Influence is real – There just is such a thing as influence! People’s actions influence the actions of other people. Joseph was an influential person. His decisions had an impact on the people around him.
Godly influence emerges from a mysterious partnership – At some levels, the relationship we have with God is a mystery. We don’t fully grasp it. Our influence as God’s people emerges from that significant relationship. On the one hand, we have to do our part. If we are going to be influential, we have to be faithful and obedient to God. We have to implement what we know in our everyday lives. We have to be willing to use our gifts and talents in our places of responsibility and influence.
However, as God’s people, we also must rely on God to do what only He can do. He is the One who orchestrates circumstances and maneuvers His hand over our lives. He is the One who puts the right people in the right place at the right time. He is the One who makes connections in places beyond our control so that our lives will be most effective for His sake.
Sometimes it is hard to “see” or “feel” His hand at work. Sometimes if feels like we are being faithful, but God is not as present as we might like Him to be. It is during those times that we take comfort in knowing that God is always present and always at work to accomplish His purposes. We walk by faith, not by sight.
We will be tested – Joseph was tested during his life. He was in a place of influence in Potiphar’s house. His position of influence led to his times of testing. That is just how it is. When we are exerting influence at any level, we can be tested to abuse our privileges. Joseph had the opportunity to take advantage of his situation and use it to fulfill his own desires. We all face those kinds of temptations.
You will find yourself in places of influence at work, school, church, in your family and within your scope of relationships. There will be times when you will be afforded opportunities to abuse your power. You will be given the chance to take advantage of a situation at the expense of compromising your Godliness. Remember the example of Joseph and seek God’s help in the face of those challenges. Regardless of what happens around you, you can be in charge of what is happening inside you.
Don’t allow circumstances to dictate your faithfulness – Joseph faced some hard challenges. Some of what happened to him came at his own doing. He had to learn to not be so brash in his declarations or he would reap the consequences – as his brothers had proven to him. He learned his lesson well. He was faithful to God even though he was a slave in Egypt. He was faithful to God in Potiphar’s house as a servant. He was faithful to God in Potiphar’s house as the Chief of Staff. He was faithful to God when he was cast back in jail. He was faithful to God when he was placed at the highest rank among the prisoners.
There is a lesson there for us. We must not let our circumstances dictate to us when we will be faithful to God. We must remain in relationship and fellowship with God regardless of our life circumstances. We don’t bargain with God and only choose to be obedient to Him when all is good. We have to be willing to endure painful outcomes in life and remain faithful to God.
Our influence for God in the accomplishment of his Kingdom purposes is directly linked to our willingness to be faithful to Him! If we choose the path of disobedience and unfaithfulness, our influence for Him will diminish – as it should.
Our influence is important – God has given all of us a measure of influence. All of us have an ability to lead some others to make decisions based on our relationship with them. We just do. Just like there are others who have that kind of influence in our lives. Any time you have the opportunity to be influential, you need to recognize how important and consequential that truly is. Your decisions and actions are important. They have consequences beyond your own life.
Stay faithful and trust God – At the end of the day, this is what we must do. God is calling us to live in a trusted relationship with Him. He is calling us to Himself. He wants us to live for Him. He wants us to know Him. He wants us to love Him. He wants us to obey Him. He wants us to trust Him. So – we are to seek His counsel and obey His direction. We then trust Him to decide how to use our lives to best suit His Kingdom purposes.