influence

The power of your influence is great

I need help. You do, too. There is no one who doesn’t need help to get to God and continue in the good way. Every moment we are influenced by someone. Christ chose his followers to be people who greatly influence others, with eternal effect.

Even in the Old Testament, God put individuals among the people to have an influence in the lives of others.

[Uzziah] sought God as long as Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God, was alive. And as long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success.
2 Chronicles 26.5 CEB

At the end, King Uzziah became proud and sinned. But during the lifetime of Zechariah, he sought to please God. Zechariah was able to influence the king to continue in godly ways during his lifetime. His example of his great power of influence in the life of the king serves today as an example to all who want to have a positive impact in the life of those around them.

Every person has great influence in the life of others. Perhaps we do not have opportunity, as did Zechariah, to teach a king, but the extent of our influence is not small. Throughout the day we meet a large number of people. Even if the contact is brief, if we are willing to start a conversation and take advantage for God of each moment, we will instruct and persuade many.

Influence does not force others, just as Zechariah did not have the power to force the king to submit to God’s law. But he taught the king that the maximum authority was God. He taught him how he ought to show his submission to God in specific acts. This included instructions on how to worship God. In the narrative about Uzziah, it’s instructive that, when he sinned against God at the end of his reign, it was in the area of worship. Uzziah did what he was not permitted to do in worship. His act of worship was not accepted by God, because he was not authorized to do what he did. So one who wields good influence teaches people to respect God’s specific commandments, including those commandments which give instruction on how to worship God.

So that we can influence people to fear God, we must speak about God, teaching people how to show him respect and reverence. (This is the meaning of the fear of God.) Influence must speak. We cannot hope that only a good example, without words, will suffice for instruction. People of other religions also give good examples of life. Observers of good examples cannot reach correct conclusions about the motivations and truths that lie behind them. Our acts and attitudes must be explained, in an explicit way, using words. We must teach others what to do, why do it, how to do it, when to do it, according to the divine instructions in Scripture. We must speak where the Bible speaks and not go beyond, speaking when the Word does not specify.

In the world, the pressures and temptations to seek other gods are great. We so much need people to influence us and instruct us in what is right, in the fear of God, just as we also need to be influencers who speak openly about the way of God to all. To all.

Through this influence, Jesus is preached, the kingdom of God is strengthened, the church grows, and many arrive before the open gates of Heaven.

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J. Randal Matheny

Servant of the Lord at GoSpeak
Randal and his wife have lived and worked in Brazil since 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. Randal's a lefty, a chocolate lover, an author and a poet.

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