“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden…”Matthew 5:14 NASB
A lighthouse provides safety. Always situated so that ships at sea are aware of the coastline and potential danger, lighthouses consistently proclaim what is true about the world.
Jesus says that you and I are the light of the world. We proclaim to the world over and over what is true. You are a lighthouse. You provide safety for others and point the way towards life in the midst of the storms that ravage people.
I was really struggling at the church we were at. I was young, idealistic, and needed more mentoring than I was getting. Donia and I decided that we needed to get some perspective from some others who were further along than us. We didn’t know it at the time, but we were just about to receive the wisdom of a lighthouse. A lighthouse illumines what is true and helps us avoid shipwrecks.
We shared our frustrations and concerns, and suggested that we were thinking about leaving our church to find what we thought we needed. These older Christians listened like a lighthouse–solidly present.
They asked some clarifying questions that ended up being really, really important for us: 1) Is there any immorality happening among the leadership? Errrr…ummm…no, the pastor is a man of integrity. 2) Is there any heresy being preached? Well, no, our senior pastor faithfully preaches Jesus and preaches the Bible as the Word of God.
Like a lighthouse, they quietly sat there as we were forced to see the truth. While we may not have preferred their wisdom, the lighthouse couple we confided in did their job: showed us the shipwreck that was ahead if we did not adjust our attitude and our course.
The shipwreck would have been us leaving where God had planted us for superfluous reasons (that, of course, sounded so righteous in our own ears). The shipwreck would be us removing ourselves from the discipleship process we were in, and then deciding that we could forge our own path.
Donia and I avoided that shipwreck. We coined a phrase at that time that has helped us navigate the various coastlines of our church commitments: “one day, we may go, but we will never leave.” In other words, Christians don’t leave each other when the waters are challenging, but we remain faithful and loyal. And then, in a spirit of unity, we go where God leads us. Three years later, that church sent us to Cottage Grove. Our relationship is so important with that sending church, that we go back each year to give an update and a report of what God has done.
Do you need a lighthouse? In your community group or triad, we hope you are beginning to get to know others who you can trust, so you can receive lighthouse wisdom.
Are you becoming a lighthouse? As you abide with Jesus and remain with him, he is forming light within you that illumines what is true about the world.
Write a prayer or say a prayer that invites the Holy Spirit to produce maturity in you.