I am the influence in my environment.
My surroundings do not change me.
Matthew 5:13-16 (NLT)
“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is it if the salt has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.”
“You are the light of the world—like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see. Don’t hide your light under a basket! Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all. In the same way, let your deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”
It is an interesting fact that salt changes or affects everything it touches. Even when dissolved in salt water for example it always reverts to its natural form as a solid. Salt is a part of every offering in Leviticus. It is a preservative, a flavor enhancer and a necessity for our body to have in order to function properly among the many things it does. In many ways salt is symbolic of how God affects our life and surroundings.
Interestingly, salt can actually lose its saltiness when kept in a wooden container or clay pot on the floor in a kitchen. When water wets the outside of the container from mopping the floor the saltiness is leached out of the crystals. This would have been a fact of common knowledge in Jesus day when He was giving the Sermon on the Mount.
One of the things as Christians setting us apart from the rest of the world is that heaven and earth exist in the same time and in the same place within each of us. God, in the form of thee Holy Spirit dwells in us. We now are the influence, exercising dominion over our environment. For example, we enter a room where it is noticeable that anger is present. As we enter with God's real and tangible peace in us and around us peace calms the room. Arguments can become less heated and differences become resolved.
It is no secret we live in a fallen world and that our life is not trouble free. No matter how well we live in God’s kingdom on the earth today, we will have troubles with both people and in our circumstances. We have the opportunity to stand in the gap between heaven and earth representing God and His kingdom for others to recognize there is another way to go through life. As Christians we are learning how to really live, not as the world who makes choices that are avoiding death and calls it life.
This is because we are able to walk with God’s presence and the reality of peace receiving His abundant grace in all of our circumstances. As we spend time with our God, He encourages us, helps us with our choices as He reveals more of Himself to us and shares His wisdom for engaging our culture and the life around us. We are never left out in the cold on our own by our God.
In all four Gospels it is interesting that Jesus, even though fully God and fully man, had to spend a noticeable amount of time alone with His heavenly Father. I believe this is the only way we too are able to overcome the influence and drive of the world around us to become like them. We pray, spend time in the Word and participate in a community of believers not because we have to. We do this so that we can stay tuned in to God and what He is doing on the earth today. In this we discover our purpose and the blessing we each are created to be through divine design.
We are fooling ourselves if we think we can always be effective in our sphere of influence when we don’t spend time with our God and His people. When we limit our participation our mindset becomes limited to our own understanding rather than God's revelation in us, inhabiting us and going through us to others. Therefore, we participate in a community of like-minded believers as well as have a one on one interactive relationship with our God to become healthy sons and daughters, a mature Christian, that loves God; loves His people, our neighbors and are able to be an effective steward of God’s creation according to His original design.
The true hope we have is we get to learn from our mistakes with grace always picking us up. Trusting that God is faithful as we rely on His strength to carry us and that He only builds on our successes with Him. Living in our own strength and will is not the light that demonstrates the Glory of our God in the earth today. His grace is sufficient to lift us up letting His glory shine. As our intimacy with God grows we are able to surrender and submit more of our whole heart taking us to heights and places we could never have dreamed of.
Every day is a new beginning and can be a new discovery of ourself and our God as we enjoy Him and the life we have with the most powerful being, ever, invested in our success as His child.
God is Good, All the Time; All the Time God is Good!
What is the Holy Spirit saying to me…?
How does today’s message apply to my life?…my beliefs?