(February 17, 2017) Norman and Margaret Moss share this encouragement and challenge…
Recently I (Norman) visited a place of impenetrable darkness and gloom.
A place that is frequently unbearably hot, and at other times difficult to reach because it can only be visited on one’s knees.
I had never gone on this journey before, because I was hindered by feelings of total inadequacy. I felt that I had nothing to contribute to those gloomy nether regions.
Who was I to bring light to such an inaccessible place?
But as Tennyson declared triumphantly, ‘Old age hath yet its honour and its toil.’
So on my knees I dared to take the journey and penetrated this gloomy darkness – and replaced the light bulb at the back of the dark oven!
Difficulties can be tests that bring glory to God
We were meditating on Romans 5:2b-5 – ‘And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.’
And we felt the Lord was saying-
‘As the wind shakes the sapling trees so that their roots go down further and they become more stable, so when shaking comes to your life, see it as strengthening and rejoice. In this you will bring me great glory.
‘Always know that you are so loved by your God and Saviour and that such love will never be taken from you. Instead it will bring you such great comfort.
‘For every hard thing that comes to you is wrapped in the mercies and consolations of your God and Father. See each difficulty as a test for you to bring great glory to your God.
‘Always be sure of my love, for it is unfailing. Since hope is your birthright, do not choose melancholy. Do not dwell on trouble, but lift up your eyes to the glory that is to come, and open your heart’s door to receive the love that is pouring over you and into you. See to it that there are no shutters, no closed curtains keeping out the light, but as on a sunny morning fling back the curtains, open the windows wide.
‘Open the doors of your heart, and welcome my love. I am calling you to do this in your times of prayer, and in times of meditation. I love you; take time to delight in that love. Receive it by faith, and soak yourself in the joy of being loved.
‘This is not selfishness, how can you pour out love unless it has first been poured in to you. Look on time with me as a meeting between lovers. Do not feel that all the time must be filled with words. Love me, enjoy the silences with me, and then when I speak you will hear and we can talk together.’
Light bulbs and light-bearers needed today
We’re called to be light-bearers for Jesus!
In Matthew 5:14-16 (Message), he gave us clear directions – ‘Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colours in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand— shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.’
The reality is that any people feel that they’re in a place of impenetrable darkness and gloom – like the oven without a light mentioned above.
As we journey further into 2017, may we hear from God, rejoice in his love, and be bold – not feeling inadequate – but letting our light shine in the darkness!
Norman and Margaret Moss pastored Queen’s Road Baptist Church, Wimbledon for over 30 years, experiencing charismatic renewal since the 1960s and bringing the congregation into renewal in the 1970s when the church grew significantly. Now travelling widely around the UK and overseas, their desire is to encourage ministers, churches and groups – regardless of size – who are hungry for more of the Holy Spirit. Link: CNMoss@btinternet.com