A Spiritual Influencer
PPT 1 Message Title
It seems like everyday I hear a person described as a youtube influencer.
These are people who have followers, and get paid by advertisers for other people listening to them babble on about whatever it is they are known for.
Here is a clip from an influencer named dude perfect whose claim to fame is crazy trick shots, and he has millions and millions of people watching his stuff.
PPT 2 video clip dude perfect
(Note to pastors: I showed 2 minutes of this video clip)
They are influencers. They shape the conversation, they move people to emulate them. They are followed.
Here is one of the first influencers that ever lived:
PPT 3 text
Heb 11:4 By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.
KJV says he being dead yet speaketh. He speaks from beyond the grave, he is still influencing people. To be an influencer for Christ should be the goal of every Christian person. That is what we are going to talk about today.
I am also reminded of passage about John the Baptist in Acts 19. There the Apostle Paul meets some people he calls disciples, and he asks them if they have received the Holy Spirit. They replied we haven't even heard of the Holy Spirit. Paul then asks them about their baptism, assuming if they were baptized they would know about the Holy Spirit. They said the only baptism we have had is the baptism of John. So here we have a group of people who 25 years after the death of John the Baptist who are still being influenced powerfully by his life and teaching. He did such a good job that when they heard about Jesus they immediately accepted Him as their Lord and Savior. What an impact, what an influence! May God help us to leave an influence that ripples across time!
Today I want to use that term influencer in the sense that we can catch other peoples attention and speak into their lives.
I want to tie it into these two verses of scripture:
PPT 4 Text:
Ac 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
1 Samuel 3:19 The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of his words fall to the ground.
We will start with Acts 1:8 you will receive power.
Not just power, but supernatural power, and we know that because Jesus connects this power to God Himself, in the person of the Holy Spirit.
Meaning this power is far beyond human ability. Above human gifting.
Perhaps I could ask a few silly questions to help us understand this power more accurately before I move on.
Do your eyes change color when you get this power? No
Does your body stop aging when you get this power? No
Can you leap tall buildings in a single bound when you get this power? No
Does your IQ go up 100 points when you get this power? No/yes.
Well then what does this power do?
The answer is right there in the verse: You will witness about Jesus to others. You will tell others about Jesus. You will be a spiritual influencer You need power to do that? If I saw a crime I don't need supernatural power to witness what I saw and felt. In general I can remember what I saw, although through the lens of human frailties. Memory, emotional disturbance, adrenaline etc.
So why do we need supernatural power to witness what we have seen Jesus do in our lives?
It is not because we need supernatural power to be able to speak, it is because they need supernatural to be able to hear! Because we are speaking to dead people and it takes supernatural power to reach into the grave in such a way that your words can be heard.
The bible teaches that people who aren't saved are dead in trespasses in sin, in Ephesians 2:1.
Dead people can't hear us speak, unless somehow God gives supernatural life to our words.
The bible teaches the natural man cannot receive the things of God for they are spiritually discerned.
1Co 2:14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.
The dead can't hear from the living without the supernatural help and power of God.
So when you get this power is a permanent? Is it permanently on? Is it always functioning. No, stir up the gift that is within you, was Paul's command to Timothy. We need to be continually asking God to help us to speak His words with His unction, because that is the only thing that can reach spiritually dead people.
Let's look at the second verse on our list and be challenged by a man who seemingly kept the grace of God flowing continually out of his life.
1 Samuel 3:19 The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of his words fall to the ground.
Samuel was a miracle child and his mother gave him up for adoption to the work of God!
Then the high priest blessed her for doing that and she had an additional 3 sons and 2 daughters.
Samuel became a prophet and served as a priest and ultimately as the spiritual and governmental leader of Israel.
But as he lived his life God let none of his words fall to the ground. What exactly does that mean? Let me use one of my commentaries to explain what that means, and may God use it to stir our appetites to be such persons of influence, that like Samuel the gift of the Holy Spirit is always active and working in our lives:
1 Samuel 3:19
and did let none of his words fall to the ground; in allusion either to water that falls to the ground, and becomes useless, or to an arrow falling out of the bow, and to the ground, before it reaches the mark,; or to any weapon of war, sword or spear, falling out of the hand of the soldier, whereby he is disarmed and rendered unserviceable
Now you might be asking yourself what has that to do with influence?
Let's begin a definition of
PPT 6 definition
influence: To affect or change how someone or something develops, behaves or thinks
So when we combine the definition of influence with 1 Samuel 3:19 we get this: Samuel's words did not fall to the ground but successfully were used of God to affect and change how a nation developed. And most amazingly it seems to have worked for him his whole life. Have any of your words fallen to the ground so to speak. I got million that have, Lord have mercy. But I also have spoken some words that like Able of old, will be around long after I pass from this life. May God help us to have more words like Samuel and Abel to the point we still speak after we are dead.
We want to be able to affect change in people. To touch the inner man, the spirit, the soul, the lifestyle, the thinking, the real person.
We need to be people of influence.
Let's consider for a moment the things that are influencing us:
1. Your body - it is continually sending you messages, you are uncomfortable in your seat, you are tired, you are hungry, your foot hurts.
2. Your hormones. You are angry. You are lonely. You are confused. You are jazzed.
3. The people around you. They smell good, they smell bad. They sing terrible, they sing lovely. They are excited, they are bored. You are angry with them. You like sitting near them.
4. The environment around you. It is cold. It is hot and sleepy. You are in the devil's living room. You are in God's living room. You are with the choir, you are with "drunks are us!"
5. The future is influencing you. Plans for the day. Football. Upcoming things at work. The weather report. The financial report. Tax refund. Tax bill.
6. The past is influencing you. What happened to you. What you did to others. Whether or not your week was enjoyable.
7. Spiritual things are influencing you. Distractions from below, a tugging at your heart from above.
8. Subliminal things are influencing you.
So we are surrounded continually and totally by things that are influencing us, always be aware of which way the wind of this world and more especially the wind of God is trying to move you. And may God always help us to be a wind of effectual influence. More power Lord!
We are just one voice among many that is trying to influence people, but with the help of the Holy Spirit, and by speaking the word of God, God can make our voice to rise up and be heard above all other voices and sources of influence.
Now some basic truths about influnce:
PPT 7 pic and text
1. Power is the ability to influence others. Acts 1:8. Jesus is not simply talking abut getting power to witness, He is talking about getting power that can reach through to dead men and women!
PPT 8 pic and text
2. God intends for His people to be influential. Matthew 5:13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
PPT 9 text and pic
3. If the devil can't take your salvation, he will work overtime to neutralize your influence. he wants you to become a person of lukewarm influence. He wants to neuter you.
The bible lists things that can damage your influence:
1. Grumbling and complaining
Php 2:14 Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed!
Php 2:15 Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night
2. Dead Flies
Ec 10:1 Dead flies make a perfumer's oil stink, so a little foolishness is weightier than wisdom and honor.
This verse says that foolishness can drown out wisdom. Foolishness is weightier than wisdom - think about that. It means that foolishness can negate wisdom, can ruin it, can cause it not to be heard or accepted, it outweighs it in the minds of others. No matter how good your words are, if you are foolish you can destroy their ability to be accepted.
3. Bad company
1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character."
1. You may not be looking for influence, but influence is looking for you.
A. Influence is not absolute. Who is more influential than Jesus? Yet many did not accept Him. Who was more bound than the Gadarene demoniac? Yet Jesus broke that influence easily. You can lose your influence for a season. You can also get it back.
B. It is God's intention that the church influence society, not vice versa.
C. Because God's intention is for us to be a people of influence , it is important that we avail ourselves of every grace available. Acts 1:8, and also speak the word it is full of life giving power even when you are not!
Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
God's word has life giving power in it! Jesus summed up our need for the Holy Spirit with these words:
John 6:63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.
When we speak the word of God, it is like God uses us to perform spiritual mouth to mouth resuscitation to those dead in sin. We become a spiritual defibrillator and can spiritually shock people back to life.
D. Samuel was a man of influence who's arrows always hit the mark. May we come to be as good at witnessing as dude perfect is with perfect shots.
Close: God free me from bad influence, God help me not be to lukewarm in influence. Stir up the gift. Get the gift that will allow you to speak to the dead and be heard.