It’s Time to go Public
There is a major difference between one’s private life and one’s public life. Most people have no problem rocking out to their favorite song while singing at the top of their lungs in their bedroom, the shower, or their car. But play that same favorite song while that same person is on stage in front of a thousand people and you probably won’t see him or her rocking out. Why? Because there are many things people do in private they would never do in public. This is normal and the world is probably better off that our ambitions to be a rock star stays in our private life. However, Christianity was never meant to stay in your private life; Christianity was always meant to be in your public life as well. If you’re ever going to have an impact on the world around you, then your Christianity must go public.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:14-16, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your father in heaven.”
Jesus describes Christians as lights. As believers we know this. But then Jesus says something that seems out of place. He tells us nobody lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Of course, that’s obvious. But many Christians, without realizing it, do just that. If our light is going to impact the darkness around us we cannot put it under a basket but we must put it out in the open so it can shatter the darkness around us. Underneath a basket is private, on a lampstand is public.
There is no competition between light and dark! In the natural that’s obvious. Nobody goes into a room at night and flips on the light switch and then eagerly awaits the outcome of the battle that begins between light and dark, while standing there hoping that light overcomes darkness so they can go into their room and see. What happens when you turn on a light? Any darkness that is within reach of that light leaves. Darkness doesn’t have an option. It doesn’t have voting rights. It can’t decide whether or not it wants to stay or go. The second light shows up, darkness has to leave. It’s the same in the spiritual. There is no competition between the light in you and the darkness around you. So then we have to ask this question, “If darkness is not stronger then light, why is there still darkness in our cities?” Perhaps it’s because our light is under a basket. So how do we get our light out from under the basket and let it shine?
Jesus tells us, “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works.” Your light shines through works. Jesus wasn’t talking about random acts of kindness (even though I am a firm believer in acts of service). When Jesus talked about works He was talking about demonstrations of power. In John 9, there is a story of a blind man who was healed by Jesus. Before He laid His hands on the blind man to receive sight, Jesus told His disciples that the works of God were about to be revealed in him. Jesus is showing us that His idea of works is the lame walking, the blind seeing, the deaf hearing, the lepers being cleansed, and the dead being raised. Jesus was clear the way to let your light shine is through demonstrations of power. When you walk in love and demonstrate God’s power, your light begins to shine. Sheena attended Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry and worked at a local coffee shop in our city. Her boss, who was in his thirties, was going through a nasty divorce and was extremely depressed. He was regularly showing up to work drunk and depressed. One day Sheena asked her boss if she could pray for him. He said yes, so she prayed a simple prayer for him right there. The next day she could notice change was happening. Her boss wasn’t showing up to work drunk and the depression had lifted. He noticed this as well. Her prayer so impacted him that soon he was telling customers who came to the coffee shop they needed to have Sheena prayer for them. He told them she had prayed for him and everything changed. Sheena decided to go public with her light and when she did, the darkness hanging over her boss had to leave.
We must begin to take our light public so people can encounter God. It’s not enough that we talk about God, we must demonstrate who He is. Every time someone has a power encounter with God, three things are revealed to that person: 1) God is real, 2) God is passionately in love with that person and 3) There is no power greater then God’s power. It’s time we start demonstrating the power of God in peoples lives and let them see light in the midst of their darkness.