Snapchat, friends, Netflix, work, sports, Instagram, activities, to-do lists, Disney+, Facebook, relationships, shopping, celebrities, politicians, professional athletes.
These are just a few of the things that influence us on a daily basis. Not only do they influence us but they might also distract us from the one true God. The voices that we subject ourselves to can often stifle the voice of the One who is above it all.
During the What Our World Needs Now series, we were challenged with finding an area in which to be faithful. Because I wanted the main influence in my life to be Jesus, I started setting a timer for prayer. I didn’t do this to check a box on my spiritual checklist. Rather, it was an effort to help me avoid distractions and outside influences by devoting a certain amount of my day to focused prayer.
Through this discipline of intentional prayer time, I’ve realized more and more that there are influences in my life that scream for my time and my attention. And digging deeper, it’s easy to see how different things not only influence my prayer and Bible time but also the way I think about certain things, how I spend my time, and how I spend money. For example, I wish I could say that social media ads don’t get me, but I have a T-shirt or two that prove otherwise. If those quick glances at a social media ad are able to persuade me to make a purchase (that I don’t really need), how much do other things influence me? Social media, friends, work, Netflix, TV programs, even our families have influence over us, both good and bad.
Last weekend, as we learned about Jezebel, we learned that she was an influencer to those around her. Her influence drew people away from God, his standards, and his way.
Perhaps there are influences in our lives that are also pulling us away from God, preventing us from establishing a devoted prayer time or intentionally spending time in God’s Word. Maybe you’re being influenced away from church attendance or even from the holy habit of rest. The bottom line is, your life tomorrow is determined by your influences today. That concept should drive us to consider our influences as well as how we influence others. Matthew 16:24 reminds us that when we choose to follow Jesus, we need to give up our OWN way.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you want to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.”
Let’s give Jesus space to work in us as we follow him and avoid the influences that separate us from him.
What are some of the influences that may be causing you to miss hearing from God? What is getting in the way of how you can influence others for God, and toward God?
Identify a few areas that may be influencing you, your time, and your thoughts. Journal a few ways that you can be intentional with what influences you are taking in and set some goals to create more space for the influences you want and need in your life. Share your plans with a trusted friend.
God, I am surrounded by influences from every angle. Help me to rise above the noise and be still enough to hear YOUR voice. Help me to be intentional with my time, with the people and things I choose to surround myself with, and with my actions. May I hear you and follow you with even more intentionality tomorrow than I did today. In Jesus’ name, amen.
This post was written by Kendra Grubinski. Kendra is passionate about her relationship with Jesus and loves studying and sharing God’s Word. During the week, she is a Spanish Teacher at Findlay High School. She also enjoys spending time with her family and pups, reading, traveling, drinking good coffee and being active outdoors.
Check out the Latest LivingItOut Podcast
The LivingItOut Podcast is released every Wednesday morning. It discusses key takeaways and principles from the weekend message. Listen to the weekly podcast in your car, during your lunch break, or any other time that works for you. You can find the latest podcast here.
Leave a Comment?
We would love to hear how the LivingItOut is making a difference in your life. Let us know how today’s post inspired, challenged, or encouraged you by leaving a comment here.
Want to be a part of the LivingItOut team?
We are always looking for people who are passionate about writing and proofing to serve on the LivingItOut team. If you are interested, email LIO@cedarcreek.tv today!