Why is it easier to connect with someone a half a world away with no sphere of influence, yet inside our sphere of influence there is a difficulty connecting with people?
A few weeks ago, I went on my first mission trip to Peru. While I was there, I met Lizandra, a 13 year-old Peruvian orphan. Probably, one of the smartest young women I have ever met. On the second morning, God placed her on my heart during my quiet time. I wasn’t entirely sure why. As the day progressed, I spent more time with her. I felt God giving me a message to give to her. By the end of that night, I was able to sit down and speak with her. Through broken English and broken Spanish, we were able to communicate and connect. I was able to share with her the understanding of Christ. I was able to go outside of my own comfort zone in foreign country where no comfort zone was to be found. It was probably one of the most memorable experiences I have had in my Christian walk so far. The remaining time I was in Peru, I was inspired to bring back that fire that I had experienced there. But when I came back I found it difficult to connect with people inside my own sphere of influence.
I know Christ has called us to go and disciple all nations as well as find his lost sheep. I know God loves us all equally, so what is the difference between a lost sheep in Sarasota, Florida and a lost sheep in Lima, Peru. There is no difference, but I changed. I stopped, and suddenly there was a wall up. What was stopping me? My pride, insecurity, fear of rejection, fear of what people would think about me and maintaining respect, acceptance and influence. I was letting myself get in the way of doing Christ’s work. Instead, I was putting my comfort over my call. How are you any different?
We are trained from a young age to leverage our influence to manipulate people to get what we want. For example, when a child determines which parent is the “soft one” he will use that influence. Rather than asking the parent whose answer would be no to a specific request, he leverages his influence over the other parent, so they will move on his behalf to get what he wants. We do this so naturally for our own benefit and wants. Why don’t we do this for the expansion of the Kingdom? So, my question is this… How are you going to leverage your influence for God’s Kingdom?
By Jim Angus
Small Group Leader – Unleash Your Untamed Faith