When I was fresh out of Bible college I thought I was going to save the world. I served as a youth pastor of about 10-15 kids, and just a few days after my wife and I arrived, I remember telling the youth that they needed to call me “Pastor Tim”, and not just “Tim”. They were testing me to see what they could get away with, and I knew it. After all, how could I influence them if they didn’t even call me “Pastor Tim”? It offended me that they did not refer to me “Pastor Tim”, and that was the problem. It offended me. How foolish I was. All these years later I am still reminded of the lesson learned way back when I was 22 years old: Titles are worthless, and at best, dangerous, because the temptation is to turn your focus on what man has ascribed to you, instead of focusing on abiding in his presence. The flesh is concerned about titles and positions. The heart that is in alignment with God is concerned with His presence.
Prioritizing His Presence
This is something that you need to address every day. The more you address this, (prioritizing his presence), the less difficult it becomes. When you first decide upon this course, however, it will be painful, but absolutely necessary. If your goal is to influence people for the Kingdom of God, stay in his presence. There are no shortcuts. You may grow impatient and look for ways to hurry up the ‘process’, but ironically, the only way you can speed things up is to wait in his presence . . . more. It’s an oxymoron, but it’s Kingdom thinking.
The Key to Kingdom Influence
Spending time in the presence of God will influence people far more than any title or position you hold will. Jesus never went to Bible College, or received a Master’s degree . . . in anything, and yet he influenced the world more than any other person. How? He spent every moment with the Father.
His Presence is Your Choice
When you are driving to work, do you invite the Lord to be a part of your thinking? If you are a mechanic, while working on the car by yourself, do you partner with the Lord while fixing it? If you are a teacher, do you partner with the Lord while preparing your lesson plans? As a nurse at a hospital, do you fill out your paperwork with the Lord? You see, whatever it is that you do each day, whether it be serving as a mechanic, teacher, nurse, lawyer or judge, . . . you name it . . . you can either do go it alone, or you can involve (partner with), the Lord in your daily activities.
How to Partner with the Lord
This “partnership” that I am referring to is how to stay in his presence each day. It’s not only being aware that he is with you, but it’s involving him in what you do each hour, and even in how you think. Asking for the Lord’s council in a given situation, recognizing him as the one who leads you to do and say things to other people . . . this is what staying in his presence looks like. It’s a recognition of his Lordship throughout the day. It’s allowing him to participate in what you do and think. I challenge you to invite the Lord to be involved in what you do and think. If this is not your daily practice already, you will find that as you partner with him each day in all that you do and even in your thinking, your Kingdom influence will greatly increase. When you spend time with the father, the influence he has on you can’t help but to influence others for him.