One verse that’s been in season for the past two years or so, ever since I discerned this call to write, is Daniel 12:3. It says…
“Those who lead many to righteousness shall shine like the stars forever and ever.”
Beautiful imagery, yes, but have you ever thought about what that actually means?
Light travels at such an intense speed that we cannot even measure it with our normal units like miles per hour. Light is measured in years. One light year is the distance that light can travel in one earthly year, about six trillion miles. The furthest visible star from earth is a supernova, thought to be nearly 35 light years away. This means that if that star were to burn out, it would still appear in the sky, giving light to the earth, adding to the beauty of the cosmos, for 35 years after it’s death.
Pretty cool. But that’s nothing compared to the stars in other galaxies. Using infra-red imaging, the Hubble telescope has captured images of galaxies that are 13 billion light years away. If those stars were to burn out, from our perspective, they would continue to shine for 13 billion more years.
This is why Daniel 12:3 is so attractive to me. Jesus lived over 2000 years ago. He never held public office, never wrote a book, he lived and ministered in an area smaller than the state of Connecticut, and his main followers were hated tax collectors and unschooled fisherman. Yet the influence of Jesus’ life is still felt more strongly today than any other figure in all of history. He may have been killed, but he continues to give light to world, to add to the beautiful portrait of God’s coming Kingdom. His was a life that shines like the stars.
I’ve been praying that God would use me in such ways where His influence through my life might shine like the stars as well. That the words that I write and speak and that the encouragements I give would give light to the world long after my flame has burnt out. Where I run into trouble though, is how I unlock such incredible influence. Because I desire God’s glory to shine through me in such powerful ways, I often find myself stuck in the lie that I need to do more in order for my life to truly shine like the stars. What I have discovered though, is that if there is something that will last longer than the things I do, it’s the things I pray. Prayer is the key to living a life that shines like the stars, because once we’re gone, there is nothing more we can do. Once we’re gone, all that will be left are the prayers we prayed for those to come after us. As Mark Batterson would say, “it’s the difference between what you can do, and what God can do.”
Whatever your “life verse” may be, my guess is that it has something to do with bringing God’s kingdom. I want to do all I can to usher the glory of God into this world, but with prayer, I invite God into the equation, and then He will start doing all He can. And that is much, much more.
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