KEEP SHININ’

​Paulette Reed

The Battle

During a trip to Haiti in May 2014, I was hit with a horrible virus called Chickungunya. Let me tell you, it was not fun. Actually, the doctors think I contracted the mosquito-borne virus twice, making matters more complicated. Following the came vertigo, and then several weeks later shingles came knocking on my door. Needless to say, all of this was challenging and foreign to me because I don’t do sick—period. But it is at times like these that we learn to practice what we preach and walk as overcomers in Christ Jesus.

As I received prayer for the maladies, some of the people praying sensed that curses had been spoken over me. Others broke off damaging words that the Lord showed them, because we all know that life or death is in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:2). And, of course, we needed to discern how the enemy might have been allowed access into my life, and then we prayed to close any doors (spiritually speaking) that may have been open. All of the discernment shared during the time of illness was greatly appreciated, and, as always, Jesus is the Healer.

The Light

In anticipation of the fulfillment of prophetic words declaring that one billion souls are coming into the Kingdom of God within the next ten years, every one of us must be strong and healthy. So, in preparing for the great harvest of souls that’s coming, I strongly contended for my health during this season of testing. Today, I want to encourage anyone reading this who needs to win a victory to do the same—contend! It’s interesting, but I found that what actually bothered me much more than being physically sick was that I felt spiritually sick too. I sensed that I had lost some of God’s divine light. My eyes, which are the window to the soul, seemed dull and lifeless and it seemed that some of the Lord’s light was MIA when it came to my countenance.

It was Smith Wigglesworth who once said, “Don’t lose in the dark what you gained in the light.” All believers have a conflict going on between the Kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness. And we know that eventually darkness will cover the earth, and deep darkness the peoples, as we read in Isaiah 60. Because of this, beloved, we must know how to contend for and maintain the fullness of the King of Glory if we go through dark times ourselves. When we’ve done all we can, we must stand firm, knowing that in the end God’s light always wins. It helps to remember that one little match can light up a huge arena, so we must push through the darkness, trusting God, knowing and believing that Jesus is our Bright Morning Star.

James 1:17 tells us that “every good thing given because in Him there is no shifting shadow. Rather, I knew the issue was mine, and I longed to shine for Jesus.

What Is the Light?

The Word of God tells us in James 5 that our effective prayers accomplish much. And wisdom tells us that if we are to grapple for something, then we must know what that something is. If there are things that have been stolen in our lives, how can we expect them to be restored if we don’t know exactly what they are? 

John says, “In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:4–5). We know the light that born-again believers have is in the Lord, and the Lord is in them, causing His light to shine. And we also know from this passage that the darkness can’t lay hold of it. In other words, the darkness can’t even understand or perceive the light that dwells within us. So we must speak the Word and God will bring light out of darkness, order out of chaos.

A good place to gain understandingowr ( in the beginning, causing light to shine forth in the darkness!

Later on in the creation narrative, we see the light of the moon, sun, and the stars being created:

God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also. God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day (Genesis 1:14–19).

The Hebrew word for light in this scripture is maowr, which refers to the sun and the moon. The first light God called forth was divine light, and the second type of light was solar light. Of course, we must have both (we couldn’t physically survive without solar light), but we desire to be filled with God’s divine light and not lose it in the dark.

Where Is the Light?

If God called down the presence of the glory of the Lord, then what happened since that time? Why isn’t it being manifested on the earth today? After all, if we are truly filled with the divine light of God, then wouldn’t we be like human, electric bug zappers? This isn’t just any light we’re talking about here; it’s the light of Almighty God! Think about it for a moment: if any darkness or any evil even gets close to the light of God, shouldn’t it supernaturally disintegrate, kind of like getting too close to the sun?

Unfortunately, after the creation of light in Genesis, we had this problem in the garden called the fall of man, where Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, thus disobeying God. But now we can also experience redemption of all things since Jesus paid our debt on the cross, reversing the curse from the garden of Eden. I don’t know about you, but that inspires me to contend for the light of God, the fullness of His presence until we see it fully restored in our own lives, and in the earth as well.

Wouldn’t you agree that the Kingdom of Heaven is a Kingdom of light, where everything shines and everything glistens? First John 1:5 tells us, “God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.” Therefore, if we’re in Christ and Christ is in us, and there is no darkness at all in Him, then there shouldn’t be any darkness at all in us.

The Lord is leading His Bride into a time where there will be no mixture of light and darkness. No spots or wrinkles. In fact, He’s commanding us to shine like never before. We’ve been hearing Isaiah 60:1–2 for years now, telling us:

Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth and deep darkness the peoples; but the Lord will rise upon you and His glory will appear upon you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.

How will nations come to our light if they can’t see it? It’s our responsibility to contend for the light of God, and not lose in the darkness what we’ve gained in the light. And let us also remember that glory and light are always connected: “And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb” (Revelation 21:23).

Nothing between God and Us

Looking back to Genesis 1 again, the Word says, “The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light” (Genesis 1:2–3). What did God make the light out of? The light came out of darkness! He didn’t even cast out the darkness; He just turned it into light. He simply declared, “Let there be light,” and light appeared. In all of God’s wisdom and brilliance, He used the darkness for His glory. Alleluia!

Shouldn’t that same principle apply to us today? Of course as He uses all things for good. This is why Jesus said we are to be a city set on a hill and a light on a lampstand, giving light for all to see.  

While I was sick, I realized that the illness was trying to pull my focus off of Jesus onto myself, onto my flesh. It’s difficult, but not impossible, to stay focused on the Word and on the promises of God when we’re sick. And yes, of course, to everything there is a season, and sometimes we have to slow down and concentrate on resting and getting well. But the Lord has promised to take us from strength to strength and from glory to glory, so we have to find a way to allow His living Word to change us. For me, it was the Bible on CD, as well as praise and worship.

I enjoy how The Message translates 2 Corinthians 3:16–18, because it gives us insight into beholding God’s light and letting it be reflected back out of us.

Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.

Do you get it? When we behold His face and stand in His light, any darkness or sin must come out of hiding. It can’t stand in the light, for His light exposes all things. And the more we look at Him, the more we look like Him. Every time we’re sick, grieved, if we can learn to behold His face and bleed worship in the midst of our suffering, a divine exchange takes place.

The Lord is asking that there be nothing between us and Him. I recall a vision the Lord gave me of the bride’s veil being lifted off her face, but just to the bottom of her eyes. I believe it is a good time to ask ourselves some tough questions, like what is causing darkness in our lives? What are some of the veils we wear that don’t allow God’s glory to shine in or shine out in fullness? Perhaps there are veils of sin, infirmities, wounds, rejection, bitterness, and poverty that must be taken care of so the glory of the Lord can fill the earth.

God Turns Darkness into Light

We have to understand that it is only the Lord who causes our light to shine as we yield to Him. In Psalm 18:28, the psalmist declares, “You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.” Not only does the Lord turn our darkness into light, but He also wants to fill us with His light. He tells us in Ephesians 1:17–18, which is a prayer Paul prayed for the Ephesian believers:

That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened (illuminated, shining), so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints…

Beloved, 2015 is going to be an amazing year as the Lord removes the veils and allows His light to be seen like never before. Even in the midst of all the darkness surrounding us, we must yield to God and gradually become brighter and more beautiful as He fills our lives and turns darkness into light.