Under the Influence

Under The Influence“The true measure of leadership is influence—nothing more, nothing less.” John Maxwell, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

Are we under the influence?

Truthfully, the question is not are we under the influence, but under whose influence?

God’s?

Our spouse’s?

Children, peers, co-workers, Oprah?

Who or what exerts the greatest influence on our lives?

Three things seek to rob God of His influence with us: culture, flesh, and the enemy.

Culture:

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes, and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John 2: 15-17 NIV)

Not all of our culture is bad, but where does it conflict with God’s word, and how do we handle it? As funny as Modern Family is, homosexuality is not ok with God, and neither is divorce. Yet, Modern Family’s commitment to family and their unconditional love for one another is higher than that of many believers. They stick together when many would bail, and that’s commendable.

Are we showing love, mercy, and grace without compromising our standards? It’s a delicate balance.

Flesh:

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” (1 Corinthians 9:24-25)

Am I all about me or do I show Jesus’ servant’s heart? For me—to give, to serve, and to connect with others—requires me to be very intentional. It takes effort and energy on my part to reach out. Being selfish is easy because being all about me is natural. Being supernatural requires yielding to the Holy Spirit and doing things His way. I love the results but I have to focus for it to happen. I have to train.

The enemy:

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” (Ephesians 6:10-11)

Often I’m not aware of the enemy’s influence until God reveals it. Once revealed, I’m always chapped that I fell for his tricks once again. I pray for discernment. A lot.

When our boys were little, they had two fish. Same size. Same color. One ate all the food. The other shriveled and eventually died.

What are we feeding?

I find the more I feed my relationship with Christ, the more clearly I see the other areas vying for my attention. My sensitivity to sin is restored, I see my own selfishness, and God reveals enemy strongholds.

Culture tells you time with God is a waste.

Flesh tells you to sleep in and skip your quiet time.

The enemy tells you you’re too busy for God.

God says, “Come.”

“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3 NIV)

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)

Let’s come under His influence and teach those under our influence to do the same.

Questions:

What competes with God for your attention?

Who/what most influences you?

What are you learning?

Whom do you influence?

What are they learning?

Tweetables:

The question is not are we under the influence, but under whose influence? Click to tweet.

Culture tells you time with God is a waste. Click to tweet.

Flesh tells you to sleep in and skip your quiet time. Click to tweet.

The enemy tells you you’re too busy for God. Click to tweet.

God says, “Come.” Click to tweet.

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