Submitting to Jesus’ Influence

by Taffi Dollar | 5 Jun 2017

It’s difficult, if not impossible, to go through life free from all influences. We either influence others, or they influence us. The trouble is that many influences in today’s world are harmful, so we must be careful which ones we allow to affect us. Submitting ourselves to Christ’s influence empowers us to do things we can’t do on our own and gives us wisdom to make the right choices in all our relationships.

You may wonder how you can possibly influence anyone all by yourself, but with Jesus’ help, it’s entirely possible. Studying God’s word and meditating on it long enough causes it to rub off on us; this influence gets on others with whom we come into contact. We may not even realize we’re influencing others, but it can happen by just being in their presence. When we let the Holy Spirit lead us in our daily interactions with people, the intangible qualities he gives us flow through us onto others. “But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge]” (Galatians 5:22, 23, AMPC).

We can demonstrate Christ’s love to others by our godly attitudes and demeanor, which make our actions a powerful witness for him. Even if we’re consciously unaware of what we’re doing, we’re planting seeds that will eventually sprout and be ready for harvesting. We may never see the harvest, but it comes when lives are changed because of us. The seed is the word of God (Matthew 13:8; Luke 8:8, 11), and this word is planted not just through our words but also through our actions.

Often, we can impact others just by living peacefully. This is the opposite of what we see in the world, where being a busybody seems to be the norm. “That you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing” (1 Thessalonians 4:11, 12, NKJV). When we present ourselves in this manner, our influence is subtle, yet powerful. Applying this to our lives commands the respect of others.

Whenever Jesus came into contact with people, he had a life-changing impact on them. This happened with Zacchaeus the tax collector (Luke 19:1-8), the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:4-29), the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11), and many others. His influence came from a humble mindset of service to others. We can have the same influence when our daily actions, attitudes, and behaviors display Jesus to others.

Many times during his ministry Jesus encountered people and met them at their greatest point of need. When he had compassion on a woman and brought her only son back from the dead, news of Jesus spread far and wide (Luke 7:14-17). The takeaway here is not that other people see what we do, but that God sees what we do. When we submit to him, what we do privately and behind the scenes makes a powerful impact publicly.

We’re never going through life alone when Jesus is walking with us. We have a tremendous opportunity to share him with others. Letting him influence us allows us to exert a godly impact on others.