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Give Me the Spotlight Every Time
By: Dr. Skip Myers
web posted March 13, 2006
A survey was conducted some time ago and it revealed a rather amazing thing. The question was asked of Americans what they fear the most. You might think people fear things like crime, disease, or economic devastation the most but none of these were at the top of the list. The one thing Americans feared the most was public speaking! Now I’m not sure how they phrased the question for this poll but I find it hard to believe that public speaking topped the list. The question may have been what made them the most nervous. I have seen some people visibly shaking as they attempted to speak in front of a crowd. I guess some of us aren’t smart enough to know what we should fear.
Being placed in the spotlight can be a very uncomfortable experience. This is true especially if you aren’t prepared. Some freeze and have that “deer in the headlight” look. Others become all thumbs as they shuffle through their notes. And then there are those everyone feels the hot flash of embarrassment for as they stammer and finally crash and burn. Its amazing that a few sets of eyeballs watching us speak can have such a devastating effect.
There is one place where being in the spotlight isn’t a scary thing at all. In fact, when we realize the benefits of being in this spotlight we actually extend an invitation for it to shine on us. We have been examining the intimate nature of God and His wonderful love for us as it is explained in Psalm 139. This Psalm concludes by issuing to God an invitation to spotlight our lives and evaluate what He sees.
Search me, O God; and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way. (verses 23-24)
Most of us would never ask someone to shine a spotlight into our lives and tell us what they see. We know that most people can’t be trusted with the knowledge of our inner most being. It would provide them with too much ammunition for our destruction. Now, take what we have learned about the intimate nature of God. Couple this with the fact that His perfect love casts out all fear (I John 4:18) and you have the basis for absolute trust. It is this absolute trust that enables us to extend an invitation for the Lord to shine a spotlight on us and search our lives.
We don’t have to fear His reaction to what He will find. It is His desire to remove any hurtful ways from us and then lead us in the “everlasting way.” The everlasting way is not some religious phrase but rather, means the Lord replaces those things that seek to hurt us with His nature and traits. That is--if we will give Him the opportunity to search our lives. God will not intrude into our lives. He waits for an invitation.
The discomfort many fear if they allow God to do this comes from the fact that we think the Lord dwells on our sin as much as we do. Together, He wants us to deal with it and move on to a greater experience of the “everlasting way.” The freedom we gain through forgiveness is invaluable. And we do not have to fear the light God uses. Someone once told me they were so glad that God uses a spotlight rather than a floodlight to point out the things we need to work on in our lives.
Just think if He flooded our entire lives with His revealing light. I don’t think I could take coming face-to-face all the sin and sin potential I possess in my life. God lovingly spotlights those areas and aspects of my life He wants us to work on and then guides me to victory and a greater experience of His presence. God is not out to make us live in constant unresolved guilt. He is a God of freedom.
Why not issue the Lord an invitation to put you in the spotlight. There is no fear or guilt and you will not be overwhelmed. The average person may not like the public speaking spotlight but every person needs to experience the joy of having the light of Christ shine in them.
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