People like to feel important. They want to be influential and make an impact on society, or at least in their own community. They like to be distinguished. The problem, however, is that we tend to try to make that happen on our own, in our own strength. We want to be somebody.
On a personal note, when I was fresh out of Bible college I accepted a position as a Youth Pastor served as a youth pastor of about 10-15 kids in a small community church. Just a few days after my wife and I arrived, one of the Youth called me, “Tim”, (not “Pastor Tim”).
I remember getting upset and making it very clear that they were to refer to me as “Pastor Tim”, not “Tim”. They were testing me to see what they could get away with, and I knew it. I was offended, and that was the problem. 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
Prioritizing His Presence in your life is something that you need to address every day. The more you do, the less difficult it becomes. When you first decide upon this course, however, it will be painful, but it is 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 a Kingdom principle.
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, and encouraged others to do the same. His thoughts, words, prayers and worship were all focused on the Father.
Partnering with His Presence
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?
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 partner with the Lord as you go about your day. It’s your choice. He will always say yes, every time. The more you do, the more you will know His voice. The more time you spend in His Presence, the more influential you become.
How to Partner with the Lord
This “partnership” that I am referring to is about remaining 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.