Speak to Aaron and say to him, “When you set up the seven lamps, they are to light the area in front of the lampstand” (Numbers 8:2 NIV).
A Christian is called to shine. But he has no light of his own. Instead he is given the ability to shine. It comes from above, from God Himself.
The lampstand here was made of gold. It had a shine of its own. But that did not give it the ability to give light. In a dark place a gold lampstand without a burning light in it is of no use. Similarly, you cannot be of use to God unless God gives you the ability to give light. For that He has to light you from within.
Again, God’s instructions show that care was to be taken when the lamps were set up. Light given from above has to be taken care of. Otherwise it will be put out. The lamps were to be kept burning. For that oil was to be supplied (see Exodus 27:20). Similarly, you should take care of the light that God has put within you. Neglect on your part will put out that light and God will hold you responsible.
Again, the lamps were not just burning anywhere; but before the Lord (see Exodus 27:21). That means you should always be conscious that your duty is before the Lord. That will enable you to have a sense of God’s calling in your life. It will give you a sense of purpose in life. Therefore always have a remembrance that you are called to stand and shine before the Lord.
Another important thought is that the light was not to be wasted. You might ask, “How can a wastage of light happen?” It can happen if the lamps are not set up properly. To avoid that, they have to be set up in such a way as to light the area in front of the lampstand. So also in your life. God has given you light that you might shine for His glory. And that light should not be hidden. It should be made visible (refer to Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:14–16).