Spark a Light

Ever since I was a kid, I have been afraid of the dark. I am 22 years old and I still use a diffuser, which is really a fancy way of saying nightlight that smells good. When we are children we want the door cracked to let the light in, we want a light on during the night, or we want our parents there when there is no light. We associate light with safety and comfort - because we know and are aware of what is happening around us and we know what is coming. I don’t know when I started to learn to be ashamed of fearing the darkness, when naturally, everyone prefers the light.

There are a lot of people in 2021 who are living in a much worse darkness than there is in the physical world. People are yearning for the light that we have shining over us and through us as the Body of Christ.

As I began praying over 2021, God revealed to me a word more clearly than years before: “Illuminate”. And I am excited to share my heart behind this and invite you to be part of the mission that Christ calls us to as his friends.

2020 was a year that felt like a continuous winter. Our world was shaken like never before. I personally finished my last semester of college online and went out looking for a job in a world that had no plans. I wasn’t making plans either, because every single day the climate of the world politically, socially, medically, was changing, and while I’m learning to give myself grace, one of my biggest regrets from this past year was not placing the entirety of my trust in Jesus during these times.
 
As I think about this year, and “illuminate”, my hope for 2021 is that God will reveal His character, with all His goodness and faithfulness, in a new way to Christians and unbelievers alike. I see a world of warmth and light, as God invites us into His wisdom and we invite people into new life.

I think in the same way that God is illuminating Himself and revealing Himself in a new way to believers, I believe that this season of goodness after hardship will reveal to many unbelievers the true heart of God. And not only that, but, for them also to start seeing and believing the heartbeat of our father, we as believers need to wholeheartedly absorb the weight of the great commission.
 
If you are unfamiliar, the great commission is found in Matthew 28:19-20, and says, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” These were some of Jesus’ very last words on earth, and I’ve always tried to keep it as the “why” behind every action I take.

During the last year, COVID-19 has given us an excuse and altered our world. While it has slowed things down and given us so many sweet opportunities like seeing more of our families, the pandemic has also created a way for satan to creep into our lives and spread excuses.

I want to encourage you, fellow believers, that in 2021 we can choose to live a life that is different and set apart. We can choose to live a life that honors people, safety, and health, whilst at the same time continuing to make disciples of all nations. Where God calls us, He will make a way- regardless of the circumstances.
 
When we aren’t inviting people into the fullness of life that God freely gives us, satan is bit by bit reminding us of our inequity as humans - when God sees us as “holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation (Colossians 1:22).” If we really believe that to be true, why is it so hard for us to step out and tell the people around us about this moment where we went from death to life?

There’s a COVID-sized crack in the Church that I believe God is restoring. I see God so miraculously at work in 2021 mending the foundation of who we are, and showing us his power and glory. God does not only form each of us individually - he forms us corporately, as friends, as a country, as the Church, in this world.
 
God is looking at our broken world straight in the face right now and saying “look how much beauty I can make from this”, and, “are you coming along?”

Author | Olivia Ellis

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