Dare To Lift Your Light Higher—Increase Your Influence and Joy Part 6March 11, 2014
by Rick Renner
Editor’s Note: This article is Part 6 of Rick’s continuing series “Lift Your Light Higher” in which he teaches in-depth from Matthew 5:14-16 and shares from his own experiences of respecting the gift of God within and stepping out of the shadows to allow that gift to bless others.
Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. — Matthew 5:15
What did Jesus say about letting our light shine? He wants us to put our lamp “on a lampstand” so “it gives light to all who are in the house.” I explained previously that the Greek word for “lampstand” here is luchnia, which referred to an elevated stand on which a lamp — luchnos —could be placed. Once the lamp, or luchnos, was filled with oil and the wick was lit, the amount of light it provided was determined by its position. In other words,the higher the light, the brighter the light.
In my last post, I also explained that if a lamp was simply placed in a corner, it would give light only to those nearest that corner. And if it was set on a table, it would provide enough light to illuminate everyone sitting around that table.
However, if that same lamp was placed on top of a lampstand, it would provide maximum light and illuminate all who were in the room!
In other words, the position of the lamp determined the influence it exerted. The amount of light produced from the lamp was actually the same, but its elevated position made its light much more effective.
So what does this have to do with our ability to lift our own light higher? Once we become born again, the oil of the Holy Spirit fills us, enabling us to let our light shine. But the degree to which we illuminate and bless others has everything to do with our faith! How much confidence and “gumption” do we have to step out of the corner with our gifts and abilities and let our light shine before others so that the Father is glorified through us?
Hindered by a Traumatic Experience
Perhaps I can help you answer that question for yourself by giving you a personal example of a time when I nearly allowed my light to be extinguished.
My mother and daddy had always raised me in church and put the Word of God into me, and I’m so grateful for their influence in my life. I was baptized in the Holy Ghost at the age of 14, and the call of God began to be awakened in my life at that time. Then when I was 17 years old and attending college, I wrote my first book. It was about the fivefold ministry gifts, and the finished manuscript was about 220 pages long. And wouldn’t you know it — the entire time I was writing that book, the devil bombarded my mind with thoughts such as, Who do you think you are to write this book? You’re just seventeen years old. You’re so arrogant to think that you have any worthwhile insights about the ministry. But I managed to push away that accusing voice, and I finally finished writing the book.
I thought my book was pretty good. I was studying journalism in college, and I worked in the newspaper department on campus. I was also learning to typeset, so by the time I was done, I had the entire manuscript ready to go the printer. But before I printed it, I sent it to a well-known minister in order to get his response to my work.
One day after my eighteenth birthday, this minister called me about my book. He said to me, “I’ve read your manuscript, and this is probably the finest material I’ve ever read on the fivefold ministry. Your book explains things about the apostolic and prophetic ministries better than any book I’ve ever read.” Then the minister asked, “How old are you, Rick?”
When I answered, “I’m eighteen,” the man literally became furious! He said, “How dare you even attempt to write a book like this when you’re just eighteen years old! Who do you think you are? You don’t have the experience to write a book like this!” (This was after he’d just told me that my book was filled with more revelation and insight than he’d ever read before.)
This minister verbally pounded me over the phone that day. By the time he was finished, my light was so smothered that I destroyed every copy of that manuscript I had! Then several years ago, I found a copy of the book that my mother had kept for me. As I held it in my hands, that minister’s words came back to me: Who do you think you are? But instead of tossing it aside this time, I began to reread some of the pages. And do you know what I realized? Revelation doesn’t have anything to do with age; it has to do with the oil of the Holy Ghost that’s on the inside of a person.
Isn’t it amazing how an experience like that can affect your obedience for years and years? For many years after that traumatic encounter, every time I approached a typewriter or computer to write, I’d hear that minister say, Who do you think you are? And I would back away from using my gift for writing. So for a long time, that ability just lay there under a bushel — until someone else came along years later and lit my wick!
Next time, I’ll talk about the amazing power of encouragement in our lives. Meanwhile, who can you encourage in your sphere to step out of the shadows and lift his or her light a little higher?