'It's Your Time To Shine' John Belt
The Amazing Times We Live In
There is no doubt that we are living in turbulent times, even the last days of the Last Days that Jesus spoke about. What the exact timing of the return of Jesus is no man knows, but we are able to know the season. It is an exciting time – not a time to fear but to have faith! Because if you know Jesus you have a reason to be glad. Even though we do have more time and things to do here I’m reminded of this verse.
Luke 21:28 “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
Back when I was in college I had a dream in my dorm room where I was standing in a field. Looking up into the night sky I saw a star begin to glow brighter and brighter until it’s brightness engulfed the entire planet. Suddenly I was traveling toward the heart of this bright light while my body was being transformed into a glorious body. Two thoughts were going through my head at this point. One was “this is the most awesome experience!” The other was “this is the most terrible experience for those who did not know Jesus!” Awesome and terrible were happening at the same time. Although I was filled with joy I knew those who did not know Him were about to get a rude awakening. I woke from this encounter of a dream with my body shaking uncontrollably in the middle of the night – totally shocked by the experience.
In reflection this dream reveals our great blessing and our great need to “arise and shine” for those who need to know Him. This is our hour of greatest opportunity.
II. Understand Your Divine Blessing of Protection
With all that is going on because of the virus that is currently affecting the world we need to realize, as people who know Jesus, we have the greatest of protection plans!
Psalms 91 “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust…”
* take time to read this entire chapter
Psalm 91 is filled with the promises of protection for those who have learned to dwell in the Presence of God – take time to read it in its entirety! Think about it – there is nothing more powerful than have God Himself as your dwelling place. Not only that, in Christ He dwells inside of you as you are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Your promise is for a double-dose of the Holy Ghost! You get Him “upon you” and “within you”.
With this we have amazing opportunities before us to be salt and light for His glory.
III. It’s Your Time to Shine
Isaiah 60:1-2 “Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you.”
Jesus is the answer and you are His ambassador. For the people of God the greatest time of darkness is also the greatest time of opportunity and influence. The greater the darkness, the greater the light shines! This is your time to shine. This is not your time to hide. People are looking for hope. In Christ we have that hope to share with others. Maybe you are not simply able to get out among people. You don’t have to be physically with someone to be light to them. There are many ways to communicate in the world we live in. Maybe this is your time to ramp up your prayer times with God. If you have time on your hands, which most of us have more than usual, then use that time wisely to influence others.
Be kind, help others, set an example and carry His Presence – even with a countenance that exudes joy, peace and the love of God.
IV. In the Beginning… GOD
Jesus told us that every day has enough trouble of it’s own. Worry will not do you any good. God cares for us as we lean on Him. Jesus gives the remedy for worry and fear. Jesus never reacted but only responded out of the place of His Presence.
Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
It is not they “might be” added, but that they WILL BE ADDED. As we seek the Lord He gives us a divine connection, direction, peace and wisdom where His light shines upon our ways – even guiding us on the path He has for us individually. This eliminates worry replacing it with faith for each day.
Take time with God in the beginning of your days, during your days and at the end of your days. Keep Him first in all things.
Some practical ways you can do this is to:
• Begin to create an atmosphere for His Presence through worship and instrumental music.
• Listen to the Bible, read the Bible and study the Bible. Put His Words in your heart.
• Get a notepad to jot down thoughts that come by the inspiration of His Spirit while in prayer. Prayer is a two-way conversation. Scribe the words that He speaks to your heart.
V. The Gift of Time for Preparation
There are different dynamics at work here as we are facing partial lock downs due to the pandemic. The key to overcoming victory is to seek God first in all things. It is a great time to let your roots go deeper in the Lord, to choose the best things to do with your time. God may show you things to do that might not even make sense to your natural mind – things of coming opportunity and blessing. He is showing you now so that you can prepare for what is coming – even the greatest outpouring of His Spirit that has ever been seen! Connecting the dots does not always work with God because our lack of being able to connect those dots keeps us daily dependent upon Him. He will give you a dot to connect when you need one. He is somewhat predictable in an unpredictable way.
Over the coming months will be challenges. But in the midst of the most challenging times are the greatest of opportunities. God will turn all of this to His purposes, creating a greater desperation in the hearts of people. He is removing the props of humanism, false hope, lies and self-sufficiency to help people see their need for Jesus. If you know Him, no worries – seek the Lord, stay the course and hold fast to Him.
Ask the Lord to lead you with His peace, to give you eyes to see the opportunities, His personal fresh blueprints during this time in your life and how you can be a blessing to others as well.
Don’t take some of the smallest things you can do for others for granted. They might be bigger than you think! Many tend to look for God in the grandiose events and things. The truth is He is very much and possibly more often found in the things are most easily overlooked.
Psalms 91:14 “Because he HOLDS FAST to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows My Name.”