Have you ever wanted to glow in the dark? I mean, seriously, haven’t you ever watched a firefly and been like MAN, I wish I could just blink and become a human lightbulb?
Need a flashlight? No prob.
I’ll come assist you with the light from my neon noggin.
Want some fireworks at your barbeque?
Call Brooke up and have her stand on a chair in your backyard. I’ll make my own sound effects and everything.
I will admit, I was more than a little jealous when I heard that Moses used to glow so brightly that he had to put a veil over his face to keep from scaring people. Never in my life have I looked at myself in the mirror and whistled, “Whoo! Today is definitely a veil day! I’m just a little bit too shiny!”
In all seriousness, I know that we’ve all met people who just seem to glow with the Presence of Christ. Not necessarily in an “AH! You just burnt my eyes!” type of way, but as in, I just tasted the love of Christ when I was around you…and I want more…kind of way. This type of infectious sparkle is not meant to be reserved for a few “special” saints: it is designed to be the norm for the Christian life.
Try as I might, smile as hard as I could, I could not seem to produce a single spark on my own power.
Just as I had reached the point of frustration in my quest to catch myself on fire, God intervened to shed some real light on the situation. I got into an amazing conversation with a missionary from Mexico, and expressed my desire to go on foreign mission trips. Everyone from other countries just seemed to “glow” with a passion for Christ that I just couldn’t seem to contract in my immediate surroundings. He smiled a knowing and wise smile and proceeded to tell me a story.
Years ago, when his daughter was only three, he noticed her running around the backyard trying desperately to catch one of the many butterflies that fluttered nearby. She was in the brink of tears when he came to her rescue. “I’ll show you how to really catch butterflies,” he said. He instructed her to sit down and handed her a cup of honey water to hold. “You’ll have to be patient,” he instructed, “But if you sit still long enough, they’ll come.” Sure enough, 20 minutes later there was a swarm of butterflies fluttering on and around the young girl.
“You see,” he looked at me and smiled, “some things just can’t be sought directly.”
Rather than seeking “passion” for Christ, or the “Fruit” of the Spirit, he advised me to simply seek Jesus.
Those things are solely by-products of an intimate connection with Him. “Did you ever see a branch produce fruit because it gritted its teeth and tried really hard? NO! Fake fruit produced on our power is even worse than a complete lack of fruit because it brings glory to ourselves.” Tears clouded his eyes as he spoke of the precious times he spent with Christ each morning. Without that experience, he explained, it was impossible for him to minister to his congregation. “I couldn’t give them the Presence of Jesus, and THAT is what they needed.”
He left me with a challenge to make Colossians 3:16, “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly..” a lifestyle. Above all else, he warned, never forsake the priority of time with Christ. “If your ministry ever gets beyond your relationship with Christ, you’re toast.”
I don’t know about you, but I don’t aspire to be burnt toast. I want to fulfill my calling to “shine like stars in the midst of a crooked and perverse universe.” This doesn’t mean we spend our lives looking to the skies, waiting to get struck by a Heavenly lightning bolt and wondering why it never happens. Choosing to set aside a daily time to put your face in front of God’s face is a deliberate and intentional action.
And you will find yourself filled with the very glow of God Himself.
“Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face…But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed…and we all with unveiled face, beholding the Glory of the Lord, are being transformed from one degree of glory to another.” 2 Corinthians 3:17-18