TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. (Galatians 5:7 – 9 NKJV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Our world is obsessed with influence. We’ve even made it into a career goal — Influencer. A quick Google search turned up this fun fact: “No less than 86% of people ages 13 to 38 are willing to try out influencing, according to a survey from Morning Consult. But only 12% currently consider themselves to be influencers.” Those numbers are from 2019. So it’s pretty fresh data.
My Bible study group recently discussed this in our text thread — specifically, the relationships between believers and non-believers. Beyond my sincere hope that everyone in our Bible study group has an unlimited texting plan, it really is a valid topic. We can go in many different directions here, but the heart of it comes down to influence and two questions: Are you an influencer? Or are you being influenced?
It’s very easy to find ourselves in the position of the influenced.
After all, the world seems fun. And frankly, not all sin looks ugly. Some of it is quite attractive. And without the right influences in our life, sin looks a little too tempting.
Today, let’s go over to Galatians 5. Paul wrote to the Galatians, and in this chapter, he wrote, trying to understand — who had influenced them? And not in a good way. Let’s read verses 7 – 9. “You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump.”
If you’ve ever baked bread, you know what yeast can do to dough. It expands it and multiplies. It’s a living microorganism that thrives and grows. The leaven (yeast) Paul referred to is a reference to sin — and leaven is consistently compared to sin throughout the Bible, even as early as the first Passover when the Israelites were on the verge of being freed from Egyptian captivity (Exodus 12:15-20, 34).
Opening the door to a little sinful influence can wreak havoc on a believer’s life. One small compromise multiples. It expands. It grows. And before long — the believer who allowed themselves to be influenced finds themselves in a position that looks more like the world and less like the church.
To be honest — it’s easier to be the influenced than it is to be the influencer.
Yet, we have a responsibility as Christians. We need to influence those in our world so that they can begin to ask their own questions — what makes them different? Why do they stick to their convictions? How can they still find hope in the most hopeless situations?
These are the kinds of questions (and others!) that may influence a non-believer to turn their life to Christ.
We are called to be the church. To influence the world with the Fruit of God’s Spirit — love, joy, peace, longsuffering [patience], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). These are not natural characteristics of the world but side effects of the Holy Spirit’s influence in the Christian’s life.
Sure – unbelievers love others. But they do not love with the kind of unconditional, forgiving love and grace that our Heavenly Father offers and that we as Christians are called to give. Everlasting joy is a far cry different from the temporary happiness the world has to offer. Peace is fleeting without the joy of the Lord — we need Jesus to truly experience indescribable peace that transcends our circumstances. Kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control — all of these may show up in the world, but they are always going to be limited. However, when the Holy Spirit is involved, all of these traits take on a godly, holy quality.
The question of influencer vs. influenced doesn’t mean one is bad and one is good. It depends on how the influence is used. And how it is received.
So, the questions today are these: Are you an influencer? If you are an influencer — are you influencing others to show them the Fruit of the Spirit? Or are you being influenced? Are you allowing the leaven of the world to corrupt your fellowship with God?
Today, as you pray, thank the Holy Spirit for His fruit. Thank Him that it’s abundant in the life of those who seek after God’s will. Ask Him to help you be guarded against worldly influence and to seek His influence above all else. Ask Him to use your love for Jesus to positively influence others.
SHARING ••• My Grace-Full Life is written by Denise Heidel. You are welcome to share anything I write, but please credit my writing and graphics accordingly. Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. Subscribe through my website to have My Grace-Full Life delivered to your email. You can unsubscribe at any time. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the NKJV translation.