By Rev. Dalton Lilly
It was a warm August morning in Marquette, Michigan. The sun was rising from the water up into the Eastern sky. On a wooden park bench in the lower Marquette harbor, I sat just feet away from the most beautiful ship I had ever seen. She was a schooner more than thirty feet long. Black and sleek. The smooth rounded hull shone in the morning sun. She was a sight to behold. As I studied her more in amazement, I discovered she was empty. Hope had no crew aboard. The ropes from her hull were drawn tightly to the steel dock mooring. This beautiful ship named Hope was meant for strong rolling waves, brisk wind, and open seas. She was surely built to sail.
As I beheld this beautiful ship anchored, tied to the dock, I wondered if some of God’s people have become like this beautiful schooner. Built strong through the power of His transforming Spirit, ready for the work of testimony to bring hope to the world, but nowhere near the oceans of the lost who need Christ so desperately. Is your Christian life lost in obscurity? Do you transcend a message of hope to those around you?
Jesus tells us in Matt. 5:13-14 that we are to be the salt and light of the world. But how are we to be the salt and the light of the world if we remain unseen? Can salt have savor when diluted? Can light come from a candle beneath a basket? Jesus asked these questions a long time ago.
Today we have to ask ourselves these same questions. Are we taking our faith in God serious enough that it becomes noticeable to those around us? When we are in public places and around other people, will they see Christ in us, or have we become obscure and difficult to see?
The bible tells us that faith comes by hearing, and by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17). The lost in this world will not hear the word of God or see His presence if we withhold His Spirit. “Do not quench the Holy Spirit.” (1st Thessalonians 5:1).
We must not be fearful of the times in which we live. We must never withhold our testimony of Christ that is within us. In doing so, we can become like great seaworthy ships, clad in God’s Spirit, but tied to the moorings of our own safe harbors.
Christians are not meant for safe harbors! They are warriors in Christ meant to do battle against Satan, the prince of evil. This battle rages around us in the world today.
The Bible tells us that our battles are against principalities.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)
God’s people are not to be weak, but are to have a Spirit of boldness, without fear (2nd Tim.1:7). The apostle Paul wrote,
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might, put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Ephesians 6:10).
Life in this world is becoming more and more difficult for believers. I encourage you not to be fearful but be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. Pray for strength and boldness. Leave safe harbors. Enter the open waters of this unsaved world. Walk daily in the light and let others see Christ in you. Bring goodness and hope to the world around you. Do not be a Christian of obscurity.
May God bless you amazingly and often.
By Rev. Dalton Lilly
~~Photo credit: Deborah Lilly