Almost every lighthouse ever built was as a result of having many ships and countless lives lost at sea. Their commissioning proved to drastically minimize tragedies by steering seafarers away from danger and guide them safely to shore.
But there are a couple of stories that seem to contradict the life-saving purpose of these sentinels of the sea. One of them is of the Cape St. George Lighthouse in New South Wales, Australia.
Built in 1860, this lighthouse stood for 30 years before being unceremoniously demolished. According to its history, the lighthouse construction began without permission from the Pilot Board. Numerous complaints led to an investigation, which in turn revealed that the contractor built the tower two and a half miles away from where it was supposed to be! It became apparent that ships approaching the bay from the north and south side could not see the light. As a result, this lighthouse was responsible for 23 shipwrecks! Having no real use for it, the lighthouse was decommissioned and later used by the Royal Australian Navy as target during military drills. This is what is now left of the infamous beacon.
Ever since Jesus declared that the fields were “ripe for harvest” and that “workers were few,” there has never been a time for the Gospel not to be proclaimed. Nor has there been a time for His disciples to just sit down while the fields wither away. In other words, from the day Jesus began His earthly ministry, Christians have been called to actively share the Good News of His kingdom.
Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.John 4:35
The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest.Matthew 38:37,38
Without a doubt, this is the RIGHT time for every true Follower of Jesus to set an example (shine), especially in the midst of so much unrest, confusion, and lack of hope and trust. Unfortunately, just as Jesus noted back then, there are still many idle workers just watching from the sidelines. And, like the Cape St. George Light, there are some who are only shining from places (church pews, Christian cliques, office cubicles) where those who are lost cannot see or have trouble seeing God’s light reflected through them.
When we confess Jesus as Lord and Savior, we become lighthouses for God in a sin-darkened world. If we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us, He will situate us in places where we can shine the light of Christ and safely lead others to His saving arms. Sadly, there are some of us who sometimes ignore or resist the Spirit’s leading. Without seeking divine direction, we put ourselves in places (jobs, communities, events) and situations (relationships, conversations, contracts) where we end up compromising our faith and become lamps under baskets rather than cities on hills.
You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they set it on a stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.Matthew 5:14:15
Instead of making plans and decisions about where we want to be or where we want to go and THEN ask God to bless them, it is incumbent on us to FIRST seek His will and purpose for our lives. This includes when choosing who we want to spend the rest of our lives with, where we want to live, work, and depending on the environment and our spiritual maturity, even where we want to share the Gospel. For example, we shouldn’t boldly step into a bar, strip joint, gang-infested neighborhood, or a cultic gathering proclaiming God’s kingdom unless we know for sure we are prepared and that God has sent us!
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all the other things you need will be added unto you.Matthew 6:33
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths.Proverbs 3:5-6
Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.Ephesians 5:17
Remember, we are called to shine by being an example in deed, speech, and conduct. After all, no matter where we are, we will inevitably find ourselves among lost ships (souls) in the sea of life who are looking to see if there really is such thing as true joy, love, faithfulness, and faith.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.Matthew 5:16
Now, more than ever, we need to be firmly grounded on God’s word and ready and willing to not only share but also contend for the faith we profess. The rebellious, ungodly, and seemingly anti-Christian sentiment we are witnessing across the globe today is prophetic and should not surprise us. But it is also one of the the GREATEST opportunities we have as the church to fulfill the Great Commission!
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.Mark 16:15
And just in case, the current pandemic restrictions should not excuse us from shining the light of Christ. We can still bless people verbally and tangibly via social media and in person, even if masked and 6 feet apart! We need to shine where people can actually see that there is a path to true peace, reconciliation, and eternal salvation through Christ Jesus, our Lord. That is why “shining” goes beyond words. We must also demonstrate the power of His light by what we do for others and how we treat them as well.
Finally, there is really is no place on earth where we cannot shine. However, God (who knows our hearts) may not want us to be in a particular place or situation because we may not be spiritually ready for the challenge. If we, in disobedience, place ourselves where He has not called us to be, we will end up paying the price for our choice. This may include falling into sin, being hurt physically and/or emotionally, or even hindering people from coming to Christ. That’s because we have all been given free will and every choice we make has either a reward or a consequence. Nevertheless, if we repent, God can still use that situation to teach us a lesson so that we may become stronger and be able to shine brighter for His glory.
And we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.Romans 8:28
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, may I desire nothing more than to know you, love you, and serve you so that wherever you place me I can effectively shine the light of your truth. Lead me in the way I should go, and may I never veer off to follow my own path. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.