“For you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you.” Ephesians 5:8-14
As the new year awaits us and Christmas comes to a close, by the end of the week we will be walking into 2018. I’m sure that during the holidays we each had to do some type of cleaning, because things tend to get dirty where there are people: dirty rooms, dirty clothes, dirty dishes... Something I always hate doing is dusting! Dust can be very annoying, as it comes out of nowhere, settles on every surface, and it just stays there. And sometimes we can barely see it. We can see dust in the air and on everything when the bright sun shines right on it, but in the darkness, we can’t see it at all; it’s invisible. Dust will get so piled up sometimes, that it can then start to seemingly spread and grow everywhere as if it were alive, making a mess of everything it touches. I know for me personally I tend to leave so much dust on my fan that when it piles up and blows the air, it becomes very unpleasant. It’s amazing how something otherwise so small and insignificant can pile up and demand our attention.
In this big and scary world we live in I find myself often getting sidetracked by so much of the dust that this world leaves. As we seek to become truly invested in God, it can be hard not to get trapped and buried under all of that dust. We might start off strong, living for God and remembering to read our bible and go to worship services and bible studies. But then the dust begins to creep up, and surprisingly we don’t even notice it as it starts to overtake us and draw our attention away from God. Maybe it starts with the songs we listen to and the shows we watch. We begin to make compromises with hearing foul language in our favorite programs, and then it may become reflected in the words we ourselves say and how we talk to one another. We begin talking and walking like the world, then we start dressing and looking like the world, and soon enough we’re living like the world. That dust starts to pile up so big, we might simply decide that we have more important things to do than clean that dust. We can get so distracted by the world that we become too busy to clean up the dust that’s buried us.
Being on fire for God is being vigilant in watching for when that dust starts to form, and then cleaning it up the right way (1 Peter 5:8-10). If we are diligently watching, we can see the source of that dust trying to come into our lives; we ought to be wary to see where the problem originates from and work not only to clean, but to proactively take measures to make sure that dust doesn’t become a consistent nuisance. Unfortunately, we can often find ourselves becoming unconcerned, and instead of being watchful and trying to keep ourselves clean, we simply don't notice the dust accumulating. There is always going to be dust from the world working to sidetrack us. There’s always going to be that list of personal struggles that we each have to work through. There’s always going to be difficult times.
Being on fire for God is so amazing though! It is when we finally realize that even with our hard times, struggles, heartbreaks, and the temptation in the world, God is bigger than all of it. God is way bigger than the dust in this world and the people who try to tempt us away from Him. God is the light in our life helping us see all the dust that entangles us. And when we’re on fire for God, it seems like that dust burns right up as soon as it lands on us!
It truly is a challenge to be constantly invested in Christ. In fact, it’s number one on my list of struggles. It can be hard to want to show God to everyone because empty fears can influence our actions and make us prioritize what people will think of us instead of prioritizing the worth of their souls. The thing about the world is that it will always be striving to work against our spiritual goals in an attempt to lead us astray from God. The thing about God is that He is never going to leave us covered with dust. He is always going to try and help us clean the dust up, but He can only truly help us if we are willing to work and be vigilant.