Once you were darkness now you are light. Has the light been dimmed or hidden?
Jesus said: You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. His intent is that our light will shine before men when they see our good works and give glory to our Father. (Matt 5:14-16) Often the light is hidden behind strongholds or barriers we use to protect unhealed hurts, unacknowledged anger and unresolved issues. At the close of this writing we will look at four major self-made walls of protection.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 from The Message Bible:
The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. 4 The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. 5 We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. 6 Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.
Most of us have build self-made walls of protection, which the Bible calls “strongholds.” These walls of protection may have served us well when we were children, but often we bring them into our adult live reinforcing them to avoid painful feelings we have buried alive. All the time Jesus is present to heal and restore us to wholeness. He is the Good Shepherd who brings restoration to our souls. These walls (barriers or strongholds) affect our relationships. His love in our hearts will enable us to receive and love others. There’s a song that says: I can risk love you because the one who knows me best loves me most. People know and will listen when they know that you really care and love them.
In A Global Call to Prayer I write: We do not attract others to the cross of Jesus when we try to manipulate them or insist on changing them according to our personal desires, usually for our comfort. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you recognize any strongholds of rigidity, denial, emotional isolation, or silence. Confess any sins with true repentance to the Father. Let’s submit to the Holy Spirit and the Living Word of God and pull down these strongholds that hinder our spiritual growth and emotional wholeness…and denies healthy relationships.
Rigidity renders a person inflexible, suppressing the ministry of our constant transformation. Love Georgia’s quotation that she shared with us: Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape. Worshiping God in spirit and truth will keep you flexible.
Denial opens the door for self-deception, repudiating the truth that sets us free. A person may listen to the preaching of the Word, read his Bible daily, and pray but never become a doer of the Word deceiving himself or herself.
Emotional isolation leads to hardness of heart, overruling our compassion for others. He who willfully separates and estranges himself [from God and man] seeks his own desire and pretext to break out against all wise and sound judgment. (Proverbs 18:1 AMP)
Silence stops the communication of our faith, preventing our true fellowship with God and man. Fellowship with one another requires communication! But if we [really] are living and walking in the Light, as He [Himself] is in the Light, we have [true, unbroken] fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses (removes) us from all sin and guilt [keeps us cleansed from sin in all its forms and manifestations]. (I John 1:7 AMP)
Make the decision to remove the barriers that your light may shine and when others see your good deeds they will glorify our Father who is in heaven.