Influencing people for Christ is my passion in life. Whether that be influencing a person who is unsaved to trust in Jesus or someone following Jesus to becoming a disciple maker, I love influencing! The question is, where does my influence come from?
I was teaching a couple youth leaders this week that our influence comes from our walk with God. Our testimonies are great, they pack a punch, however they are only the beginning of our impact. Our testimony will change lives, but life goes on and new things must be shared when influencing for Christ. I was sharing with one youth leader that if it wasn’t for my personal walk with God I would not have sermons for youth services or inspiration for moments of daily and weekly influencing.
My walk with God is my experience in the work of Jesus like helping the needy, teaching the Gospel to the lost or making disciples. My walk with God is also spending quality time in prayer and Bible study. My walk with God is also obedience to the conduct He desires in His Word. The list goes on. If I’m living connected to the vine, which is Jesus, I can be sure to produce influence that is like Jesus.
I influence from my walk with God, but not a walk that is sporadic. As I told both youth leaders, the key is a faithful, consistent walk with God. We never know when the things we are doing, learning and experiencing may come in handy for influencing and making disciples. If I didn’t have a consistent walk with God, I would not have this lesson to write. This applies to parenting. The only way to survive as a parent is to have an incredible relationship with the God of patience, peace, comfort, joy, mercy and love. From God you can operate in these attributes despite the hurdles that come from teen life and parenting.
Where do we want to influence from? Or should I ask, what do we want to give people around us? Do we think we can disciple and influence others from occasional moments in God’s presence? Do we think we can disciple and influence from an old experience, reusing powerful lessons from God like old party supplies? I want to share Christ with people so in Christ I must daily live. It is Christ who has radically transformed my life so I walk in Him and live by His Spirit. From my walk in Jesus comes fresh wisdom, strength and knowledge to disciple.
My advice to you and myself is to daily be connected to the vine, Jesus Christ, so His father can prune us and we can grow to nourish the people around us with the fruit of the Spirit. Fruit is nourishment and vitamins for our bodies physically and so it is in the Spiritual realm.
John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
Galatians 5:22; 25 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.” “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”