But if we are already a Christian that has been saved from the penalty of our sin and saved to an eternal reward, then that also means that God’s face IS already shining on us, He HAS already restored us, and He HAS already given us His favor.
I like how the Amplified Bible renders this verse: Restore us, O Lord God of hosts; cause Your face to shine in pleasure, approval, and favor on us, and we shall be saved!
What we have received is too wonderful for us to keep to ourselves, so we must let His pleasure, approval, and favor now shine out of us!
“If the result of our experience of God does not compel and propel us into global mission, it is doubtful whether we have really encountered the God of the Bible.” —Dick Brogden
Jesus stated His mission simply and then sent us out on the exact same mission (Luke 4:18-19; John 20:21). We do this best by living closely among people so they can also see us shine with God’s favor.
Paul called us to shine as well: Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people (Philippians 2:15). I believe this is a perfect definition of the word influence. The origin of the word meant the supposed flowing of ethereal fluid from the stars thought to affect the actions of men. Christians that let their good deeds shine in the darkness can influence the entire culture around them!
“Radical Christianity is not going on a missions trip or a big conference. Radical Christianity is staying steady for decades.” —Mike Bickle
Being a person that shines with favorable influence requires staying involved for the long haul so that you can build trustworthiness. It’s being in visible places not to get glory, but to let people see God’s glory. When they see His glory shine on you and out of you, they will want what you have too!
Solomon said, By the blessing of the influence of the upright and God’s favor—because of them the city is exalted (Proverbs 11:11). So, my fellow Christian, let me ask you:
- Has God shined on you?
- Are you letting Him shine out of you?
- Are you living a noteworthy, trustworthy, visible life in your dark community?
“It’s your choice: You can be a part of your city’s elevation or its deterioration.”
—Craig T. Owens