To whom will you have a greater impact? To those of whom you do not know or those in your sphere of influence? Ever notice that when people tend to think of “outreach”, they completely disregard those in their sphere of influence, and try to reach those outside of their sphere of influence? Does it not make sense that one would have a greater impact on those of whom they personally know as opposed to those that they do not know? More importantly, does it not make sense that these very people would have a greater impact on those who know them and the testimony that they live out each day?
Fear of Rejection
Could it be that we tend to feel more comfortable trying to influence people who know nothing about us, because we are afraid of rejection? It’s easier to be rejected by someone you don’t know, one who you probably will never see again, than it is to be rejected by someone you do know, one of who you come into contact with every day. This is not an indictment, however, let’s be honest with ourselves. Fear of rejection is a real thing.
Jesus said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” – Acts 1:8. Note the outward progression? They were to be witnesses where they lived, to people of whom they had influence. Only after they had influenced them with the Kingdom, were they to go into Judea, (geographically right next to them). Next, they were to expand their influence Samaria with the Kingdom, (again, further away from their sphere of influence), and finally to people of whom they had no influence at all.
Your Sphere of Influence
Who is in your sphere of influence? In other words, who are the people that you rub shoulders with every day? Who are the people that know you by name or by reputation? These are the people that you are be witnesses to. Why? Because they know your life and will see the influence of the Holy Spirit in your life.
What is Your Witness?
Jesus said, “. . . and you will be my witnesses in . . .” Note that we are to be his witness. He did not say, “. . . and you will do witnessing in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” The commission is more than what you say, it’s not even about what you do, it is found in your life, conduct and speech (See 1 Timothy 4:12). The fruit of being a “witness” is found in how you live. To be clear, the “witness” is in the being, not in the doing. “Doing” is the by-product of being. To the point, when your focus is on your relationship with Christ, (the being part), the “doing” will naturally follow. I’m equating “doing” with servanthood. When you are in right alignment with God, you will naturally serve others.
Remember, it is God who changes the heart, not man. It is not in what you say, it is not even in what you do that changes a man’s heart, rather, it is the power of the Holy Spirit at work in those of whom you serve. I encourage you to be his witness by partnering with Jesus and serving the love of the Father to others. This partnership with Jesus ushers in the Holy Spirit like a flood, and that’s where the real work takes place, in the heart of man.