Deuteronomy 3:19 But your wives, and your little ones, and your cattle, (for I know that ye have much cattle,) shall abide in your cities which I have given you;
Imagine, if you will, standing at the peak of a mountain. All around the foot of that mountain is a city, a city that you are responsible for watching over. Notice that the houses closest to the base of that mountain are on fire and that fire is spreading outward, threatening to consume the entire city. Cries of desperation and devastation ring throughout the hills. Can you hear those terrible cries?
And how does that make you feel ... knowing that you are responsible?
Ah, but there is a cry even louder than that which we humans often tend to block out. Some call it “selective hearing.” They may be right.
You have available to you an endless (and timeless) River of Living Water. Come now, He is God Almighty, All-Sufficient, more than able to provide enough Water to flow down the sides of that mountain and quench that furnace of a city. So you stand there, crying out “Why are You just letting it burn and why have You not empowered me to direct the flow of Water over this city You’ve left me responsible for? Oh God, look at the devastation! These are YOUR people! Why is this happening?”
Yes, there is a River available to you. But how can you expect to be given that empowerment when you’ve yet to take responsibility for the overflowing cup that I’ve placed in your hand?
As you stand there, looking into that small cup, water trickling over its rim and dripping onto the ground, notice your family mulling around about you. They ache. They are without shade. They’re malnourished. They’re thirsty and sickly and as desperate as those whose houses are burning to the ground. What do you do? How easily God could take from us even the small cup of water that we hold (only by grace) in our hands. But that is not at all what He truly wants to do.
He’d rather give us a dream, a vision, a prophetic word ... whatever it takes to guide us (being our Guide that He is) to where we need to be in this walk. And that’s what He did for me ... gave me a dream to tell me:
Let your cup overflow for those closest to you. Hold it out there for them to see and to drink. Don’t let your candle be hidden under a table. Pray so that they can hear you. Rejoice so that they can hear you. Live through Me openly so that they can see what it is to dwell in Me. Who is the ME that they know of you to serve? Do they know that you know Me at all? Are those closest to you aware of how truly strong your faith is? Tell them who I Am with more than words. Show them by example. Only when you have taken care of what you have at home to the best of your ability will I empower you to take care of many cities. He who is responsible with little will be given much.
1 Timothy 3:5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
Yes, I know that that dream was for me. But I don’t believe that it was for me alone. I believe there is a River of Living Water and it is reaching a home on fire at this very moment. You see, my daughter called me this morning. It was a simple phone call inquiring about the best place to make a particular purchase. But the conversation took a quick turn. Thank God for His guiding hand! And when we hung up, I knew that my daughter’s view of my relationship with my God became more clear.
Mama prays, not always with the fanciest of words, but with all her heart. And she prays to a God who listens. He’s done great things when Mama prayed. I know because I’m a perfect example. Maybe I didn’t always see her or hear her. Maybe I didn’t even really know she was praying (actually “talking” to God) all that time. But I see it now. Mama knows God.
One of my greatest regrets is that I did not pray more often WITH my children. But my faith is strong enough to believe that there isn't anything God can't fix. If we, all of us, are/were perfect parents, what would we need God for? We'd all have perfect kids who raise perfect kids who raise perfect kids. But we're not. We're imperfect people serving a perfect God.
And besides, (who knows?) maybe with that sip of Water to quench her thirst this morning, she too considers what it is to leave behind the long robes of the Pharisee and scribe who pray publicly (with long words, to be seen ... those who desire high seats in the synagogues) so that she might walk humbly before the God of Abraham, taking all things to the secret place, all to God in sincere prayer ... sort of like her Mama does. I do pray, however, that she will pray with her children often. In the meantime, I vow to pray with them myself. In fact, I'll do so next time they have a Grandma visit.
Let your light so shine before men. But first, make sure the lamp in your own home has sufficient oil.
There’s a softly burning candle in the corner.
A gentle light dances upon the wall.
And in the serene place I call “home,”
I hear the voice of innocence call:
“Mama, I need a teacher, a lawyer,
a doctor, and an honest friend.
Of the troubles this world hands out,
there never seems to be an end.”
Sweet child of my youth, now grown,
have you not seen His love in me?
Look again, sweet child of my youth,
and tell me what you really see.
“Mama, I see you crying.
I see you crying out to the King.
And you call Him Teacher and Friend.
You lean on Him through everything.”
There’s a softly burning candle in the corner.
It isn’t too bright to look at and see
that my home, though not always perfect,
is a perfect example of Jesus in me.
I don’t always know what to do
and, quite often, I do things wrong.
But there’s one thing I know for sure,
God’s been here with me all along.
And someday, when they look back,
my children will know that too.
And when the valley lays behind,
they’ll know it was God that walked them through.
There’s a softly burning candle in the corner.
It’s message is gentle, but clear,
a still small voice, just a whisper,
but one that anyone who will can hear:
Let your little light so shine.
Let it shine before those you love.
And soon My Spirit will descend on them too,
as gently as a snow white dove,
as droplets of water raining down
from the cup you hold in your hand,
falling softly on those around you,
nourishing a once barren land.
Luke 8:35-40 Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed. Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again.
Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying, Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him. And it came to pass, that, when Jesus was returned, the people gladly received him: for they were all waiting for him. PLEASE ENCOURAGE AUTHOR,
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A very deep spiritual lesson for all of us. We have to look after the things closest to us first, before we can be trusted to help those farther away. "He that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in much..." Good! God bless you...Helen
Thank you dear Joyce for this precious article. One thing that I know for certain is that my family is very aware that I know Jesus! That is the most important thing in my life. I used to sing this song when I was a child: "This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!" Thank you SO much for letting your light shine! I love you, Sharon
Treava... WOW... Your Faith Sure Shines, girl! What AWESOME words you've given to us - what an inspired piece you've shared! This was powerful and yet so beautiful! Knowing how and when to share with my family and loved ones about God's Word and my Faith weighs on my heart as I search for the right words and the right moments. They know my faith (despite my terrible past weaknesses), yet some have put their faith on the back burner. I want to retrieve that faith - but I don't want to place it on a 'burner' that is so hot it will scald them and leave scars - I want to warm their hearts with this faith and make them want this recipe! You have encouraged me to try even harder to shine my light without scorching those who hear. I love you! Peggy
God speaks to me today through your spirit-filled message. The timing is just perfect! This is exactly the cry of my heart- that my loved ones will experience Jesus through my prayers and most of all through my example. It's very difficult to always walk the talk but by God's grace and mercy, He will continue to shine through us by sharing what He has done even through our weaknesses. "My cup overflows" WOW! Those very words were put in my heart this morning as I was listening to a Christian music-it sticked in my heart and now, you even made it clearer- God is amazing. His voice is loud and clear! Blessings,