When I was really young, we had an old black and white TV, probably about 13 inches, in my room where I would watch a little TV after school. Because the rabbit ears were really bad, I could only pickup UHF channels and had to settle for whatever was on, like old westerns.
Often, in these old westerns, you’ll see a wagon train come under attack. A call would go out to “circle the wagons.” The wagons would then form a tight circle and those coming under attack could at least have a little protection as they fought off the attackers. It’s hard to imagine how much real protection a wagon would provide, but something is better than nothing I guess. This wagon train imagery is a great analogy for what WE do a lot of the times as Christians.
How do we circle the wagons?
We circle the wagons when we talk about how things “used to be.” We circle the wagons when we are afraid to share our faith because of how we might be looked upon by our co-workers, neighbors or friends who don’t believe like we believe. We circle the wagons when we go to church on Sunday mornings, or even attend a small group, but that is the extent of our spiritual witness to the world…our cars parked in the church parking lot on Sunday morning.
You are the Light of the World!
What do you think will be the first thing that comes out of God’s mouth when He speaks to you in heaven? You might quote, Matthew 25:34, “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’” But I’m talking about after that? Wouldn’t you think that it would be pretty important? I mean, after all these years, you would want to hear what God would say to you!
Let me take you back a few thousand years, when Jesus comes on the scene….
The last real word from God was about 400 years old. Between the Old Testament and New Testament, wars were fought, generations were born and died, life went on and on…without any new Word from God.
Then John the Baptist shows up and shares a message of repentance, turning back to God, preparing the Way for the Messiah, God’s Anointed One!
The Anointed One shows up and after 400 plus years, gives a fresh new Word from God. In the Sermon on the Mountain, one of the first things Jesus says, after the Beatitudes, is…
14 “You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” Mathew 5:14-16 (HCSB)
I think it is pretty significant that one of the first thing Jesus preaches on is YOU being light. Yes, He does say in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world.” But there is no need to look up a commentary or Greek concordance to understand that Jesus wants US to be light too!
He goes on to clarify, a city on a hill cannot be hidden. You don’t light a lamp and put it under a basket. These are very understandable and relatable sayings. Your relationship with God, the life you live for God, should be made known to all men, not just to your Sunday morning friends or your small group!
This is hard today because the World is hostile to God. The world has always been hostile to God. But I think many of us would agree that our world is REALLY hostile to God today!
So do we keep quite? Do we shut up and just go to church and small groups and mind our own business so that we don’t stir the pot and cause trouble for ourselves? I think if we do, we are not being light. Instead, we are choosing to turn the light off and on when we please. What if God decided to turn off His protection, grace, mercy, love when He pleased?
We are not all meant to be preachers, teachers or stand on the corner with a placard and megaphone. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t let our light shine for our faith. There are people, souls, out there looking for and wanting to respond to the light we shine.
People will respond differently to “the light.”
You have people who love the light. They want to live in the light and stay in the light.
You have people who love the darkness. They don’t care for the light. They hate the light and want nothing to do with the light. They will stay away and curse the light from a far.
Then you have those that straddle the middle, moving between the light and darkness. They struggle and are looking for help and answers. We want these people to see the light and move towards it.
We need to remember that Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:44 (HCSB) But that doesn’t mean that we put out our light! In fact, Jesus said to “Go into all the world” and “You are the light of the world.”
What is Our Response?
So then as Christians, how do we let our light shine?
Some of my suggestions are going to seem kind of silly and a no brainer for some of you. However, for those who are a little bit more timid or not used to shining their light, the suggestions are a starting point.
1. Use Social Media – I rarely use social media anymore for anything else but promoting Prepper Website and my other preparedness sites. However, lately I have been sharing Bible verses that have stood out to me as I read. I sometimes also link to songs that have come to mind or that I looked up on Youtube. I have received messages and thanks for Scriptures that I have posted. Even getting a “thumbs up” lets you know that people are reading or listening to what you linked to.
2. Listen to Christian Music – In your car while you carpool or at your desk on your computer, playing Christian music will let others know that there is something different about you.
3. Read Your Bible or Other Christian Books – Maybe during your lunch break or at another time, reading a Christian book in public will allow others to read the cover and know where you are coming from.
4. Pray in public – I’m not saying that you should pray for the walls to shake. But if you were to close your eyes, someone might ask you if you are OK? At that point you would say, “Yes, I’m only praying.”
5. Invite Someone to Church – Make it easy on your friend. Pick them up and then take them to lunch.
6. Invite Someone to a Christian Concert/Play – Again, a night out with a great message!
7. Sponsor a Dinner and Christian Movie at your Home – Invite a bunch of friends over, serve dinner and play a faith based movie. You can then discuss the movie afterwards.
8. Ask for Prayer Requests – If you know someone who is going through a difficult time, you can ask them if you can pray for them. You can even ask them if there is something specific you can pray for.
9. Start a Small Group – It can be a book club, that deals with something spiritual or a fun, social club that does something fun and then prays afterwards…to build relationships with Christians and non-Christians.
10. Sponsor a Good Cause – You could sponsor a missionary or a child with Compassion International. Talking about and sharing your sponsorship would shine your light!
What other ideas do you have? Leave them in the comment section!
The main point is that you should use your influence in your circle. There are people that know you, that are looking for answers and searching for God. You never know what kind of impact your invite, prayer, suggestion, or act will have on someone who is watching you, looking for REAL answers.
In prepping circles, you will always hear about OPSEC (operational security) and the need to keep a low profile. However, in Christian circles, we should do the complete opposite of living with OPSEC. The Christian prepper should shine their light for Jesus.
The problem for the Christian prepper arises when Prepping meets Faith. Our passion and desire for others to know the truth of Jesus Christ, be prepared spiritually, will also move into our passion and desire for others to be prepared physically. Eventually, they both come out because they are part of our lives.
And, just like we want to spread the truth of Jesus, because everyone needs to hear and come to a knowledge of who Jesus Christ is, we also want to spread the truth and knowledge of prepping.
Of course, prepping doesn’t ever equal salvation through Jesus Christ. Salvation is way more important and that should be our passion. But again, if we are passionate about preparedness, it will eventually come out.
This is scary for Christian preppers because we are not always understood in Christian circles. I’ve heard from many preppers who have tried to talk to their pastors and churches about preparedness and were shut down, laughed at or told they didn’t have faith. The tendency then is to not share your passion about prepping. But like shining our light for God, we should do the same in preparedness…or can’t both go hand in hand?
What do you think?