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The Top 3 Most Powerful Influences In Our Life

 

Influence (Noun)-  the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of others:

We are all under the influence of something.  Cops use this phrase all the time, he was driving under the influence.  Now there are breathalyzers and blood tests to measure someone’s blood alcohol level.  When a person comes into the ER they tell us “I only had 2 drinks,” but the results of their blood tests, tells the real story.

In 2016 over 10,000 people in Colorado were arrested for DUI’s.  Being under the influence of alcohol clouds judgement and allows not good choices to impact the future.  Being under the influence, influences them in ways they would normally not be influenced.

'Do not get drunk with wine, which will only ruin you; instead, be filled with the Spirit.' Ephesians 5:18Click To Tweet

I don’t know if you’ve come across this verse before.  But I always found it odd how the Holy Spirit is compared to wine.  Looking closer I see why.  Being intoxicated on wine ruins our judgement controlling our minds.  Paul is trying to express to the Ephesians be filled with the Holy Spirit instead which leads to self-control.  Sounds boring right?  In reality we receive so much more in our self-control.  Being filled with the Holy Spirit isn’t just a one time filling but a regular pattern of life.

What Really Influences Us?

FRIENDS.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been influenced by my friends when I was growing up.  Somewhere along the way I valued what my friends thought more than what God thought.  I fell to peer pressure over and over again, reaping the consequences every time.  We are who we hang out with.  If we hang out with others who curse chances are we’ll start cursing.  If we hang out with others who (fill in the blank)  ______________________ chances are we will start doing what they are doing.  We are influenced by those in our inner circle.

“Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”  1 Corinthians 15:33

“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”  Proverbs 27:17

“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” Proverbs  13:20

THE WORLD.  “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”  Romans 12:2
There have been so many times I’ve been intoxicated on worldly treasures.  I made them more than God.  I pursued worldly treasures instead of what God desired for me.
How often are we lured away by everything the world has to offer?  We form little g, gods we bow down to allowing them to rule us.  We chase dangling carrots, empty promises of being rich, false images that fall apart don’t last–all for what?  This year I want to ask myself, what influences me?  Following the world or Jesus?
POSITIVITY.  “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”  Proverbs 15:1.  I admit I have gotten into bad patterns of negativity at times.  I’ve allowed negativity to encroach my thoughts and spill out into my actions.  How much more are you impacted when someone responds in love?  When a person could have chosen to get angry and yell, but instead chose to speak love.
JESUS.  His influence changed the hearts and lives of the world while he was on this earth and still impacts us even after he’s gone.  The legacy of love, kindness, compassion, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, joy and patience is insurmountable.
I’d like to say church influences us.  But really many of us, me included, for years have shown up to church sat there, listened to the message, let’s be real here, zoned out and thought of the hundred other things I’ve needed to do.  I’ve sat there taking up space, but my heart wasn’t focused, wasn’t present.  After leaving church, life just went on as if I never went.  The message didn’t seep through.
The message didn’t influence me.  Why?  To be under the influence one has to receive.  One has to partake.  One has to be engaged.  We can’t just expect to be under the influence of something by merely taking up space or by osmosis.  Just like a car can’t run without it’s gas tank being filled with gas over and over, our spiritual lives can’t be influenced without being drunk on the Holy Spirit.  Sounds weird right?

Being influenced requires a regular pattern of life.  A regular filling.  A regular receiving.

We may get mad at God and ask why has nothing changed in my life?  The answer may be what influences us?  Who do we hang out with?  What do we spend most of our time doing?  What music do we listen to?  What words come our of our mouths?  What are we really putting into our hearts, minds, mouths and minds?
There may not be a blood tests that measures what is the level of our spiritual influence.  But there is an indicator in our lives that lets us know what influences us–what fruit is growing in our lives?  An apple tree is recognized by its apples just as a lemon tree is recognized by its lemons.  The fruit of kindness, gentleness, joy, peace and self-control is evident when it is growing in our lives. (Galatians 5:22-23)?

What kind of fruit is growing in your life?

If you would like to know what is preventing growth in your life, revisit the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13.  Read what sets a person up for success and eternal growth.  There is no one else who influences us more than Jesus.  His influence has transformed our hearts and lives forever that makes an eternal difference.

What Influences Your Life?

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There is Victory When He Is Enough!

The other day our family was fortunate to experience a once in a lifetime opportunity, to not only see one of God’s greatest creations but to experience it to it’s fullest.  We were going on a plane to see Denali the tallest mountain in the United States and land on a glacier.  We weren’t just going to see Denali, we were going to stand its presence and take in its magnificence.

Before the day even started there was grumbling and complaining from our children.  ‘I don’t want to go!’  ‘I don’t want to wear or bring a coat!’  It took every parenting effort to make our kids put food in their mouths, brush their teeth and put socks and shoes on their feet nonetheless get into the car!  There were tears of fear of the unknown, what to really expect, how was this day really going to play out?

We tried explaining to the kids we were going to have one of the most amazing experiences in their lifetime.  We described landscapes, picturesque views, mountain tops, planes, glaciers you name it to prepare them what to expect.  We explained, people from all over the world travel to come see the grandeur of Denali and the beauty of Alaska.  They were going to experience what most people never experience in their lifetime.

Regardless of our tireless explanations, we realized they needed to come to their own conclusion and trust in our promise of an amazing day.  Our puny words would never bring justice in comparison to what they were going to experience.

As the plane took off, we were a little nervous because we had never been on a plane that small amongst the mighty mountains before us.  There arose a lot of questions, ‘What if we crashed?’ ‘What if something happened to the plane?’ ‘What if…….?’

It made me wonder, how many times have I done this before with God and questioned Him, ‘What if’?

How often do I put my hope and faith in what I see?

How many times has he tried to nudge me in a certain direction and I gave him a hard time?!?

How many times have I gotten in God’s way, when he tried to tell ‘me’ I have the greatest plan ever for you, one where you will experience the abundance of everything I have to offer if you just let me show you?!?!   

Just like our kids, I don’t need to know every single detail of how everything is going to turn out, I just need to TRUST IN GOD’S PLAN!  His ways and plans are so much greater and better than mine. There will never be answers good enough that will suffice my human understanding.  The only answer I need to know is God loves me and that is ENOUGH.

Is God’s Love ENOUGH?  

Each time I ever question God, ‘Are you sure?’ or ‘What if?’ he gently reminds me, He’s got it.  He sees at a God’s eye view, the bigger picture of what is really going on.  He has all the details under control, I just have to trust his plan is good enough.  

There will be times where it seems he is asking us to go down rocky paths or troubled waters, but I promise you His love will always bring you home.  His love will never take you where his grace cannot protect you.

I am happy to report we saw the most amazing views we would ever see in our lifetime.  We had the most unforgettable experience.  It would never have happened if we didn’t take a step of faith and got on the plane.  We would have missed out on so much if we didn’t trust in his plan and go.  His love is able to do so much more than I could ever do.  When God’s plan is the plan for your life you will have the most Amazing Life Ever!

Where do you find your hope?  In your circumstances?  In what you see?  In yourself?

What do you put your trust in?  Yourself?  Or God’s love?  

God has the most amazing life ever waiting for you to have RIGHT NOW.  He designed you to live the best life ever in him, live life to the fullest, one that is filled with his abundance of everything he has to offer, something this world can never give you.

Will you trust in his love for you?  

You are victorious when you rest in the only answer you ever need, God's love.Click To Tweet

Trusting in  God’s plan allows His love to intercede on your behalf and make all things possible.

There is Victory when He is Enough!  

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