ARISE AND SHINE!
I am now coming with a sermon since there has been a lot of teaching. The headline is coming from Isaiah 60. The gloom of fall is now coming over the Nordic countries and it can become quite dark before the snow is coming. One has to be careful in order to avoid depression and one must allow the light living in us to shine inward and outward.
Isaiah 60 begins like this: “Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. ”For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.”
I and my family have been under satanic attacks lately and it is very easy to start focusing on the negative things then. One might even be tempted to become depressed and feel sorry for oneself. Be aware of the fact that there are demons causing both depression and self-pity. We must withstand his temptations. It isn’t always easy, but easier if we know that it is the enemy behind those feelings. I know that Isaiah wrote this chapter to describe the bright future of Jerusalem, but I have chosen to apply some of the writings to me personally. It is interesting that it start by saying arise. That means that something has been down. You might feel a little down right now. Maybe you are looking at all the problems of the world or all your personal difficulties and you are drawn like a spiral downwards. If that’s the case, I am saying to you: Arise! We have a song that starts like this: “Turn your eyes upon Jesus” If we focus on Him, we get full of hope and faith. We will also be renewed in strength. The greater opposition, the more power we need. We must never forget that the Light is living inside of us and is not far away. Isaiah says that we should rise and shine. If we allow Jesus in us to come forth, we will shine. If we allow the dark sides in our soul to reign, people cannot see the light in us. While writing this, a sunbeam came through the window. It came through a lot of dark clouds. The sun is always there, but can be hidden behind the dark clouds. It can be the same way in our lives. We have a children’s song going like this: “This little light of mine, I want to let it shine” I think we have a big light and we should let it shine very bright and clear.
Isaiah is saying that the glory of the Lord will arise over you. Who doesn’t want to be in His glory? It is even written that darkness shall cover the earth and the people, but over you and over me, it will shine. I know that there will be an increasing darkness, but I really feel that the Lord has said that He will protect those who diligently seek Him. This is not a time for apathy or indifference. This is really a time to press on and cling to the Lord. It is Him who is and has the answers. It is written here that the Gentiles shall come to your light and kings to the brightness of your rising. You might not have neither kings nor folk groups coming to your personally, but I do know that people always will be drawn towards light. Wouldn’t you rather be outside in the sunlight than being in a dark forest being dependent on a small flash-lamp? When we smile, give people a warm hand and show people friendliness and love, we are like magnets and people are drawn towards us. If Christians weren’t here, the world lie in darkness. We must stop looking at ourselves as unimportant. We are having the light inside of us in order to give it to others. They should receive the light and they should also give it to those whom they meet.
Please continue to go with me through Isaiah 60. We see a lot of marvelous promises here. We read that their sons should come from afar and the daughters should be nursed at their side. We can read other places in the Bible that the Jews should return to Israel from other countries and they have already started doing that. I also believe that we can use this word and believe that sons and daughters will return to the Lord if they have been far off. Many parents are praying for their children and you can call them back and send angels out to bring them back to their heavenly Father.
Jerusalem was promised to get lots of treasures. It was the abundance of the sea, the wealth of the Gentiles, the multitude of camels, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah, those from Sheba should bring gold and incense, and they shall proclaim the praises of the Lord. We can’t quite use this verse for ourselves, but we see a divine principle here. God wants the best for us. There is no thinking about poverty here. I do not believe that God wants us to be poor even if I know that it is said that we should be satisfied with what we have. I believe that He means that He is God and worthy our praises under all circumstances. God wants to bless and we can read in Deuteronomy 28 that God wants to bless all areas of our lives.
God wanted to bless Jerusalem and it is written here that foreigners should build up the walls of Jerusalem and the kings of those builders should minister to them. We read something very strong in verse 12: “For the nation and kingdom which will not serve you shall perish, and those nations shall be utterly ruined.” We ought to think twice before we curse Israel. We do not need to agree with all they do. Immorality and sin exist also there, but we should not curse it. We must bless Israel and pray for peace. Jesus has plans to return to Jerusalem and to Israel, to the country where He was born and raised. Oh, what a day! Jerusalem is called the city of the Lord, Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
The Lord is also wishing peace and righteousness. I believe that this goes for both Jerusalem as well as all of us who are washed in the blood of the Lamb.
I will and cannot interpret the times of these prophesies in Isaiah 60. That is not my strength and I do not do things without knowledge or revelation, but I do grasp the heart of the Lord. He really wants to be our light and glory. The devil is busy trying to get our attention and steal our energy. He hopes that we won’t have time and energy to be in the presence of the Lord. If we have problems, we need to throw ourselves on the Lord more than ever. In verse 20 it says that the time of mourning shall end. We know that both Israel and many of us have been through a lot of mourning since this was written, but we know that we are promised an eternity without sorrow and pain, sickness and tears. We will not experience any of these things in heaven and we can therefore look forward to an eternity with eternal joy. It might be difficult to understand that today, but a few people have been there and returned here saying that we have something fantastic to look forward to.
Isaiah 60 describes both wealth and increase. God wants us to have the best. When we begin to believe that our Daddy in heaven wants the very best for us, we might start expecting and stretching for that. The Bible says that we are the children of God, kings and priests. We must look at ourselves through these glasses of truth.
The first chapter of the Bible writes that we should increase. That is a biblical principle. It does mean that we should have children, but it also means that we should be fruitful in all areas of life. When we sow seeds, we should think of lots of fruit, more than enough for both ourselves and others. If a church doesn’t grow, something isn’t healthy. There is always a seed of growth in everything started by God. Stagnation might lead to death and that’s the opposite of life. You might ask the Lord if there are areas with stagnation or death in your life. If the answer is yes, ask Him to will help you making order in that area and to come with His life.
The Lord wants you to bear fruit.
I end with the beginning:
ARISE AND SHINE!