Gen. 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
I gave an evangelistic message at a church on Sunday, a passionate plea for us to believe that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8.) It was a “testimessage” (that’s a message and a testimony combined). Hebrews 13:8 was the means God used to open my heart to be healed of MS nine years ago. Through it and other scriptures, the Holy Spirit used my pastor to show me that Jesus is still the Great Physician. Throughout my testimessage, I spontaneously praised the Father and Son, by the Holy Spirit who always exalts them. By the grace of God and for His glory, the congregation was greatly stirred and encouraged.
My husband recorded the message, and processed the recording that afternoon. In the evening, I listened to it. Jeff and I often reviewed our messages at the churches we pastored in Maine, as a means of improving our presentation of God’s Word. We always found it to be especially helpful when Satan came along on Monday morning and tried to tell us we missed the mark. Pastors, you know what I’m talking about.
As I listened to my message, I heard my voice go up and down. I heard by my words that I did not look at myself in my lostness as kindly as Christ did. Satan began his accusations. I cried out to the Lord in my journal, “I was almost out of control in giving my testimony. Help me to control my voice! I want all of what I say to honor You!” I began to doubt my motive for preaching. Was I prideful and self-confident, rather than leaning on Him? I wrote to Him that I must not let the devil use this. I knew my accuser’s voice, and I began to run from it. I asked the Lord to let His power shine forth in my testimony. I opened my Bible to Jeremiah 48:18 and wrote, “I sit on the parched ground, Lord!” The Lord responded from Jeremiah 48:42, that I am not arrogant toward Him, so 48:18 didn’t apply. The devil knows the Word, and tried to use it against me. But I continued to stand before the Lord and heard the voice of my Good Shepherd.
Satan wasn’t through yet, though. In our home, we have a large, open area that comprises the kitchen, dining room, and living room. I looked out the living room window, to my left. The moon was full and still shining. Then I looked to my right, and the sun was rising. I wrote in my journal, “The moon is losing its brightness because of the rising of the sun. The greater light You created is overtaking the lesser light. Let Your Son overtake the lesser light in me! Overcome and obscure and destroy any confidence I might have in myself. Do not let not that lesser light appear ever again, Father!” As the sun rose higher and higher, I watched the moon fade until it was invisible. I asked the Lord to make me invisible. Weeping, I wrote, “Amen. So be it, Lord.”
I went to Jeff and told him what I thought the Lord was showing me with the moon and the sun. He had a different interpretation. He said gently, “I saw the lesser light proclaiming the Greater Light. The lesser light is supposed to be there. God created it that way. Remember, the lesser light would not shine at all except that the greater Light illuminates it. The greater Light must have something to illuminate. He illuminated you!” I wept and wept, so grateful to the Lord that He had made His greater Light shine on His lesser light!
The Lord was showing me something wonderful — something all who speak God’s Word, and all who listen, must always remember. We who speak the Word are not perfect. We will mispronounce. Our diction, our intelligence, our oratorical skills may be inferior to others. We may not always perfectly interpret the Word of God, despite our best efforts. But remember this, pastors and fellow Christians! We are all lesser lights reflecting the Greater Light — the Father and the Son — by the power of the Holy Spirit. None of us will ever execute everything perfectly. So do not evaluate and criticize and judge and play favorites when you hear the messenger, but absolutely evaluate and test the message compared with the Word of God! And do not tear yourself to pieces, Pastor. You’ll never be perfect. God is counting on that, so His perfection can be seen in you.
Look to the Apostle Paul! The Corinthians were looking for great orators and intellects and comparing one evangelist to another. He writes, “And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:1.) And he writes, “You are looking at things outwardly . . . For they say, ‘His letters are weighty and strong, but his personal presence is unimpressive and his speech contemptible.’” (2 Corinthians 10:7a, 10.) And yet Paul’s words and ministry are a gracious, God-given gift to all of us for all time!
Pastors who evaluate yourselves to pieces, and churchgoers who criticize and carve up your pastors, do not look at things outwardly! Is a lesser light proclaiming the Greater Light? Then Pastor, give praise to God, you are exactly in the condition the Lord wants you. When you are weak, you are strong. Glory in your weakness, as Paul did! And churchgoer, arise and shine, because the glory of the Lord has risen upon you (see Isaiah 61:1)! Rejoice and be glad in His presence, and receive His Light so you may also be a lesser light who reflects the greater Light! Hallelujah to the King!