I woke up one morning [July 17, 2012] just wanted to start talking to the Lord but amazingly He started speaking to me. It was such a beautiful moment and I will never forget it. I mean, the Lord started the gist for the day! I shut up and just listened. And the Lord said something to me that virtually staggered me. This is the best way I can describe what He said “Patience is not just waiting but working while waiting.” He immediately gave me a picture that further explained it. It’s the picture of a farmer who had finished ploughing a field but now is waiting for the rain. Meaning that God’s definition of patience is to busy ourselves with doing what He has already empowered us to do while we wait for Him to do what He alone can do. That is so powerful!
I immediately began to think about many believers who say that they are waiting on God but with unploughed fields, they might as well have to wait all their lives and nothing will happen for them except they catch this revelation and navigate appropriately. Friends, there is the Kingdom way of being patient: We work while we wait. There is no pausing moment with the Lord. A lot of Christians wouldn’t even spring into action in service to the Lord because they claim that they are waiting on the Lord while time is ticking ever so quickly. Hey! Wake up and get to work – do what you’ve been empowered to do. As you work the Lord would be working on you too. This is the right way of positioning ourselves for the supernatural. There is no dull or idle moment in the Kingdom. Hebrews 6:12 says “That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” That doesn’t sound like it means for us to just sit down and wait, expecting to receive the promise. The devil always takes advantage of lazy and idle people. Never give the devil that opportunity.
A lot of Christians talk about waiting for revival, but I have never heard of any revival that ever happened without someone stepping out and taking faith-filled action to propel its manifestation. While they waited in anticipation of what the Lord would do, they kept working at it – doing their own part. This is why revival is God’s response to the expressed desire of men. Revival doesn’t just happen! Sometimes we say we are waiting for God while God is actually waiting for us. Revival doesn’t come by waiting but by doing what Elijah did. He prepared the sacrifice, prayed and he didn’t have to wait for long before the fire of God fell to burn-off the sacrifice and announced the supremacy of God to apostate Israel.
This also applies to the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. We can’t just fold our hands and say we are waiting for Him, but we must busy ourselves with ensuring that everyone hears what God has accomplished for man through His Son Jesus Christ. We must press on with this Gospel of Jesus Christ till everyone hears it and have the fair opportunity of accepting of rejecting it. This is a call to action!
Light is so important to God and humanity alike that the first thing God brings on the scene in creation was light. He spoke forth those powerful words: LIGHT THERE BE LIGHT and that was it! There was light. While Jesus was on earth, He made staggering declarations which the people of His day couldn’t handle. I mean, Jesus was an enigma. They couldn’t just figure out what manner of man He was. He was just different. He confounded the ‘know-it-alls’ of His day. He said words like: “…I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12). “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:5). Also in John 12:46 He says “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.” Wow! Power-filled declarations. But then He knew that in a short while He would be leaving the earth and He must transfer this responsibility to the New Creations, the results of His redemptive work.
The Lord Jesus made a profound statement in Matthew 5. He said “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16). He transfers the light commission to us. What a privilege to be God’s light bearers! In verse 14 Jesus lets us know who we are. He let’s us know our true identity on earth – the light of the world. He also showed us our position on earth, He lets us know that we are a city set on a hill and we cannot be hidden. The Believer in Jesus Christ is the illumination the world needs today. The earlier we come to acknowledge this the more effective and influential we become.
In verse 15 of Matthew chapter 5, the Master addressed the issue of hiding our lights. It’s really amazing when you hear Christians – the lights – complaining of the world situation. There is so much darkness in the world today simply because the lights are not shining. The questions are: who turned off the lights? Why is the light not shining? Who is to blame? And the answers to these questions are in the Church. The word ‘let’ simply means to consciously and willingly allow something or someone. When Jesus used the word ‘Let’ in Matthew 5:16, it is for us to know that it’s our responsibility to allow the light to shine before men. That means we can either allow the light to shine through us or we can inhibit it. It’s up to us! Someone rightly said that the only condition for evil to thrive is for the good people to do nothing. One thing is always certain: Darkness can never over power the light. In the real sense, darkness doesn’t even exist! As a matter of fact, darkness is only the absence of light. So when the light refuses to shine, the natural result is the presence of darkness.
In verse 16, the Master calls us to action. He said “Let your light so shine before men…” in other words, take action! This is a call to action. He didn’t just say that our light should shine, but He specified the degree to which it should shine. He said “Let your light SO shine before men…” In other words, get radical about your light! Let your light shine with a shout! Get to work with your light and expel every darkness with your light! I know in our world today we do a lot of things with light like designs; special effects etc. but suffice me to say that the number one purpose of light is to shine and get darkness out of sight! Light is for shining! Light is for illumination! I believe John the Baptist understood this demand of Heaven. The Lord Jesus tells us in John 5:35 that John the Baptist was a burning and a shining light. That’s just about what it means to let (allow) your light to SO shine before men. Just as John’s light did, our lights ought to shine with some special effects – I mean with heat! Men cannot ignore this manner of shining because they would either see it or feel it! That’s the attitude Jesus had. Glory to God! When your light shines in this manner, men wouldn’t only see your light or good works but they would also feel it!
I strongly believe the Lord Jesus spoke as a Prophet here, resounding the very words of the Father God on the lips of the Prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 60:1-3 which says “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” This is to say, we’ve been empowered to shine forth the glory of the Lord all over the world! And this light would attract men to the Lord. Remember that the sole purpose of our shining the light is not for selfish purposes but that men would see our good works done in Christ and glorify the Father Who is in heaven. No wonder 1Peter 2:9 tells us “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” It is right about time for us to get loud about the light we’ve got. We’ve got something to shout about!
So how do we get to work with this? By heralding the Gospel of Jesus Christ everywhere everyday! Never be silent about that which we’ve been called to preach. The world needs it. The world is desperate for a Saviour. As we shine forth the light, they would be pointed to the One who has shined upon us and whose light we reflect. In conclusion, it is also important for me to say that good works matter. Faith without works is dead as the body is without the spirit. Our good works done in Christ matter a lot and the Lord promises to reward them both now and in eternity!