We are probably all familiar with the story of the Trojan Horse, and how the Greeks used it to enter the city of Troy and win the Trojan war. It is now often used as a metaphor for getting yourself, someone else, or your ideas inside an enemy fortress, or domain, in order to ‘win’ a victory. It occurred to me this morning that we – God’s people – are like His Trojan horse, bringing His Kingdom into a dark world that doesn’t, at the moment, recognise His Kingship. As we look around us and read the news, and see anti-Christian groups become more and more vocal, we can begin to feel outnumbered and a bit beleaguered in the post christian culture of our land today. But God still has a plan and it involves you and me!!
The prophet Habakkuk writing at a time when God’s people seemed to be very far from Him and under His judgement, asked the question “Has not the Lord Almighty determined that the people’s labour is only fuel for the fire, that the nations exhaust themselves for nothing? For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:13,14. I think that today many of us are looking and praying to see the ‘knowledge of the glory of God’ fill the earth and push back the darkness. “So how does the story of the Trojan Horse fit into that”, I hear you say?
Well I think it is like this; we live on earth, like everybody else, but unlike others all around us we carry God’s presence in the same way as that Trojan horse carried in the Greek soldiers. Christ lives in us and we carry His glory, John 17:22, and we are now charged with the task of spreading His glory throughout the earth.
When Jesus was presented as a baby at the Temple Simeon prophetically declared Him to be ‘a light for revelation to the gentiles and for glory to your people Israel’. Luke2:32. Jesus later told His followers not just that He was the Light of the world, but “You are the light of the world,” and He told them not to hide that light but to “let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven”. Matthew 5:14-16. Amazing as it might seem, I believe that ‘the knowledge of the Glory of God,’ is going to spread through the earth, as that same Glory rests upon us, His people, and we carry it into the darkest places.
So how can we do that? How can we be sure that we are an ‘effective Trojan horse’ carrying the ‘light of God’ and the ‘might of God’s Kingdom’ as an invading, liberating presence into our present dark world? I believe there are two things that will significantly help us in this matter. Firstly we need to recognise who we are in the ‘spirit’ world, and what we carry, and then we need to learn how to intentionally release the river of life that flows through us, into the world around us. (More of that tomorrow).
Firstly we need to see that we don’t have to be in a worship meeting, or a bible week, or conference with thousands of others, to be effective. Psalm 34:5 tells us that ‘those who look to the Lord are radiant.’ Thanksgiving in any situation, any scenario and any place, turns my gaze upon Him, thanksgiving causes me to ‘look at Him’ and away from me, from my ability, talents, performance and yes even from how well I am ‘shining’ for Jesus. And as I look to Him with worship and thanksgiving in my heart, I will shine. It’s just a spiritual fact.
This is about ‘who we now are in Christ’, our new identity, and the more I recognise who I now am, and what I am carrying of His presence and glory, the more likely I am to walk ‘as He would walk’, 1 John 2:6. We heard recently of a converted warlock who explained that, before his conversion, he could always identify Christians, because there was light coming from them. People of the darkness often see what we can’t, and may be that is why so many medieval paintings depict the saints with light around their heads.
In Matthew 4:16 Jesus, quoting the prophet Isaiah, said “the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned”. So let us make sure that we in ‘our small corner’ (as the Sunday school Hymn used to go), keep looking to Jesus and stay radiant as we give thanks in all things, and at all times, for all that He has done for us, and for including us in His plans to invade the darkness of this world and fill it with the knowledge of His Glory.