I was just talking with some friends about Bob Goff’s book “Love Does”. If you haven’t heard of him or this book, I’d encourage you to check it out. To me, Bob is a Christian “Yes Man”. He views each interaction and request from someone as an opportunity for Jesus to show up. The book is a collection of stories from his life where he simply said yes in certain situations and incredible things happened. It challenged me to want to do more for others and God’s Kingdom. It’s prompted me to say yes to more things giving the Holy Spirit more opportunities to do things through me.
I love reading Paul’s letters to the Early Church. Not only are they great instructions for us on how to live, they also include a list of people who were examples of Christian character. He mentions how they opened their homes to him, made clothes for the poor, welcomed him in, some visited him in prison and encouraged him. These people he mentioned were just ordinary people who did what they were promoted to do because of their faith. They could have easily found an excuse to not do those things, but because they did, they’re mentioned in the Bible.
2 Thessalonians 1:11 says, “So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do” (NLT). You are called by God to do the things He’s prepared you to do. Your faith is constantly prompting you to do things. Have you been listening to it and obeying or have you been making excuses? The more we say yes to those promptings, the more we allow the Holy Spirit to accomplish things through us. You don’t have to be a Bob Goff, but you do need to live the life God is calling you to. It starts by saying yes to things He is prompting you to do.
John Maxwell, one of the world’s top leadership experts, says that leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less. Every one of us influence others in some way. We use our charms, our gifts of persuasion and our example of living to influence others. From the time we are children we look for ways to get other people to do what we want, which mostly benefits us. Great leaders don’t use their influence to get what they want though. They use their influence to help others grow. Take a moment to think about the people in your life who influence you. Are they getting you to do what they want or are they helping you to become a better person?
Additionally, we have two unseen influencers in our lives: the Holy Spirit and our sinful nature. One is trying to influence us to live a godly life, while the other is trying to get us to live for ourselves. If you take a moment to look at the fruit of your life, you’ll see who you are allowing to influence you more. Galatians 5:19-22 lists the fruits of both influencers, and it’s a good idea to look into the mirror of your life to see what fruit you’re producing. These two influencers produce very different fruits and all of us are producing one kind or the other. It’s a matter of whose voice you’re listening to and whose desires you want to satisfy. Galatians 5:16 says, “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves” (NLT).
The Holy Spirit is constantly speaking to us leading us into Christ-like living. He uses reminders of God’s Word to challenge us and to push us. Your sinful nature plays on your sympathies to get you to do what it wants. It tries to convince you that you deserve a little pleasure for what you’ve been going through. If you’re going to be influenced and led by the Spirit, you’re going to have to quit giving into the sympathetic voice that gets you to cave to sin. If you want to produce love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control, you’re going to have to let the Holy Spirit guide your life. His way is not the easy way because it’s the opposite of what your sinful nature wants, but it produces the fruit that allows you to influence others for God’s Kingdom.