Church, Culture, Ministry, Scripture, Spirituality

#Shine On!

And “The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.” I Corinthians 15:41, NIV

Stars by David DeHetre. Creative Commons
Stars by David DeHetre. Creative Commons

One of my former journalism professors always ends her phone calls and emails with, “Keep shining!”

I get it: it’s her way of encouraging people in her mission field to stay in faith and in a positive mindset.

It is a sweet, simple yet powerful truism.

I am a star. You are a star.

You are brilliant! And in the expanse of God’s kingdom, there is no other like you, and no one shines as you do. God intended it that way. Your spiritual DNA dictates the strength, brilliance height, width, depth of your light. It’s all yours, no one can duplicate it.

Just as no one can duplicate the shine of your star, neither can anyone dull your shine— though they may try. We– you, me, all of us– were sculpted by the Creator of the Universe, and only He determines your destiny. The Kingdom is a collection of individual none-before, none-after masterpieces (that means you), and you belong to that gallery of the strange and peculiar.

 How do you #shine? Share your story at editor at theharvestmagazine.com!

Just as God spoke creation into existence with His Word, there will be for sure, people who try to dull our shine and circumstances that will make us feel less bright, less splendid. Apostle Peter said as much when he warned us in I Peter 4:12 not to let life’s trials and tests to surprise us.

But no matter what comes our way, we gotta keep shining.

  • Rejection will come. It is inevitable. Even in the church and the Kingdom. Whether it is jealousy, envy, anger, prejudice, bias, hatred, disfavor, intimidation, bullying, the way we look, speak or dress, or some type of ism, we will be rejected at some point. In the face of rejection keep your head up by turning up your thanksgiving, praise, prayers, and Bible study. Seek God’s face and He will give you strength to endure and overcome. And remember who you are.

  • Lies and persecution will come. It is painful for our character to be sullied, to be unfairly portrayed, to be misunderstood, misjudged or for our reputation to be attacked. Attacks hurt. That’s why the enemy uses them against us so often. Despite that strategy, we still have the victory because every trial strengthens us and moves us closer to God—He designed it that way. The trick is to forgive, release and pray for those who betray us.
  • Betrayal will come. Someone will mistreat us. Someone will prey on our weakness and vulnerability. Someone will share something we told them in confidence. Someone will plot against us. Someone will cheer for us in public, yet carry despise and hate for us in their heart. And so what? Jesus endured the cross, and even though His blood guarantees us an abundant and eternal life, that does not mean we can have a life without conflict or controversy. Betrayal is all part of our travel itinerary to glory. Remember, Judas?

  • Broken relationships will come. Sometimes a friendship reaches a state that can not be repaired. Sometimes a business partnerships end in anger. Sometimes the people we thought we were destined to spend our lives with abandon us. Relationships break. Hearts break. It is what it is; but, we cannot put our confidence in man. We have to rely on God to heal us where it hurts and to usher us into relationships that bless us and add value to our lives. He’ll do it, and when He does, the refreshing and joy will be just what you need, exactly when you need it. Besides, we cannot learn to be grateful for the beautiful if we never experience the ugly.

  • Disappointments will come. Delayed answers to prayers. Not getting a promotion we hoped for. Illness. Losing a loved one. The end of a relationship. Unfortunately there is great diversity of disappointment, and we will each have our turn. The good news is all problems and disappointments have an expiration date, and God always delivers us from our sadness.

No matter what comes, know that it is ultimately part of God’s plan for your life, and keep shining!

Pariv, Creative Commons.
Pariv, Creative Commons.

Whatever your gift is, whatever your “lane” is, drive in it, stay in it and shine with confidence because no one can do it like you can. That’s the grand beauty of God’s Kingdom–we are each called to a different mission field, call and purpose, with a unique anointing with which to operate in. That’s what spiritual diversity looks like and oh, what a lovely picture it is!

You need not question why your friend has a powerful, soul-stirring vocalist while you’re tone deaf and make dogs howl when you sing because God wants to use you with the special gifts He blessed you with, not your friend’s gifts. If you have not discovered your purpose yet, you can seek God and He will tell you. His Word says just that in Matthew 7:7: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened.”

It’s okay to shine, in genuine humility, of course. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. It is part of God’s divine strategy for each of His children to shine so that we can be light in darkness—that’s what the shine is all about. It’s not about you or shining just for the sake of shining; it’s about God’s plan. So rest in His unchanging love, enduring mercy, the refreshing of His constant presence, and the absoluteness of His Word to shine with purpose, power and passion.

You were born to shine, don’t let anyone take that from you. Shine on!

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

—-from A Return to Love, by Marianne Williamson

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