A few years ago, I helped facilitate a program at my church that encouraged people to become the best at their jobs so that they could be a Kingdom influence. We equipped people from all different spheres of business with practical skills so they could excel in their respective fields. Our intention was to help God-minded people rise to the top of their jobs so they could be like Joseph or Daniel—godly influences in the life of a powerful king. I loved this program so much because it helped people be the church instead of thinking they needed to be “in ministry” to be “on mission”.
Where are you positioned?
“Now I was cupbearer to the king.” Nehemiah 1:11b (ESV)
This was a big deal! Nehemiah was the one who would taste the King’s wine, just in case it was poisoned. He risked his life every day he went into work. I don’t know if I would sign up for this particular job, but I’m sure there were some pretty sweet rewards, such as some face time with the King!
Nehemiah wasn’t a ruler or royalty but he was a man who did his job to the best of his ability. And, as he was about to find out, he was positioned strategically by God to accomplish something incredible.
Just like Nehemiah, your “where” isn’t by accident. You don’t have the job, family, or friends you have by mere coincidence. You are where you are to help others and glorify God. And, no matter your position within the various groups you are a part of, you are influential in some way. Others listen to and follow you, whether you realize it or not. They could be your family, your small group, your team, your company, or your social media followers.
You are influential, how are you using that position in the lives of others?
“In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was before him, I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence.” Nehemiah 2:1 (ESV)
The last part of that verse warms my little heart so much! Nehemiah had been devastated about the news of the broken down state of Jerusalem but he didn’t let it affect his work. He intentionally did his job to the best of his ability even though his mind was very likely elsewhere.
Nehemiah could’ve easily started a conversation with the King about how upset he was about the state of affairs. He could’ve come into his presence with a long face and manipulated the King into getting some help with the things that were grieving him. But he didn’t.
Now, I’m not saying that we need to repress our emotions or keep the things that we’re passionate about hidden from others. No way! But Nehemiah was sensitive about the influence he had been given and made sure to steward it accordingly. He wasn’t about to abuse the incredible access he had been granted.
Even though Nehemiah had done his best to not let his grief influence his job performance, because the King knew him and had a strong relationship with Nehemiah, the King knew something wasn’t right. One day, the King asked Nehemiah what was up, he opened that door of conversation so that Nehemiah could boldly walk through it.
So, what’s your sphere of influence? And how are you using it?
When we’re passionate about something, it can be hard to keep it tucked away and serve the vision of another, but sometimes that’s exactly what we need to do. There are seasons where we have to pray continually and steward well someone else’s dream before we can begin to work on our passion project. And that’s okay. In fact, I believe it’s an important part of the process.
I hope and pray that we would be sensitive enough to the Spirit of God to know the difference between the right and wrong times to speak. Let’s steward our influence well and honor God in the process!
What’s your current sphere of influence?
How are you using your influence for the good of others and the glory of God?