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Walking to the Promised Land

  1. Wilderness Walking: Trust, Delight, Commit
    2 Digging Deeper
  2. The Blessed Life Ever: Walk in the Ways of the Lord
    2 Digging Deeper
  3. Flawless Footsteps: Walk as Christ Walked
    2 Digging Deeper
  4. The View From Down Here: Walk Humbly
    2 Digging Deeper
  5. Watch Where You Step: Walk Carefully
    2 Digging Deeper
  6. Keep on Keeping on: Walk by Faith
    2 Digging Deeper
  7. Stay out of the Shadows: Walk in the Light
    2 Digging Deeper
  8. Follow Your Guide: Walk by the Spirit
    2 Digging Deeper
  9. Walk Tall: Walk Uprightly
    2 Digging Deeper
  10. Choose Wisely: Walk with Wise Men
    2 Digging Deeper
  11. Love, That's All: Walk in Love
    2 Digging Deeper
  12. When No One's Looking: Walk in Integrity
    2 Digging Deeper
  13. Be Good Do Good: Walk in Good Works
    3 Digging Deeper
  14. Leave Your Past Behind: Walk in Newness of Life
    2 Digging Deeper
  15. Remember Who You Are: Walk Worthy
    2 Digging Deeper
  16. Walk with the Father: Walk with God
    6 Digging Deeper

She is a ‘ministering angel’ without any exaggeration in these hospitals, and as her slender form glides quietly along each corridor, every poor fellow’s face softens with gratitude at the sight of her. When all the medical officers have retired for the night and silence and darkness have settled down upon those miles of prostrate sick, she may be observed alone, with a little lamp in her hand, making her solitary rounds.

Those words were printed in the British newspaper, The Times, in reference to Florence Nightingale, a woman remembered today as the founder of modern nursing. During the Crimean War she became known as “The Lady of the Lamp,” because she would make her hospital rounds at night, carrying a small lantern and caring for wounded soldiers.

Florence Nightingale made it her mission in life to serve the hurting and the dying. She was not of the sick, but she was sent to work in hospitals among the sick to provide them with help and hope. She indeed was a “Lady of the Lamp:” A light shining in the darkness.

When Pilate questioned Jesus about the accusations brought against Him, Jesus answered by saying “My kingdom is not of this world.” (John 18:36). Jesus was speaking about Heaven—the place of citizenship for the Christian (Phillipians 3:20)—our focus, our hope, and our motivation while living on earth. In the book of James we read that our lives are “a vapor, that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” (James 4:14). Our time here is short, and we endure the pain, the suffering, the trials, knowing that these “light afflictions” are momentary and are preparing an eternal glory for us to which nothing else can compare. (2 Corinthians 4:17).

We are to be a separate people, knowing that we do not belong to this world or live according to its values. It is equally important to remember that we have been given a command to go into the world to preach the Gospel. As Florence Nightingale was sent into hospitals to care for the sick, we have been sent into the world to save the lost.

So here we are, in this world, with the divine charge not to be conformed to it (Romans 12:2), but also enlisted with the commission to go into the world and bring people to Jesus (Matthew 28:20).

Is it possible to go into the world and not be of the world?

It’s what Jesus did.

It’s what He prayed for His disciples, present and future.

Jesus recognized that His disciples, like Him, are not of the world, but in His prayer just before His arrest, Jesus did not ask God to take His disciples out of the world, rather He asked that while they are here they may be kept from the “evil one” and be unified in Him so that others may believe.

As a mother, I want to shield my children from the evils of this world. I want to protect their little hearts as long as I can. However, it is also my responsibility to teach my children how to live in this world as a Christian. I need to teach them how to be different and how to be approachable; how to resist temptation and how to shine in darkness; how to be separate and how to approach the lost…all at the same time. I have to prepare my children, and myself, to go into the world so we can bring others out of the world, while fighting the influences of the devil and remaining unified in Christ.

How do I do that? The answer is this: Through faithful study and application of God’s Word. The Word is what makes us different; the Word is what transforms us; the Word is what separates us from the world. For us to go into the world but remain apart from the world, we must be fully armed for spiritual battle everyday through our knowledge of, and faithful obedience to the Word of God. We can either go into the world and be negatively influenced by it, or we can go into the world and be a positive influence to those around us by showing them the love of Christ through the Gospel message.

I want to be a “Lady of the Lamp.” I want to be a light shining in the darkness. I want to be someone who brings hope to the hurting. I want to be close enough to the sick that they can see the light reflecting on my face and see the love of Christ. I want to be in situations where I can take a stand for what is right. I want the warmth and brightness of my lamp to draw people closer to God. I want to be recognized in the world by my light. I want to shine so that people know where to find me and be close enough for them to reach out and touch me. I want others to see me coming and know that I am someone who can offer help.

I imagine Florence Nightingale walking down a dark hall of the hospital with her lamp, caring for the sick lined up along the walls. I picture a wounded man at the end of hall watching the little flicker of light from her lamp and knowing that help was coming, yearning for the touch of the nurse. I pray that God will make me a “Lady of the Lamp;” that He will help me shine as I go out into this world and instill within me the sincere and loving desire to bring others out.