Summary: In this message, we will see that God gives people influence so we can come to know Him better. In knowing Him, we’ll be able to better handle both the well-being and the calamity that comes our way as people of influence.

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“Why did God make me? Why am I here? Why do I have the influence that I have?” I’m betting that you have wrestled with these questions.

For most of you in this room, God has given you some measure of influence. You may be a teacher, a coach, a mom, a dad, a boss, an officer in a club, a captain of a team, a big brother or sister, or some other kind of leader. Why? Why did God make you and give you the influence that you have?

When God gives you influence

Series: Knowing God

Text: Isaiah 45:2-7

I’ve often wondered why some people call God “The Man Upstairs.” It’s been my experience that people who really know God well don’t talk about Him that way. He seems to be “The Man upstairs” to people who aren’t too comfortable with God. I’ve never noticed that the people who talk that way are often people who don’t really know God very well. This is a series for people who want God to be something more to you than “The Man Upstairs.” It’s for people who want to grow in their love for God…

… for people who are looking for meaning and purpose in life…

… for people who want greater influence…

… who long to trust Him more…

… and know more peace…

… and joy.

All of that and more come from knowing God. We’re in a series of studies in Isaiah where God introduces Himself to us with words like these: “I am God and there is no other.” Knowing God. It’s vital if you want to live well in this world. In our bookstore, we are offering our book for the month. It’s title is “Knowing God.” The author, J.I. Packer, helps us see how central this is when he writes…

“As it would be cruel to an Amazonian tribesman to fly him to London …and leave him, as one who knew nothing of English or England, to fend for himself, so we are cruel to ourselves if we try to live in this world without knowing about the God whose world it is and who runs it.” J. I Packer

Of course the best thing that will help us come to know God more intimately is to spend time in His word. We’ve developed scripture memory packs to help you memorize key verses in the Bible. One of the packs is called “The Character of God.” You might want to stop by the bookstore in the foyer and pick one up.

In today’s section of scripture, we are going to meet a man named Cyrus. He was a man of influence – a man God used. To really understand these verses, we have to understand a little about Cyrus.

Fast facts about Cyrus…

… He became King of Persia in 559 BC;

… He conquered Babylon in 539 BC (you can read about it in Daniel 5); and

… He encouraged the Jews to return to Israel and ordered the rebuilding

of the Temple.

Cyrus was the most powerful person in the world. In Isaiah 45:1, Cyrus is called the Lord’s anointed because he was raised up by God to do great things in the world, particularly in restoring the Jews their own land. Cyrus had power because he was to use this power to bless God’s people. How did he come to prominence? Why did God bless His life? What lessons from his life can we learn for you and me? Let’s read…

“I will go before you and make the rough places smooth; I will shatter the doors of bronze and cut through their iron bars. I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden wealth of secret places, so that you may know that it is I, the LORD, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name. For the sake of Jacob My servant, and Israel My chosen one, I have also called you by your name; I have given you a title of honor though you have not known Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other; besides Me there is no God. I will gird you, though you have not known Me; that men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun that there is no one besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other, the One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the LORD who does all these.”

Isaiah 45:2-7 (NASB)


When I have influence…

1. … God is seeking to work for me.

Too few of us realize that God is the One who has given us the influence we have. If you are a boss or a leader in a company or ministry, God put you there. He’s been at work for you. How?

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