Influence

Influence…this was a word that the Lord spoke to my heart recently and I have been pondering it.

It’s very important that I recognise what it is that is influencing me. Ideas or emotions that are shaping my thinking or actions. The Lord wants me to be aware of what is influencing me.

Subtle influences conforming and trying to mould me to this world’s culture which may be more influential than I realise.

Influence….whether we admit it or not we are all influenced by something or someone. That someone can also be us….our “old” selves rather than our “new” man in Christ.

So something to consider…..our actions, thoughts, desires, decisions, plans….what is influencing them.

The decisions we make or see others make (which may or may not affect us) they are all influenced.

Some sources of influence are open and transparent but other influences are subtle, manipulative, controlling and coercive. We don’t want to get caught in a trap of those influences.

There are influences which we can discern are clearly for good and then others which would lead us into ungodly things.

It’s interesting to me that there is this social phenomenon of “Influencers”…people given this label who are “Influencers” because of the power of their social media presence and amount of followers. Advertisers flock to their sites.

As I have thought about sources of influence in my life, I have made a note of the following, you may think of others and I’d be interested to hear:

My bible/Jesus and His teachings,The Holy Spirit’s leading

Me/My emotions (good or bad), my experiences, my character

My husband/My parents/family

My friends

Work

My Pastor/His preaching

My fellowship group at church

Bloggers that I follow/connect with

Newspapers/Magazines/Books

Television/Films

Songs/music

Twitter/LinkedIn/Instagram

Alcohol (any amount will “influence” our behaviour)

I’ve written all these down as I thought about them but it may not necessarily be the case (all the time) that those at the top of the list influence me the most or those at the bottom the least.

What weight do I give to these influences in my life. How long do I spend with each one. Which are more reliable.

Test, weigh, prove. In court as a juror you have to weigh the evidence given. An eye witness account from a plausible witness corroborated by one or two others will far outweigh hearsay or second hand testimony. The evidence is tested and weighed through questioning and cross examining. The trustworthiness of the witness tested.

Are we influenced by things taken at face value without testing the source?

Through the media, it seems people can be whipped up into a frenzy of emotion and opinion very quickly and sometimes over seemingly nothing or things subsequently proven to be false or fake news.

Psalm 24 encourages us to swing wide and open the gate and let the King of Glory, Jesus, come in.  

The Gates of the City were historically important places of influence and decision making. The elders gathered at the gates of the city to discuss and make decisions.

The Gates were opened to allow access or shut to refuse entry and for protection and safety of the citizens within.

The Gates were large, strong and often barred and guarded.

We all have gateways of influence in our lives and minds. 

Every day we make decisions to permit or refuse things to operate in our lives and indwell our thoughts whether for good or bad.

Let us guard the gates of influence in our lives.

I want the gates of influence in my life to be opened wide for Jesus Christ’s influence.  Not just a little bit open for Jesus but flung wide open.

Come Lord Jesus come.

Gateways of Influence

The Lord has been stirring my heart, and also others I fellowship with, to begin to intercede and pray for our area more intensely at this time. As we have met corporately to pray, we have been reminded of scriptures the Lord has given us for our area and prophetic words released for this region. One of the bible verses we have been reminded of and prayed through is Psalm 24. This is a post I wrote a few years ago about these verses.

Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah

Psalm 24:7-10

Psalm 24 encourages us to open the gate and let the King of Glory, that is Jesus, come in.  The one who is strong and mighty and mighty in battle.   

Historically, Gates of a city were important places of influence and decision making. The elders gathered at the gates of the city to discuss and make decisions.

Gates are opened to allow access or shut to refuse entry. This can be for protection and safety. Whoever enters through the gate brings their influence and authority with them.

We all have gateways into our lives and minds.  Every day we make decisions to permit or refuse things to operate in our lives and indwell our thoughts whether for good or bad.

There are gateways for influence in my home, my family, my work place, my town, my region and I want them to be opened for Christ and closed to evil influences. 

Not just a little bit open for Jesus but flung wide open.   

I encourage you to make a decision to swing wide the gate and let the King of Glory come into your situation whatever it is and wherever He needs to be.  Trust Jesus to help you overcome and strengthen you by the same power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead and brings freedom.

I believe there is power in prayer when believers come together in unity from different churches to pray about the gateways of influence in their town. The local churches in our area did this for a season as God led us to pray at various gateways within the town.    We saw incredible answers to prayer and signs.

At one prayer gathering, we stood on a bridge over the river Stour which flows into and through our town.   As we prayed, one of our group felt that we should all join hands and sing the words of the song “Swing wide the gate and let the King Come in” which is based on the verses in Psalm 24.

As we sang the two people in the middle of the chain would break hands and walk apart as a prophetic sign that we were opening the gate over our town to the Lord.  

As we did this and moved apart we looked down and an actual wooden gate was floating in the river and floated right underneath the bridge.    We couldn’t believe our eyes at the time.   

The fact that a whole gate was floating down the river and that it passed just at that exact time we broke apart we believe was a heavenly sign from God.  God had heard our prayers for our town and was showing us that the gate was opened.  

We are trusting God to bring that river of His presence into and to overflow through us in Christ Jesus, his body of believers, so that we can proclaim the good news of the gospel of Jesus the King, bring His healing and restoring power to not only our town, but our region and nation.    I encourage you to pray and believe for the same.

Have a blessed day.