WAKE UP, SLEEPER…
God has been speaking to me over the past few months about the importance of words. God spoke creation into existence. Jesus is the word. He’s showing me how important it is to speak. My natural personality is quiet, shy, and reserved. In the past, I would let people come to me. Occasionally I would reach out to someone when I felt really comfortable with them. But God is showing me that’s not who he created me to be. He created me to reach out, speak, proclaim his gospel to his people. I love people, I have a tender heart, but many times I fail to let people know how I feel about them. So God is showing me to use my words to encourage others. When I have a good thought about someone or I see something wonderful in them, I should share it! The responses to this amaze me.
Words are also very dangerous. They can tear people apart and be used to attack them, even in joking. Recently I was making fun of one of my friends and it wasn’t anything that I wouldn’t say to their face, but God convicted my heart. Even though my intentions were not to attack them whatsoever, my words could actually be really harmful and have a brutal impact. I cannot praise God and also tear people down who are made in the image of God with the same mouth (James 3:9-10).
Words are so important. God wants me to use them to encourage, bring life, and shed light in dark places. This means proclaiming the gospel. I have so many incredible people all around me. I love them so much. But God is showing me that he didn’t bring me here just to be their friend. Serving them and doing good deeds are good, but it doesn’t change their life. Folding laundry and cooking meals never changed anyone’s life. It’s Jesus (the word) that changes lives. So even if it causes me to lose friendships, I must share the gospel with the people in my space. That’s why I am here in this particular space.
Earlier in the week my roommate Whitney sent me a text that included some scripture. It was Ephesians 5:8-17. She said that she was praying for me and God told her to send that to me. I texted her back saying that I wasn’t sure what that meant, but that I would pray and meditate on it. I prayed over those verses a few days and wondered if God had something personal for me in them. I attended church Sunday morning and heard a message about proclaiming God’s truth and shedding light in dark spaces. In my seat I thought, I sure love my job and the people I work with, but honestly, sometimes I dread going back to work on Monday morning because it is so dark there. I feel smothered by it at times. I don’t know anyone there that believes in what I believe in. I don’t exactly fit in. I love being surrounded by God’s people. They understand me, we are working towards the same goal. It’s my safe place. Aaron began to finish his sermon and the last scripture he read was Ephesians 5. My ears perked up. It was the same scripture that was shared with me earlier that week. I soon realized that this dark place is right where God wants me to share his light. There are people all around me everyday that are in complete darkness and have no idea where they are going. God gave me this great gift of his light to be shared in the darkest places. I cannot help them, serve them enough, or even love them enough to bring life to them, but I can point them to the one that can. His name is Jesus. I cannot wait on others to come to me or to look for Jesus. They can’t. I must speak, reach out, and share his truth. This is my calling and that’s why I’m here.
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said:
“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.