable blog post by author and speaker, Michele Cushatt, who shares about shining her faith to those who don’t yet believe.
Yesterday, my husband told me he heard Dave Ramsey shine on his radio show that reaches a large secular audience. Ramsey recently interviewed an actor friend who played in the new box office hit, War Room. (Awesome movie, by the way. It shines!)
[box] Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. Daniel 12:3[/box]
Christians applaud believers who fear God and love others more than fearing man. Since the beginning of creation God designed light to govern darkness, not the other way around.
But let’s launch this thought in a slightly different direction with this question:
As Christians, is God pleased with how we shine our light among other Christians?
I think it’s safe to acknowledge that we all want to be accepted and liked. Peer pressure doesn’t stop post-middle school.
Even the best Christian leaders don’t enjoy rocking the boat. They want to go with the flow, sail those smooth safe waters.
And writers and speakers don’t want people to think we’re “out there” either.
So what if God calls us “out there”? Are we willing to go?
- For example, what do you do if God calls you to keep your lamp burning bright when you’re around lukewarm believers, or Believers who have forgotten their first love?
- What if He calls you to humbly speak up to those who believe differently than you about the gifts of the Holy Spirit, for example?
- What if God tells you to say or write something you know will be criticized by other Christians who you respect and care about?
Are you willing to SHINE BRIGHT for Jesus even though it may cost you something?
[box] In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify you Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16[/box]
It’s time to adorn ourselves with those white bright bride clothes God has provided for us.
This may not come as a surprise, but not everybody wants to shine Jesus. They may want to shine somebody else or even themselves—but Jesus?
One of His biggest obstacles came from religious leaders who enjoyed their old religious ways more than love. Jesus warned them. They made their choice. And so can we.
WANTED: Triune God seeks contagious, loving, joyful Bride. One who will be so full of light she’ll affect areas where there is no light and transform those around her, including the “lowlights.
Who will answer the call? Will you do whatever it takes to challenge believers around you? Whatever He calls you to do?
[box] Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness. Hebrews 3:7-8[/box]
Never in a thousand blood moons did I expect God would call me to write true supernatural stories to shine His light.
Not all Christians embrace this kind of story, but this is where God called me, so I choose to obey with joy, no matter what comes my way.
Within a week or two after finishing my proposal for “Josiah’s Fire,” a true story about the amazing Tahni Cullen and her severely autistic little boy who has regular visions of heaven, another heaven book was exposed as a fraud and several Christian leaders started speaking out against all heaven books.
My flesh screamed, “No. Bad timing.”
But God said, “My timing is always perfect. Trust me and obey.”
What Satan intended for evil (to bring fear and block Tahni and me from moving forward) God actually turned into a stepping stone to launch us in the right direction. God used it to separate the men from the boys, giving us an awesome publisher who fully believes in Acts 2:17.
[box] In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.[/box]
Connecting with God and hearing His voice is key to shining His light. We need to ask Him for direction and confirmation, wait for His peace, and be willing to follow His prompts.
Around the time when I asked God to lead me to a book, He told me to go to a meeting for Christian Women In Media. I had not been to one before or since. And as I drove with a friend, God told me, “I have something exciting for you.” That surprise turned out to be Tahni Cullen.
God doesn’t play games with me. When I ask Him to lead me to a new book, He hands me a piece of bread, not a stone.
Likewise, when God placed it on my heart to write Ema McKinley’s miracle story, Rush of Heaven, I knew He called me, so I contended for it night and day with earnest unrelenting joy until He handed it to me.
Now the gift of Rush of Heaven: One Woman’s Miraculous Encounter with Jesus continues to shine God’s light on His ability to still heal today.
And God just gave another gift: Our Zondervan marketing director just informed us that Amazon chose Rush of Heaven to be one of the Amazon Monthly Deals; so you can buy it for Kindle for the all-time low price of $2.99! A deal you’ll definitely want to share with your friends.[box] Just think of it: What would you do if an accident left you crooked, deformed, and wheelchair-confined for nearly eighteen years? And what would you do if Jesus showed up in your room on Christmas Eve in a bright flowing white robe and healed you from head to toe, reconstructing your flesh and restoring your mobility?[/box]
As people experience Ema’s Job-like world and radical transformation, they continue to echo the sentiments of one Amazon reviewer: “This book is changing my life.”
God doesn’t change, but as we remain in our fruitful Vine, He changes us and we bear much fruit. No dryness. Just life and nourishment.
May we increase in the knowledge of God’s love, upping others’ lights all over the place.
I welcome you to shine your Scriptures, prayers, and thoughts.
Brighter by the day,
[box] Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Isaiah 60: 1-3[/box]
Oh, and don’t forget to share the link for the $2.99 Amazon Kindle Special for Rush of Heaven. Thank you!
Great stuff, Cheryl!
Thanks Erik! Your feedback is like a ray of sun. Have a good one!
Judy Gordon Morrow
Cheryl, I absolutely loved this post! You wrote my heart, and I am blessed beyond measure that God connected us several years ago. You shine for Jesus so beautifully, my friend. I’m thrilled how God is using Rush of Heaven. My prayers continue to be with you as you write, and I’m excited to see what our Lord has in store for this next book!
Judy, I love that I wrote your heart, because you sure have a beautiful one. The Lord put these thoughts on my mind, so I give Him all praise. May He continue to empower you with His words; and fresh fun fiery anointing upon you!
I was blessed by your challenge to shine bright before other believers. Your thoughts and considerations of how
we feel are right on. thanks for relighting the spark
of my first love. He is sooooo good and sweet to us.
Thanks Cindee!! Indeed He is sooooooo good and sweet to us. And that’s exactly how He wants us to see Him, even when circumstance are “bad” and “sour”. I love that He has a plan that supersedes what we see. And when we ask, He empowers us to trust Him with that.
lindsay – i just adore all of those pictures. the boys are gentitg so big. dylan is just so wonderful in all his roundness. i could just nibble on him all day long. simply fabulous. i love you all!