Under the Influence
In the age of everyone being an “influencer,” it’s important for all of us to recognize that we’re all influenced by something. From our friends encouraging us to go somewhere we don’t want to go to our favorite food bloggers convincing us to try a new recipe, each of us is influenced in one way or another. But it’s not so much about the “what” as much as it is about the “who.” So, if you had to be honest, who influences you?
As Christians, we have many influences coming our way just like everyone else. But, above all, our main influence should always be the God we serve. How we live, how we love, and how we serve has to be rooted in the word of God. Why? Because if we walk through life under the influence of the world, we will never be able to change it. We will never be able to convince people that Jesus is the way to a better life if all we do is blend in with the world around us.
Do you know that you’re set apart and called to live differently than the rest of the world? 1 John 15:15–17 (ESV) says, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world — the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions — is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”
You see, God knew that a time would come when the world would turn upside down. He knew that what was once called sin would be deemed as “moral” in society. He knew there would be a day when the people would reject truth and try and define life for themselves. This is why the word of God is so rich and will forever be relevant no matter how public opinion sways. 2 Timothy 4:3–5 (NLT) says, “For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths. But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.”
So, what does this mean for the Church in 2021? Let’s commit to being people who are under the influence of the Holy Spirit. People who are full of faith and on fire for God. People who look to a hurting world and give them hope.
Church, 2020 was unexpected to us, but it wasn’t unexpected to God. Let’s head into the new year trusting and believing that God is who He says He is, and that our best days are ahead of us.
Questions for reflection:
- How are you preparing to be influenced in 2021? What are you leaving your heart and mind open to?
- What are you allowing into your space to influence you? What do you need to add, remove, or change? (media, relationships, finances, your internal voice, the word of God, etc.)
- How do you want to influence the world this upcoming year?
Watch the full message “Living Under the Influence” on YouTube.