I've been for the last week studying the book of Mark and on chapter 4, I pause, convicted. In Mark 4:21(emphasis mine), Jesus asks His disciples..."A lamp isn't brought to be put under a basket, is it? or under a bed? Is it not brought to be put ON a lampstand? "
When I measure myself to God's Word in the verse above, I come to the conclusion that I unconciously and sometimes intentionlly keep the light that I am under the bed. Why? Fear keeps me from positioning myself on a lampstand. Fear of the unknown. Fear of the not-so-well-known. Will I be perceived as proud? Flaunting my gifts? Will my motives be completely misunderstood? Even when God graciously sends someone to talk me out from under the bed, I plead to be left there.
In searching for the reason behind the hesitancy, I realize what does matter is that Jesus whom I love and serve calls for me to come out from under the bed. The enemy doesn't because that will mean living out God's purpose...and he doesn't benefit from that. The flesh doesn't really want it either because it will take incredible focus and some discomfort when all flesh wants is fun and sleep. Being atop that lamp stand is a matter of obedience and trust, and nothing else.
Many of you reading this could probably come up with a bunch of your own very personal questions. The real ones that keep your bright light out of sight, under the bed of a dark room that needs it so. Feel free to share those questions, there's a freedom that comes from dispelling a false belief in one's heart. More importantly confess them to God, and let His Word(written & spoken) dispel those fears.
There is no freedom without learning the truth. God's Word is what continues to keep me centered in life. I continually stay sensitive to, convicted and motivated by the Truth that Jesus is. It is imperative that we take the time to let the truths of the Bible simmer in, and cause an inward then outward transforming liberation!
Jesus, the one who we say Lords over us reminds us today...A lamp isn't brought to be put under a basket or a bed but instead on a lamp stand. Lets turn those often doubtful rhetorical questions of ours around! In those times of fearful query the Holy Spirit poses to me the right questions, I share them with you so you can ponder them too.. How about those you have encouraged with your gifts, your time, your life? Why limit your continuing impact in partnership with the King? Where is your faith? And the one response that always stills my anxious heart....I AM WITH YOU.
In that last phrase lies the very essence of boldness and courage. And so in closing, be strengthened by God's Word to you in Isaiah 41:10 ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ And so let us together, use all our gifts and abilities with all our hearts, and in service to others...and surely we shall shine for HIS glory.