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Seeds of the Kingdom

Setting the Atmosphere

by Christel Baxter

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.
Genesis 1:1-3, NIV

The dictionary definition of “atmosphere” is “the character, feeling, or mood of a place or situation.” As children of the Lord, we have an ability to affect the atmosphere by what we say and do, and by the emotions or mood in which we enter a given situation.

For example, if I come home from a very difficult day at work, where everything has gone wrong, and my colleagues and boss got under my skin, I could carry that frustration and anger with me when I get home, which may result in me being impatient and irritable when a simple demand is placed on me by my children or husband. Or if I am feeling very downhearted because of some disappointment or loss, I may carry with me a spirit of sadness, which could influence those I come into contact with.

I am not saying that we shouldn’t be real about the things we are experiencing, but I do believe we should be aware of the fact that our presence, and how we choose to interact with others influences those around us, and especially those close to us.

When God created the universe, He saw that the earth was formless and empty – without any atmosphere. The way He started creation was by saying, “Let there be light!” (Genesis 1:3). In John 8:12, Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world”. At creation God changed the atmosphere of emptiness and darkness by filling it with His very character – light.

The interesting thing is that Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 5:14, “You are the light of the world.” As God’s children we carry within us His very character and essence, with which we too can change and influence places of darkness and bring an atmosphere of hope and joy. I realise that this is a difficult mandate if our own lives are full of struggles and challenges, but with the help of the Holy Spirit, we are able to be atmosphere changers in the midst of it all.

Paul and Silas chose to sing and worship in the middle of the night in a cold prison cell with their feet in stocks, and by doing so they caused the prison doors to literally swing open, and this gave them an opportunity to witness to and bring salvation to their jailers (see Acts 16:25-34).

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego chose to continue worshipping God, in spite of facing a very hot, fiery furnace, and came through that fire not even smelling like smoke. This act of obedience and faith influenced the king and a whole nation (See Daniel 3).

I am challenged to remember that my life, my worship and the way I choose to express myself through words, actions and even emotions, affect the atmosphere I move in from day to day, an can bring either light or darkness. My desire is to be a carrier of life and light.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are my light and my salvation. Help me to be life and light in my everyday circumstances, and to be one who influences the atmosphere through Your presence in me in every situation, so that others will be drawn to You. Amen.

Christel Baxter joined the Associate prayer ministry team at Shere House, S.Africa in 2008 after attending the 20 day school. Besides serving together on the associate team at Shere House, Christel & her husband, Gary, pastor New Life Ministries, a congregation in Boksburg, Gauteng. Their children, Liezl and Wesley, are both married, and they adore their son-in-law and daughter-in-law and their little granddaughter, Hannah! Christel is passionate about seeing broken lives restored and especially loves ministering God`s love and healing to women of all ages.


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