by Pastor Tim Burt
A while back I was on a flight with some friends of mine. One of them had only been on one flight in her life. This was her second time. The weather was not good and she was nervous about the flight. I was teasing her about how wild the flight would be because of the heavy winds. Suddenly, the Lord spoke from within, “Don’t be an agent of fear, but of faith and encouragement. The enemy is already working to bring fear to her. You are helping him, not Me or her.” I immediately repented and began to reassure her that things would be great and that we had prayed that the angels of God would surround and protect our flight. I reminded her of the promise of Psalm 91:11 which says, “For He orders His angels to protect you wherever you go.” Those words encouraged her immediately and we had a great flight.
Romans 5:17 (NLT) says, “The sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over us, but all who receive God’s wonderful, gracious gift of righteousness will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ”
In this verse, the Lord, through the Apostle Paul is speaking to us about the power of influence. We all have the power to influence whether it be for God, bringing the influence of faith, righteousness, and love, or being used of the devil influencing others in the path of sin and fear. When he speaks about “by one man’s offense death reigned,” he is revealing one of the sadder truths ever revealed to man. That simply through one man’s influence, Adam, sin was passed on to all mankind. This seems impossible but it’s really true. We probably have no idea just how much we influence others, and not always in the best way.
I came to know the Lord at the age of 24, receiving Jesus personally as my Lord and Savior. It wasn’t until then that I could look back and see how negative of an influence I had been over many parts of my life. It wasn’t until I began to open and study the Bible asking the Holy Spirit to help me understand the scriptures, that I began to see how my mouth and actions could negatively influence others.
Thank God that the Apostle Paul doesn’t stop at sin with his revelation of the power of influence. He goes on to reveal the power of righteous influence. He goes on to say, “but all who receive God’s wonderful, gracious gift of righteousness will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.”
In a nutshell these verses are telling us that Adam and Eve’s influence taught mankind how to sin and it spread to every person. It then goes on to say that the influence of another, Jesus, spread love and righteousness to all who would listen and believe. Jesus offered His gift of righteousness and love and the cleansing of our sins to all who would believe. He didn’t stop there! He told us of the Holy Spirit who would come to abide and live within everyone who would receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior. And now the influence of His Holy Spirit within us helps us influence others toward Jesus and a godly life. That touch of God’s love and influence has never stopped changing me and never stopped influencing others through me. What a tremendous power God offers and entrusts us with! My life has never been the same and influencing others toward God with the love of Jesus is now my life’s mission. And nothing could be more pleasing to God!
Those that know the Lord are the only ones capable of revealing to others that there is a loving, life-changing God who is merciful and full of compassion that loves His children, wants to forgive and cleanse them, and wants to fill their lives with every good thing. Those that know the Lord are the only ones capable of revealing to others that in a supernatural moment of time, sins can be forever blotted out and forgiven. Those that know the Lord are the only ones capable of helping others discover the life-changing power and precious promises of God’s Word that destroy the daily fears we face. He has called us to be true influencers of faith, trust, and peace! That’s what God wanted me to bring to my friend on the airplane when she was battling fear over the flight. In that moment of time, God reminded me who I was; His agent of love and godly influence. Not Satan’s agent of fear and torment.
There was a time when we were ignorantly used as an influencing agent of sin. If we don’t purposely remember who we are in Christ and why we exist, it can be too easy to get caught up in the carnality of worldly desires and attitudes of this world and negatively influence others with our own wayward attitude. Now is the time where with the help and grace of God, we should be an influence of His righteousness! As Proverbs 15:23 (NLT) says, “Everyone enjoys a fitting reply; it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time!” How especially wonderful when that fitting word is the promise of God that draws others to His love, trust, and peace – freeing them from sin, fear, and discouragement!
Are you influencing others for God or for the devil? Because you love Jesus, you have God’s Word, the Holy Spirit, and the promises of God. Dig into God’s promises and as your encouraged, bring the love of encouragement to others. Get ready, get set, influence! It’s your calling!
Isaiah 50:4 (NLT) “The Sovereign Lord has given me His words of wisdom, so that I know how to comfort the weary. Morning by morning He wakens me and opens my understanding to His will.”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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