Philippians 2:14-16 (NIV) Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.
Since our move to the country, I have noticed when I go outside early in the morning or after the sun has fallen in the west the number of stars that I see now. The sky is captivating as I look up and see stars of all shapes and sizes spread wide and far. It is beautiful like a magical light display. Where were all those stars hidden in our old house? They were not hidden, I just couldn’t see them. In the city, there are many lights. Those lights that help us make our way around are the same ones that create something called light pollution. It is the light pollution that makes the stars impossible to see. Normally about 2,500 stars are visible to the human eye without using a telescope or any other assistance. Scientists say that because of light pollution only about 200 to 300 are visible in suburbs and fewer than a dozen in the typical city. It makes me wonder. What else do I miss because of the “pollution” in my life?
To pollute something means to make it foul or unclean. It also may mean to make morally unclean or defile. To desecrate which is the opposite of consecrate which we is something we are called to be – “set apart” for God’s Service. The result is to render less effective or efficient. What is contaminating our life today that is keeping us from seeing the Glory of God all around us? Our inability to see God’s Presence in our life does not mean that He is not right there with us. It just means something is blocking our view. The stars are there all the time. Light pollution kept me from seeing them. But when our family moved, changed our position, relocated our life – suddenly their presence is undeniable and beautiful illuminating the darkness around us.
Psalm 8:3-8 (NIV) When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.
What is mankind that you are mindful of them? Human beings that you care for them? God set every single star in its place. In the Psalm, it goes on to talk about God’s Mindfulness of us as mere mortals. Just ordinary people filled with faults and failures yet so loved by God that He made us to be crowned with glory and honor. He created us to be rulers over all the works of His Mighty Hands. He put everything under our feet beginning with the enemy but also every other created thing. Are you living in the Glory of God today? Are you as mindful of His Presence around you as He is you? Has some kind of pollution made its way in your life that is blocking the view of Your Extraordinary and Extravagant God who is working on your behalf? As I look at the stars, I am reminded of Abraham who the Lord pointed his face to the sky repeatedly to keep him focused on the promise of many descendants. I believe that Jesus loves us just like Abraham and His Promises for our life is just as numerous. We just have to look to the sky from where our help comes from.
Psalm 121 (NIV) I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
The enemy cannot stop God’s Will for our life. He cannot steal a single blessing from us. The devil does not have the power to make us do anything or lead us off other than that which we give him. He is a liar and manipulator – that’s all. It is our inability to keep our eyes on Jesus the Author and Finisher of Faith. The Alpha and Omega. The Beginning and the End. For if we truly believed that the Lord was all these things, we would not need to wander or chase after other things. Christians would live lives of abundance, prosperity with constant joy and peace. Each and every promise made to us in the Word of God are “yes” and “amen” for those who believe and call Jesus Savior and Lord. Sin is pollution in our life. Distraction is pollution in our life. All the things we put before loving God and serving Him with our whole heart is what is drowning out His Glory in our life. It is up to us to clear away those things, change position, moving closer to the Lord for He is our Helper. He is the Maker of Heaven and Earth who chose to give us His Glory. It is up to us, because He has given us freedom, to decide if we will live a glorious life.
Psalm 51:10-12 (NIV) Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
I need a clean and pure heart unpolluted by “malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.” I need my heart to be soft and fertile ready to receive God’s Word and allow it to grow into each promise. I must be rooted and grounded in the Love of God in order to remain strong and unmoved in the storms of life. Jesus, create in me a pure heart today.
I need to have a steadfast spirit. There is a war inside of me waged daily for control. I want to respond to all of God’s Promises. I strive to remain in right standing with God. My flesh rallies to live when I try to crucify it each day. I must be steadfast. I must be strong and immovable. Always working enthusiastically for the Lord because I know that nothing I do for Him is useless. (I Corinthians 15:58) Lord, I rededicate every chamber of my heart and orifice of my mind to you today. Jesus, make me steadfast.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation. Salvation should fill our life with joy. It is up to us to rid our life of pollutants of every kind. In Philippians 2:14, it begins with grumbling and complaining. Every complaint registered in our life is against the Father. It relays the message to God and others that our life in Christ is unsatisfactory. It screams His Grace is not enough. Why would anyone lay down their life and pick up their cross just to be miserable. Life is hard enough already – thank you very much. What if we just stopped complaining for a single day? What if in that time when an objection or grumble started to rise up – we immediately replaced it with thankfulness or praise before it left our mouth? It would change the atmosphere of our life making it conducive to God’s Glory surrounding us. Our words hold power. Today God may the words of my mouth match the meditation of my heart which tells me your Word is true. You are good. All things work together for my good all I have to do is believe you. Trust you. Depend on you.
2 Peter 1:4-8 (NIV) Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom. (Song of Solomon 2:15). Little foxes can be compared to all the distractions, compromises and substitutions the enemy offers us in exchange for God’s Glory and Favor in our life. We must learn to work smarter not harder giving our full attention to maintaining a pure heart and steadfast spirit. The Promises of God fill our life whether we can see them or not. Our response is faith. Faith that allows us to see the stars in the sky and know that they are hand-placed and named by God each and every one. Who is this God that is so detailed yet knows the number of hairs on my head and sand that on the beaches by every sea? He is the God who loves you and pursues you every day of the life. What is keeping you from seeing God’s Glory surrounding you today? Can you not see the forest for the trees? Is it time for a change? Is it time to make a move? God is waiting. He is always waiting for us to take just one step closer to be overtaken with more of His Love, empowered by more of His Spirit, and to take our rightful place of authority over the enemy in our life. What are you waiting for?
God created us to shine today. Jesus is the Light of the World. The Light of the World now lives in us. Can others see the brightness of His Glory shining from our heart? Are we a city on a hill? Or has our light gone dim as darkness closes in around us? There is no power in hell or prevailing darkness that can extinguish God’s Love for you. His Passion is like a raging fire relentless in consuming all that is in its path. He desires you. He pursues you with His Love. His Love for us is as strong as death, it is unyielding to the grave, and it burns like a blazing fire like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench His Love for us and rivers cannot sweep it away. (Song of Solomon 8:6-7) It is a love worth having, making room for, moving closer to and it is all for you.
Psalm 139:1-10 (NIV) You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
Psalm 139: 23-24 (NIV) Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.