fear, influence, Holy Spirit, impact, God’s guidance, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry, nonprofit

Impact with Fear: Preparing to Influence Others for the Kingdom

We are called to positively influence everyone we come into contact with for God’s Kingdom. Preparing to act even through fear comes only through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We can impact with fear.



Some of my favorite time spent with my husband is late at night, snuggling under the covers, having meaningful conversation. Recently during one of our pillow talks the Lord convicted me when we were in the middle of a conversation about a friend who doesn’t know Jesus.

We are called to positively influence everyone. We need to be prepared for this and know how to act even through fear. We can impact with fear. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional | Christian Nonprofit #devotional #scripture #fear #GodsGuidance #guidance #HolySpirit #impact #influence

Stewardship

I’m a believer in being a good steward of the things the Lord gives us. Just as I believe in being a good steward of our home and our finances, I believe that the people in our lives are there strategically. We are called to be good stewards to them. How many days go by where we hardly think anything of that?

Both hands raised, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m guilty of overlooking people placements and just focus on me and my day. But actually, every lunch appointment, every barista, every stranger that we pass in the post office, every neighbor, all of those people are strategically in our path for that day.

Hear me: I’m not saying we should walk around stopping every stranger. I’m simply suggesting we consider this question: what would happen if we learned to be more sensitive to the guiding of the Holy Spirit? Movements? Maybe even miracles?

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.

Proverbs 16:9, NIV
People in our lives are there strategically. We are called to be good stewards to them. Click To Tweet

Great Commission

“Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations” Matthew 28:19. This is the Great Commission, it’s a command to us from the Lord. So why are we so stagnant in this regard? Why do we mosey around like we’ve got all the time in the world? We don’t. Job 14:5 says our days are numbered, Friend.

I listened to this speaker once who gave the most perfect visual of earth versus eternity. In his talk he had a rope. The first five inches or so were red. The rest of the rope, which seemed like miles long, was white. He said that the red part of the rope represented our time spent on earth and the white part of the rope represented the time we spend in eternity. His emphasis was on sharing Jesus because we are not given much time here on earth.

It created an urgency for me. It put things into perspective. The things I claimed to be important, couldn’t compare to the importance of this: Souls. Hearts. Eternity. We, as Christians, are to be salt and light. So what are we waiting for?

Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

Hebrews 12:1-2, NIV

Impact with Fear

As our pillow talk conversation got a little deeper, I shared with my husband that I haven’t always been able to freely talk to people about the Lord. Until about the age of seventeen, I was incredibly shy. Over the years boldness developed. That boldness came from encountering the Lord, growing my confidence in Him.

It used to be, if I came across someone with a different belief or someone who didn’t have a personal relationship with God, I just didn’t talk about Him. I know that it’s not all in the talking. But I realized the reason I didn’t talk was because of fear.

Fear is paralyzing. I was afraid of what other people would think of me. Afraid that they would be mean to me because I believed differently than them. And the worst, I was afraid that they would ask a hard question about Jesus that I wouldn’t be able to answer.

Well friends, the truth is… none of us have all the answers. I had to learn to trust the guidance of the Holy Spirit and just share what He has done in my life. And what the Lord has done in my life is far too great for me to stay silent about it. I have also learned that it is more about loving someone well instead of “convincing” them into Christianity. Love will take you farther than persuasion ever will. We can love even though we are afraid; we can impact with fear.

Holy Spirit Guidance

I encourage you, the next time you are around that table with your family, on that bike ride with your friend, bumping into that neighbor while at your mailbox, or grabbing that coffee from the barista, lean into the Holy Spirit and trust His guidance.

When you don’t know what to say or have no response to a “God question”, silently ask Him to give you the words. Trust that He will give them to you. Let Him work through your vulnerability and be willing to be bold. Let Him guide you to impact with fear. After all, you may just experience something pretty amazing.

So let us keep on coming boldly to the throne of grace, so that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Hebrews 4:16, ISV

We are called to positively influence everyone. We need to be prepared for this and know how to act even through fear. We can impact with fear. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional | Christian Nonprofit #devotional #scripture #fear #GodsGuidance #guidance #HolySpirit #impact #influence

unsplash-logoAnnie Spratt
joy, God's goodness, good deeds

Joy: Impacting Others with Our Deeds, Showing God’s Goodness

As believers, God’s goodness is the driving force behind our joy. We have the ability to impact others with the joy we hold inside.



Joy is contagious, even if it’s for a moment. We have the power to influence others with our countenance. So, what if we all chose to use our power in positive ways? What if we chose to share the love of God through smiles and joy? We would definitely stand out. What would the impact be on our world around us?

A Rare Smile

I’m not one to wear a smile. It’s not that I’m unhappy, it’s that my face just doesn’t rest on joy. My husband’s goal every day is to get me to smile. Genuinely smile. I just don’t think about it. My resting face is typically blank. That being said, a quick moment made me realize how important a smile can be…

I stopped for a pedestrian. It’s not uncommon, as my usual driving route takes me through a college campus. This day was different, though. It was raining. I saw her yellow rain coat coming down the stairs, her arms full of books and coffee, and no umbrella to shield her. I didn’t receive the awkward wave that usually ends pedestrian/driver interactions. Like I said, her hands were full. So, all she could do was smile at me. It wasn’t a quick glance, smile, and walk on. She smiled and kept smiling to make sure I saw her. We locked eyes and I couldn’t help but smile too. I acknowledged her, she acknowledged me, and for a brief moment two strangers brightened each other’s day.

I know that there is nothing better for people, than to be happy and to do good while they live.

Ecclesiastes 3:12, NIV

Joyful Deeds

On a gray, rainy day, I needed some light. One thing that usually makes me happy is helping others. In fact, acts of service is how I show love. Yeah, obeying traffic laws isn’t much for “acts of service”, but I’ve seen other drivers speed through this campus, paying no mind to people trying to get from one point to another on foot. So, I serve my fellow humans by slowing down and pausing my day for them.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:16, NIV

Now, I don’t know if “Yellow Raincoat” actually needed her day brightened, but having good done to her, made her happy. I could tell her smile was genuine, not forced. She didn’t know I needed to see her smile, but God used her to uplift my spirit. It’s goodness this world needs, and for a moment we helped each other.

As believers, God's goodness is the driving force behind our joy. We have the ability to impact others with the joy we hold inside.

Provision Through A Smile

You could say “Yellow Raincoat” not only brightened my dreary day, but she inspired me to write about joy. God is so good. He heard my heart, and provided sustenance to multiple needs through one small action. I needed inspiration and to be uplifted. I needed to be reminded that there is still goodness in this dark world.

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.

Hebrews 13:2, NIV

Our interaction reminds me that I have an impact, even if it’s small. Humans are silly. We all walk around, acting like we don’t need one another. The truth is, we all need each other. We are in this world together. Each one of us has an effect on the other. Whether it be our day, our mood, our whole life, the effect a stranger can have is undeniable.

Whether it be our day, our mood, our whole life, the effect a stranger can have is undeniable. Click To Tweet

Joy in God

So, which way does the can go? Does the stranger have a positive or negative effect? Unfortunately, the latter happens more often. There is an underlying heaviness in us all. We feel the darkness in the world. We carry it around, knowingly or unknowingly. It shows all over our faces, postures, beings. Because we are human, we are prone to negativity. It’s easier to be sad and depressed, than to push through with joy.

Our joy rests in the goodness of God. He is so, so good. We have a merciful, generous Father. He bestows undeserving redemption on us every day. His goodness and love breaks through any darkness, heaviness, or tragedy. We can find happiness and joy in this life, because He is our God.

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

Psalm 90:14, NIV

Don’t hide your powerful smile. Be intentional about showing joy. Allow your joy to reach strangers and don’t pass up opportunities to allow your joy to testify of God’s goodness.


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As believers, God's goodness is the driving force behind our joy. We have the ability to impact others with the joy we hold inside.

 

Heard: Embodying Godly Virtues While Speaking Truth

Everyone has an opinion, and not all opinions exist from truth. It can be difficult to embody Godly virtues while trying to be heard.



My 30th birthday is fast approaching. Yes, yes… I’ve heard it all… “You’re so young!” “You’re just a baby!” “Wait, what!? You’re not 30 yet?” I have been the subject of these phrases a lot, lately. At first I laughed, then I felt a bit fired up and defensive, but now I’m feeling encouraged!

Being perceived as “young” has a few negative connotations. Some have a hard time taking stock in what you say. Some categorize you into your “generation name” (I will spare my opinions on that). Some, just simply do not show much respect toward those younger.

My attitude about my age was encouraged when I read through the entire book of Job. Please do this if you haven’t in a while or ever. I also encourage you to switch between NIV and MSG versions, as both can help you understand the intense conversations between Job and his friends.

Encouraged reading Job? Job is depressing and what in the world does that have anything to do with age?

The back and forth between the three friends had me all sorts of confused! Rightfully so. These men were “old” and “wise”, right? Should I side with the friends? Should I side with Job? I had lost all sense of “hope”, then this fiery young fella, Elihu, rises up and lays in to them all! Who the heck is Elihu? He was not the subject of any Sunday school lessons. What makes him worthy of 6 chapters in the book of Job?

“You have my attention Elihu!”

Heard: Show Respect

Elihu is the youngest of the men gathered, and he acknowledges that fact first. He also makes it known that because of his youth, he has held his tongue while the old guys banter.

I’m a young man, and you are all old and experienced. That’s why I kept quiet and held back from joining the discussion.

Job 32:6, MSG

I hung on your words while you spoke, listened carefully to your arguments. While you searched for the right words, I was all ears.

Job 32:11, MSG

This is one of the best character traits we see in Elihu. He is the embodiment of respecting your elders. He showed respect, thus, his words were received. Elihu waited his turn; not interrupting those he did not side with. He did not belittle their opinions by making fun or laughing at them. He waited patiently, really listening to their words.

Heard: Confidence Through Truth

I kept thinking, ‘Experience will tell. The longer you live, the wiser you become. But I see I was wrong—it’s God’s Spirit in a person, the breath of the Almighty One, that makes wise human insight possible.

Job 32:7-8, MSG

Elihu was not afraid to speak his feelings to his elders because he knew his words were true; truth, Spirit prompted from the innermost of his heart. The same should be true, when we write or speak against anyone’s personal opinions and feelings. We must make sure we do it from a position of knowledge. Whether it’s in God’s word, or extensive research on the matter. Above all, our argument should not be from a place of anger or animosity.

Everyone has an opinion, and not all opinions exist from truth. It can be difficult to embody Godly virtues while trying to be heard.

Heard: Be Reasonable

Elihu was extremely passionate about what he was saying. However, in the midst of the intensity, he was also reasonable.

My words come from an upright heart; my lips sincerely speak what I know. The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life. Answer me then, if you can; stand up and argue your case before me. I am the same as you in God’s sight;

Job 33:3-6, NIV

He was reasonable enough to acknowledge that he was fired up, but that he should not be held in a higher regard than any other. Particularly, he recognized that his words were not his own, but from the Spirit of God.

 

Everyone has an opinion, and not all opinions exist from truth. It can be difficult to embody Godly virtues while trying to be heard.

Heard: All-Inclusive

Hear my words, you wise men; listen to me, you men of learning. For the ear tests words as the tongue tastes food. Let us discern for ourselves what is right; let us learn together what is good.

Job 34:2-4, NIV

I believe this is one of the most important characteristics to learn from Elihu. Elihu included everyone listening, in his argument. He truly invited all of the men to enter in to his speech. To learn, together, the power of God. Elihu spoke from the ground with the others, not from a lofty, high above pedestal. In other words, he spoke from a posture of equality, not from a know-it-all angle.

Heard: What God Speaks

When God finally spoke, he scolds Job, all three of his friends, but makes no mention of Elihu. I believe Elihu ushered in the Spirit of God while he was speaking. Although he was the youngest of the men, he was the most impactful. He spoke with passionate truth, humility, and love for God.

Elihu has me encouraged for the future. Yes, I may be the youngest of most of those I hang around, but I believe, if I can embody the characteristics of Elihu, I can make a lasting impact. How humbled I would be, if the Lord chose me to usher in his Spirit so those with closed hearts would hear and know His truth!

What about you? Have you ever heard of Elihu? Do you find these characteristics helpful when approaching an intense subject with differing opinions?


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Everyone has an opinion, and not all opinions exist from truth. It can be difficult to embody Godly virtues while trying to be heard.

impact, prepared, influence, fear

Impact: Being Prepared to Influence Others, Even With Fear

We are called to impact all of the people we come into contact with. We need to be prepared for this, and know how to act. Even if we feel fearful.



Some of my favorite time spent with my husband is late at night, snuggling under the covers, having meaningful conversation. Recently during one of our pillow talks the Lord convicted me when we were in the middle of a conversation about a friend who doesn’t know Jesus.

We are to impact all of the people we come into contact with. By being prepared for this, and we can know how to influence others. Even if we feel fearful.

Impact: The People

I’m a believer in being a good steward of the things the Lord gives us. Just as I believe in being a good steward of our home and our finances, I believe that the people in our lives are there strategically. We are called to be good stewards to them. How many days go by where we hardly think anything of that?

Both hands raised, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m guilty of overlooking people placements and just focus on me and my day. But actually, every lunch appointment, every barista, every stranger that we pass in the post office, every neighbor, all of those people are strategically in our path for that day. Hear me when I say this: I’m not saying we should walk around stopping every stranger, I’m simply suggesting for us to consider this question, what would happen if we learned to be more sensitive to the guiding of the Holy Spirit? Movements? Maybe even miracles?

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.

Proverbs 16:9, NIV

 

We are to impact all of the people we come into contact with. By being prepared for this, and we can know how to influence others. Even if we feel fearful.

Impact: A Command

“Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations” Matthew 28:19. This is the Great Commission, it’s a command to us from the Lord. So why are we so stagnant in this regard? Why do we mosey around like we’ve got all the time in the world? We don’t. Job 14:5 says our days are numbered, friend.

I listened to this speaker once who gave the most perfect visual of earth versus eternity. In his talk he had this rope, the first five inches or so were red. The rest of the rope, which seemed like miles long, was white. He said that the red part of the rope represented our time spent on earth and the white part of the rope represented our time we spend in eternity. His emphasis was on sharing Jesus because we are not given much time here on earth.

It created an urgency for me. It put things into perspective. The things I was walking through my day claiming to be important, couldn’t compare to the importance of this: Souls. Hearts. Eternity. We, as Christians, are to be salt and light. So what are we waiting for?

Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

Hebrews 12:1-2, NIV

Impact: With Fear

As our pillow talk conversation got a little deeper, I shared with my husband that I haven’t always been able to freely talk to people about the Lord. Until about the age of seventeen I was incredibly shy. Over the years boldness developed. That boldness came from encountering the Lord, growing my confidence in Him. It used to be, if I came across someone with a different belief or someone who didn’t have a personal relationship with God, I just didn’t talk about Him. I know that it’s not all in the talking. But I realized that the reason why I didn’t talk was because of fear.

Fear is so paralyzing. I was afraid of what other people would think of me. Afraid that they would be mean to me because I believed differently than them. And the worst, I was afraid that they would ask a hard question about Jesus that I wouldn’t be able to answer. Well friends, the truth is… none of us have all the answers. I had to learn to trust the guidance of the Holy Spirit and just share what He has done in my life. And what the Lord has done in my life is far too great for me to stay silent about it. I have also learned that it is more about loving someone well instead of “convincing” them into Christianity. Love will take you farther than persuasion ever will.

Impact: The Guidance

I encourage you, the next time you are around that table with your family, on that bike ride with your friend, bumping into that neighbor while at your mailbox, or grabbing that coffee from the barista, lean into the Holy Spirit and trust His guidance. When you don’t know what to say or have no response to a “God question”, silently ask Him to give you the words. Trust that He will give them to you. Let Him work through your vulnerability and be willing to be bold. After all, you may just experience something pretty amazing.

So let us keep on coming boldly to the throne of grace, so that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Hebrews 4:16, ISV


If you have found this inspiring, share the encouragement…

...the people in our lives are there strategically. And we are called to be good stewards to them. Click To Tweet

We are to impact all of the people we come into contact with. By being prepared for this, and we can know how to influence others. Even if we feel fearful.

Krissia Cruz