January 23, 2017 by Lighthouse Devotions by Joe
Located in the city of Miri in the state of Sarawak, Malaysia you will find this beautiful and quite interesting lighthouse. Because of its unique seahorse design, I might as well add it to my list of unusual beacons.
Miri adopted the seahorse as its official mascot because of its distinctive figure and serene behavior. The seahorse is said to symbolize peace and tranquility, which are the qualities that the Mirians believe represent their city’s multi-ethnic and multi-cultural community. That is why you will find numerous seahorse sculptures and designs throughout the city.
In many civilizations, the seahorse has come to represent patience, contentment, and protection. And because of their sharp eyesight, they can also symbolize other things such as perception or awareness. The Bible uses a variety of animals as symbols to represent people, places, and character traits. And while it doesn’t mention the seahorse, I think this lighthouse perfectly symbolizes the attitude that we, as spiritual lighthouses, must have especially when dealing with difficult situations and/or people.
Lighthouses come in a variety of shapes, designs, and sizes. Likewise, Christians come from different denominational and cultural backgrounds and as humans, they obviously possess different psychological traits. As followers of Christ, however, we are all called to be bold, strong, relentless, and unwavering, but we are also called to be humble, merciful, patient and forgiving. It’s not easy for those of us who are (by nature) strong-willed, audacious, and outspoken to immediately flip a switch and become flexible, docile and prudent. If you or someone you know struggles with a somewhat “short fuse” here are a few ways to…
1. Pray constantly
The Bible tells us to pray unceasingly1. This doesn’t mean we ought to be careless with our secular responsibilities in order to take time to talk with God. We can keep our prayer line to heaven open at all times by simply acknowledging Him in all that we do and by being conscious of his omnipresence. This way, whenever we call upon Him, whether on bended knee or behind a steering wheel, we can rest assured that He is listening and ready to pour his peace upon us.
2. Be discerning
The Bible tells us to be watchful and prudent2,3. This doesn’t mean we need to be paranoid or suspicious about everything. Obviously, there are things we know are not right simply because of our moral convictions. But we must become sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit so that we can identify the plans of the devil when he tries to lure us into responding and reacting in a sinful and regrettable way. And we can accomplish this by gaining wisdom from God’s word and by hiding it in our hearts.
3. Surrender your mind
The Bible tells us to subdue ungodly thoughts and submit them to the authority of Christ4. Some would argue that we cannot control what we think, but I beg to differ. The term, “garbage in, garbage out” accurately describes what happens to a mind that deviates from spiritual disciplines. That is why Paul urges us to constantly renew our minds so that it may be transformed5. He also gives us the formula to help us maintain a godly disposition6.
4. Watch your tongue
The Bible tells us to think before we speak7. It is a well-known fact that our mouth can cause as much, if not more, damage than our actions. No wonder James wrote an entire chapter devoted to “Taming the tongue.” Solomon’s wise words regarding the tongue have personally helped me to think before I speak8. Of course, if we take care of practicing #3 regularly we would do much better with #4.
5. Never forget God’s grace
The Bible tells us that our hope and joy rests in the grace of God through Christ9. This grace is the one that saved us, the one that keeps us, and the one that we ought to extend to others just as it has been extended unto us. So no matter the challenge, whether physical, emotional or spiritual, we can peacefully respond and remain poised if we regularly think about God’s amazing grace.
We must be strong like lighthouse towers when confronting the storms of life, but we must also remain serene like seahorses and not lose our cool. In other words, we must learn to be Gentle and Graceful Lights!
Prayer: Loving and gracious Father, I surrender my body and soul to you and ask that you strengthen my faith so that I may continue to shine and stand strong against all adversities. But I also ask you to grant me a gentle and quiet spirit so that I may respond with grace and give a good testimony in the midst of my trials. Use me to inspire peace, hope, and joy even to those who persecute me. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.
1 Thess. 5:17 – Pray without ceasing.
Matthew 26:41 – Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!
Hebrews 5:14 – But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. (NASB)
2 Corinthians 10:5 – We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Romans 12:2 – Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.
Ecclesiastes 5:2 – Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.
Proverbs 10:19 – When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, But he who restrains his lips is wise. (NASB)
Romans 5:2 – through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.