Rise and Shine…on Yourself
BY: TCLeach at http://throughanewlens.blogspot.com
Welcome to the “Rise and Shine” column, I’m glad you’re here! Without question, The Father would have us go about shining His light into this dark world. Being light is the best witness we can offer others who do not know HaShem (The Name). Being light may not come naturally, it’s a deliberate decision and it takes practice! Being light adds a new perspective to any situation. It is very important, though, for us to start with ourselves. We can’t shine if our own spirit is filled with shadows. Since this is the very first post for this column, it’s a perfect opportunity for us to take a look at some of the ways we can make sure we’re filled with The Father’s light. I made a simple checklist, because it’s easy to become complacent. It’s easy to think that just because we love our God, our light is always lit. It can be, but it takes effort on our part. As many times a day as I need to, I go over my list, to be sure I have enough light to share.
- Scripture Study
We must repent of the sin we are ensnared in. If you’re like me, even as you read that sentence, the sin you need to repent from fluttered through your mind. Some of them are big and noticeable. More often, though, they are the subtle ones. The ones we may not even realize we’re doing. Quieter, but no less deadly. Repenting is a decision, followed by an action. When we find ourselves repenting of the same thing over and over, it’s time to stop and focus on that particular issue, and be rid of it for good! If we lie, steal, gossip, complain and cause strife, we are casting shadows, not shining light.
Prayer is essential to going about being light. When we achieve a genuine connection with our Creator, things happen in the spiritual realm we can’t begin to understand. Giving The Father our undivided attention and reverence is essential. Make sure to take some time during prayer to listen. Be still, and know that YHWH is God. You may find during this silence that He has something to “say” to you! We must never say that we don’t have time to pray! The Father knows that we will make time for that which is most important to us.
There is no doubt that we are changed from within through Scripture Study. This is also something we must make time for if we want to live the life HaShem intends for us to live. In Scripture, HaShem allows us to get to know Him better. As we progress in our reading, we begin to see a wonderful plan emerging! Torah is so much more than a list of dos and don’ts, it is a set of instructions that keeps us walking in light. There are so many wonderful sites that offer the weekly Torah Portions! It’s an easy way to make sure we’re getting enough spiritual food. But don’t stop there! Look up verses your friends are talking about, ones you hear on the radio, or ones The Father lays on your heart. When we fill ourselves with The Father words, they will be quick to be on our own lips.
Perhaps you know a person who exhibits no gratitude. Do you find yourself hurrying to not be around them too long? What energy drainers people with no gratitude are! If we started listing the things we could be grateful for, we would run out of time before we were done! In these tough times, there are a lot of us who are living with little. Being grateful for what we have will make the little seem like so much more! I don’t have a car, and am so grateful to have family who will cheerfully share theirs. I can’t shop retail for new clothes, and am grateful I love searching the local Goodwill for unique pieces. I don’t have a phone that goes online, or will even take a photo, and am grateful that my old girl still dials. How about you? Can you counter all of your “have-nots” with gratitude for the things you have?
Shalom is a word that means so much more than peace! It also encompasses wholeness or completeness. Peace, though, is the outward manifestation of the Shalom HaShem bestows within us. This was a tough one for me in the beginning of my journey. The world runs on drama and stress, something all too easy to fall into! Shalom requires our attention. If being peaceful isn’t natural for us (for some it is) we will learn it best through practice. My bird taught me a great lesson about being peaceful. He loves sitting on my shoulder and preening my hair for me. He will stay there until an unexpect noise startles him, or an unexpected movement by me, and then he’s gone! My shalom can be like that too. It can fall like rain and cover me like a blanket. If I’m not mindful of this great peace, it can be shattered by someone who has none, or a situation that can bring out the very worst in me. When I feel like I’m losing my shalom, I know it’s time to check the checklist!
Once we address all the lighting issues within ourselves, we are ready to shine The Father’s light outward, towards others! Next week we will take a look at brightening up our homes and our family by being light. Until then, let’s continue looking up, and looking within. Know that I’ll be praying for you as we sojourn through this world together.
In HaShem, ~T