Shine in the Struggle
Do you know how to shine in the struggle? Louie Giglio writes, “I’m soberly reminded of the twenty-one martyrs who were executed while kneeling at the edge of the Mediterranean Sea in Libya a few years ago simply for being Christians … what kind of men were those who sing of heaven when the knife blade is coming their way?” Most of us face much less and shine much less. We let almost anything, even small things, cause us to lose our shine, our joy, our enthusiasm for life. In the mess of life, there is much to complain about and much that needs changing. But if our efforts alone could have brought about the needed change, then most likely things would not be like they are either personally or nationally. No, I think we know we need something more. We need God. God works in direct proportion to worship. The worship of God invokes the presence and action of God like nothing else can. It is no surprise then that the enemy works so hard to keep us from truly worshipping God, especially when we are hurting or struggling. Because struggles are ubiquitous, service has become the primary expression of faith for many people today. Richard Foster writes, “The divine priority is worship first, service second … service flows out of worship.” One of the greatest of the prophets, Isaiah was called to a lifetime of service to God but it all began in worship. Isaiah’s calling or commission is found in Isaiah 6. Listen to v3f, “And the cherubim were calling to each other: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory.’ At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. ‘Woe to me!’ I cried. ‘For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the king, the Lord Almighty’… Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who shall go for us?’ And I said, ``Here I am Lord, send me!”’ Isaiah was able to shine in the struggles which followed because he understood the power of worshipping God. I hope you do as well. This is how we raise the bar on our discipleship.