Life’s Greatest Influences Day 5: The Influence of God
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17, ESV)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17, ESV)..
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. (Ezekiel 36:26-27, ESV)
When we think of who we were before we became Christians, we understand how different we are today because of the decision we made to follow Jesus. Prior to conversion, we did not have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, convicting us of our sin and prompting change. Even if we came to Christ at a young age, our thought pattern changed. We instinctively knew we had Someone helping us in life, calling us to His purpose and encouraging growth.
Perhaps one of the most notable examples in Scripture of the effect God has on one who believes is Moses. Called to meet God on the top of Mount Sinai where he would receive the Ten Commandments, Moses spent 40 days in the presence of God. This was one of several trips up that mountain to spend time with Him and listen to instruction. But the most notable characteristic that gave evidence to Moses’ time with God was the fact that his face actually shone from being in the presence of God’s glory.
Just like Moses’ countenance shone after spending time with God, our own attitude and appearance will change when we spend time with Him. And when we fail to spend time with Him, that will also show up in our attitude and behavior. This is because God’s Word prompts us to change; it challenges us to grow in our faith and resist being stagnant, apathetic Christians. God’s Word is a place where we experience His presence and find the expectations Jesus has for us as believers.
Anyone we spend time with will influence us, but none will change us quite like our Heavenly Father. If we invite Him into the decisions of our day, the effect will be witnessed by those around us. And if our life does not match up with our profession of faith, we are testifying against our faith, and our failure to allow Him to lead us will be noted (hypocrisy).
Some of the wonderful ways God has influenced my own life are when He provided His strength to see me through hard situations, His comfort when I was broken, His peace when I was in turmoil, and His love when I felt alone or afraid. My greatest desire is that my life would testify to the presence of God in it. Yet oftentimes my flesh muddies my testimony as a Christ-follower. In order to clear away the mud and confusion, I must return to Him, spend time with Him, and allow Him to once again have a greater hold on me so I can represent Him well.
May each of us who know Him have a desire to learn more of Him, study His Word for direction, and allow Him to change us from the inside out. May those who know us have no doubt that we are different; may we stand out as being heavily influenced by our Heavenly Father, forever changed and strong in His strength for all to observe. May He transform us in such a way that others will be drawn to know this Jesus who has greatly changed our lives for the better!