Sunday, December 5, 2010

Exposed to the Light

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
Every time someone asks me to publicly share my testimony, I marvel. Recently, I spoke before the largest crowd to date, and truthfully, I have had a difficult time processing it since. In myself, I feel like nobody. I've led an unremarkable life and done nothing spectacular.

But the Lord has shown me a few truths about sharing. The first involves faith. Left on my own, standing before people is difficult. I am perfectly happy supporting others, letting them have the spotlight. In fact, I like writing better because it gives me time to form my words. Speaking in public requires faith; I must believe God will give me the words. Faith is the route to victory. We read this in Revelation 12:11 where it says, "And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb, and because of the word of their testimony." (MKJV) When I step out in faith, I walk further out of the bondage of fear and more into heavenly freedom.

The second truth about sharing is obedience. I have to obey without question the instruction God has placed in my heart. I have to obey no matter who I think I am or how small I feel. The apostle Paul urged Timothy, his son in the faith, to not be ashamed of his testimony. (1 Timothy 1:8) The truth is obedience isn't always easy. It requires great trust. Trust sometimes feels like you are walking into a place blind. You can't see what's ahead. You don't know how things will turn out. You are relying on another to complete the task.

The third truth about sharing the Lord gave me recently, and I think it is the one which brings the most change. He spoke to me through an unusual analogy. However, think first about light as it is spoken of in the Bible. We are told that salvation moves us from the kingdom of darkness into the light. (Colossians 1:13) Second Corinthians 4:4 refers to "the light of the glorious gospel". Jesus is called "the light of the world". (John 8:12;12:46) Also, we know that "God is light" and He contains no darkness. (1 John 1:5)

Now think in the natural. Naturally speaking, we know light dispels darkness. Darkness cannot remain where light is. But what else happens when the light turns on? Let's read a scripture to find out.

People who do what is wrong hate the light and don't come to the light. They don't want their actions to be exposed. But people who do what is true come to the light so that the things they do for God may be clearly seen. (John 3:20-21 GW)
Here we see a fantastic truth - Light exposes the work of darkness! When the light is turned on, nothing can hide. Jesus stated this in Matthew 5:14. He said, "A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden." Do you see that? It CANNOT BE HIDDEN! Think about that for a moment. What happens when I share my testimony? When I stand up there in faith, when I choose to obey, I am in effect turning the light on. And in the process, I expose to the light all the darkness the devil has tried to hide in my life.

Here is where the analogy comes in. He reminded me of an incidence that happened a few nights ago. I had gotten out of bed to get a drink. The house was dark and I didn't turn any lights on. When I walked through the doorway into our kitchen, everything seemed quiet and still. But when I opened the door of the refrigerator, the light from inside it lit up the doorway and there right above where I had walked in was an enormous cockroach! Do you know that that cockroach was there when it was dark? Just because I couldn't see it and was unaware of its presence doesn't mean it wasn't affecting my household. Yet it was only when the light was on that I could know where it was and get rid of it. In the dark, I could swing the broom at it, but I might break something else. In the light, it becomes very plain.

Here's another fact about cockroaches, whenever you turn on a light during the night, they flee. Exposed, they run to escape the light! In this same way, this is the ultimate power of my testimony. My testimony exposes to the light of God's grace and glory all the devil's bondage. In effect, it turns the light of God on. Like that roach, the devil has no choice but to flee from theLight. This is what it says in James 4:7.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)
He WILL flee. That is unquestionable. And he will flee because of the "word of my testimony" and the promise of God that backs it up.

I realize now that my testimony is not about who I am. It doesn't matter how insufficient I feel. It's not even about what happened to me. What happened to me and how through Christ I overcame it may help someone else. But the power of my testimony is actually in what it does IN me. I submit to God's instructions; I obey; I step out in faith; I trust Him to give me the words to say; and that turns on all the lights.

Then it's "I got you!" to the devil, and that is amazing!

Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

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