“You are the light of the world – like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:14-16 NLT)
In a recent Ron Hutchcraft devotion, he wrote: “You now can tour the retired Lightship Nantucket. But before the development of modern navigational technology, the work of that ship actually saved a lot of lives. See, there are deadly shoals that extend south of Nantucket, and the main shipping lanes to New York City run right along the outer edge in what’s called the Ambrose Channel. Now, for many decades, the Lightship Nantucket was stationed at the eastern approach to the channel – at what was called the ‘Times Square of the Atlantic.’ Well, she dared not leave her position there – because all ship navigation was fixed on that lightship. If the lightship moved, every ship would follow her – possibly to disaster.”
Do you realize there are “deadly shoals” in your neighborhood, your workplace, your church, yes, even in your home. Satan is no respecter of anything but himself and he will create obstacles to anyone he can, anyplace he possibly can, especially in your own heart and life. Think of those shoals as temptations that lure you, hoping to cause you to crash on the rocks beneath the current that aren’t even visible to the untrained eye.
Notice a couple of things about the words of Jesus in the above verses. He begins with broad strokes, covering the city in which we live, work, worship, shop, etc. Then He gets more personal and speaks of the lamp that brightens and illuminates our house. Lastly, He moves to everyone in our spheres of influence.
A couple of things are assumed here. First, your life has a much greater audience than you realize. You never really know who might be watching your life. I was shooting some hoops at a local recreation area near where I lived when I was in high school. I noticed a guy standing at the fence surrounding the courts watching me. I hadn’t been a believer very long, but our school was relatively small, so at some point he must have heard that I had become a Jesus follower.
As I left the court and passed where he was standing he said to me: “I’m watching you.” He wasn’t threatening me or trying to hassle me, he was simply making an observation, which I took to mean, he was watching to see if anything was really going to change in my life.
People whose names you don’t even know, as well as many whose names you do know, are watching you. A part of them wants you to fall, to fail, to give them an excuse to fail. But many more are watching, rooting for you, praying for you, asking the Lord to steady your feet and keep you on course.
Too often we forget how much influence we have on another person, especially someone who knows us well. They may not say anything, they may not give you any indication that they’re watching your life or even care that you stay strong for Jesus, but they are and they do.
Like the Lightship Nantucket whose Captain dared not let it drift, knowing even drifting a little could risk the lives of many, please don’t allow your life to drift. Please don’t allow Satan to fool you into believing you can relax your morals, risk your purity, ignore your disciplines. The light of your life is guiding others, illuminating the face of Jesus, guiding them on their path to learn who He is and why it’s so important to stay close to Him.
You may be the only person someone knows who is following Jesus. Stay anchored in Him and never stop allowing the Holy Spirit to use the brightness of your life to point others to Him!
Blessings, Ed 😊