Last September I attended a conference for young women and heard a very challenging sermon on the influence of a woman. These past few days I’ve been reminded of the sermon and wanted to share part of it with you.
I believe we all desire to influence the world around us for the glory of God, but what are some practical steps we can take to accomplish that?
Make the decision to do it.
If there is something God is calling you to do so that you can be a greater influence for Him and His kingdom, make the decision to do it. Don’t allow anything to hold you back from obeying His calling on your life. I know the struggle is very real and, in my own experience, there are always two things that threaten to keep me back from doing something I know God wants me to do.
Whenever God asks us to take a step of faith in order to do something for His glory, fear will always be present. Fear of the unknown, fear of failing, fear of what others will think. Many times we can’t see how God is going to work through us and instead of trusting Him, we become afraid. We have to fight our fears with the Truth by finding a specific promise and choosing to trust it more than our fears.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. II Timothy 1:7
If God has called you to use your influence for His glory, then choose to trust Him over your fears. Let your faith in Him be bigger than whatever fears you may be facing.
Feelings of inadequacy are something that plague all of us, and they always seem more prevalent whenever we have to step up and do something that is out of our comfort zone. Doubts begin to bombard our minds and we tell ourselves that we are incapable of accomplishing whatever it is God has called us to do. Whenever these feelings fill my mind, I always remind myself of this verse:
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. II Corinthians 12:9
If God has called you to do something, then trust that His grace is sufficient to equip you for the task. He is capable of using your inadequacies to showcase His strength and glory. Remember, it’s not about you and what you can do, but about Him and what He can do through you.
Make the decision to follow God, regardless of what your feelings may be telling you.
Be willing to sacrifice.
If you are going to be an influence in the lives of those around you and in the work of God, you have to be willing to sacrifice. Being an influence will require a sacrifice of your time, your resources, your energy, and yourself. It will require you to shift your focus off of yourself and onto those around you.
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Philippians 2:3
Do what you can.
In order to be an influence, you have to do what you can. Simple in theory, but a lot harder to live out in real life. What abilities has God given you? What opportunities has He brought your way? Use your abilities, big or small, and take those opportunities – do what you can with what He has given you.
Don’t let comparison keep you from doing what you can.
This is a real struggle for me. Whenever I’m presented with an opportunity to be an influence, I always seem to find someone else who I think can do it better than me or who is more talented or capable. And maybe they are. But here’s the thing I have to remind myself of constantly: I am accountable to God for what He has given me, not for what He has given to anyone else.
You are responsible for what God has given you. Do what you can and do it to the very best of your ability.
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: Philippians 1:6
Quit worrying about what others can do; start doing what you can do.
Leave the results in God’s hands.
Lastly, let God worry about the results of your influence. He is more than capable of taking care of them. Do you remember the story in the Bible of Mary of Bethany when she broke an alabaster box of precious ointment over Jesus’ head? She was a woman who followed all of the steps we talked about today. She made a decision, she sacrificed, she did what she could, and she left the results in God’s hands. A woman of one single purpose – to do all she could to influence the world around her for the cause of Christ. She had no idea of what the outcome would be. The result?
Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her. Mark 14:9
Her influence reached not only those present that day, but generations of people in the hundreds of years since that day; and it hasn’t ended yet! She left the results in His hands and her influence became far greater than anything she could have ever made it herself.
As Christian girls, that is the influence we should desire our lives to have – an influence far greater than we could ever attain on our own.
What kind of influence do you have? Are you using the influence God has given you to make a difference in the world around you?
I hope this has been a help and encouragement to you as it has been to me! I’d love to hear any thoughts you have in the comment box below!