Usually when we speak about influence, every person gets his or her own idea. And especially when we hear that someone asks God for more influence and power, we may start doubting the sincerity of such person. Moreover if someone openly says that he or she is looking for more influence, authority and power, then probably that person will face condemnation from others.
However, if we look at it objectively: not everyone, who is looking for power and influence, has impure motives. Often they have the right motivation: they seek to get great influence, authority and power in order to use them to spread and establish the Kingdom of God in a certain sphere of society. The Word of God teaches us the right understanding of this matter in Psalms 72:1-12.
Here King David is praying to God asking Him to give him more power and influence and spreading of his dominion. At first, his prayer may seem to be selfish, but as we read further we see why David is praying in this manner. He needs all this to let God be glorified and spread the dominion of His people.
The whole Bible shows the use of influence and that it’s better to have it than not to. Remember Joseph, his influence saved not only the people of Israel, but also the whole Egypt. And the influence that Esther had helped her to bring freedom and redemption to her nation. Once because of Daniel’s influence prayers to God were not forbidden and the nation of Israel was released from slavery.
Also in John 19:38-42 it reads: «And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave [him] leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night… Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid…»
If Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathaea didn’t have influence, Pilate wouldn’t have given them the body of Christ.
Another example we can see in the book of Acts 5:33-42.
«When they heard [that], they were cut [to the heart], and took counsel to slay them. Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space; And said unto them… refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God. And to him they agreed…»
When the church of the early days was threatened to be destroyed the influence and intercession of Gamaliel was crucial in the life of Christianity.
We need influence today just as much as in those days, therefore through this sermon I want to go against the false modesty, which stops us from using everything that we have to glorify God. Each of us has a certain kind of influence: at work, at home, among friends, relatives, and so on and this influence was given to us by God for us to use it to spread His Kingdom. So think what you could use as the weapon of influence.
Of course you should know how to handle influence and power. If someone seeks his own good, if someone is out for power to promote his or her own name – such influence is fatal. But if a person seeks power to spread the Kingdom of God – it’s a good thing.
Let us go back to Psalm 72 and see why King David asked God for influence.
1. «He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment» (Ps 72:2).
First of all David is asking God to give him justice and truth. He’s asking God to make him a just person to have order in his personal life, to fulfil the will of God and to become a bearer of His character. He understood the priorities of God and that the true influence belongs only to those, who live according to God’s standards.
2. «The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness» (Ps 72:3).
In this verse David is asking God for influence to bring peace. Therefore influence can be used as a weapon of peace. For instance, God uses the former President of America Jim Carter to bring peace to the areas of military operations; and the influence of the famous musician Bono from “U2” band allows him to speak with the rulers and strong ones of this world to stop famine and bring peace.
3. «He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor» (Ps 72:4).
Influence also can be used to let the prisoners free and bring justice to the poor and oppressed. Notice, that the influence of Michael Jackson and other celebrities brought the world’s attention to and help to Ethiopia during the famine in the country. Therefore influence can be used as a weapon of establishment of justice.
4. «They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations. He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers [that] water the earth» (Ps 72:5-6).
Here influence is used to spread the glory of God and the fear of God among the sons of men. Only when the fear of God and His glory reign in a country, then the Kingdom of God is truly there! Influence helps us to spread God’s principles.
5. «He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust. The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him. For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and [him] that hath no helper» (Ps 72:8-12).
One can use influence to bring God’s supremacy and dominion.
Therefore, David asked for influence not for his own sake and his own position but for the establishing of God’s Kingdom as he understood the role and importance of influence.
My friends, what influence do you have? In what sphere could you use your influence to promote the business of God? May be, you are beautiful or you have a good family – all of it you can use for the glory of God and make God famous in all the earth. Television, advertisement, Internet technologies, books and other Mass Media can become a source to people and bring the influence of God. Work more, increase your fortune and bring God’s peace and joy, God’s justice and truth to all countries of the world through your influence, popularity and status. And may God’s grace be upon you (Romans 12:4-10).
- True influence belongs only to those, who live according to God’s standards.
- It is important to be able to handle influence, realizing that it can be used both for good and for harm.
- Influence can promote restoration of peace and establishment of justice.
- Influence allows for the spreading of God’s principles.
- Influence can be used as an instrument of the dominion of God’s Kingdom on earth.
- One should know how to use influence and status for good of people and the Kingdom of God.