Who or what influences your life?
Over my lifetime there have been many people who have influenced my life. Family members such as my father and grandfather have shaped the way I think and live. Friends such as Dan Bohi, Corey Jones, and Kevin Seymour have deeply influenced my life. One of my spiritual fathers, Ron Frizzell, poured into me in 1997 for almost two years. One of my professors, Charles “Chic” Shaver, deeply influenced me, along with two scholars, Jon Mark Ruthven and Gary Greig, who were my doctoral mentors. I’ve been deeply touched by a revivalist, Randy Clark, who has preached in seventy-six countries; he prayed an impartation over me about re-digging the wells in the Holiness movement. Cindy and I have two prayer partners, Jim and Tami Dixon, who have touched our lives deeply. There are people throughout history such as E. M. Bounds, Maria Woodworth-Etter, Charles G. Finney, Reese Howells, John G. Lake, Aimee Semple McPherson, D. L. Moody, Leonard Ravenhill, and John Wesley who have lived and modeled God in such a way that it has imprinted my heart. I could go on, the number is too numerous to count. I honor the anointing that each of these people carry now and I honor those who diligently walked with God in the past. The body of Christ is filled with many men and woman around the globe who all sing the new song, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9).
However, in the final analysis, there is no one or nothing that has influenced my life more than the supernatural presence of the Holy Spirit. We are not spiritual orphans, Jesus gave us “another Helper, that He may be with (us) forever” (John 14:16). The Holy Spirit is the promise of the Father (see Luke 24:49), and He is a gift to all believers (see Acts 2:38). Jesus said the Holy Spirit would teach us all things (see John 14:26). “All things,” Jesus said, imagine that! John said, “As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him” (1 John 2:27). Talk about being an influence in our life, who better than the One who teaches us all things? The greatest teacher, the greatest Helper, the greatest Comforter, and the greatest influence, is the Holy Spirit; and He lives inside you. The Bible says, “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God” (Romans 8:14). Being led (ago) is a present tense verb that can be translated “constantly influenced.” In other words, according to this verse the children of God are those who are constantly being influenced by the Holy Spirit. Being led by the Spirit is the essence of Ezekiel’s prophecy concerning the new covenant. He said of the Lord, “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances” (Ezekiel 36:27). The Holy Spirit enables us to walk in righteousness; He compels us to live in holiness. The Holy Spirit empowers us to witness, intercedes through our weakness, and manifests through us for the profit of all (see Acts 1:8; Rom. 8:26; 1 Cor. 12:7). Without the Holy Spirit, we would be left with dead religion because it is the Spirit that gives life (see John 6:63; 2 Cor. 3:6).
I once heard someone say, “Let’s all come around the front and spend some time getting into the Spirit.” I thought to myself, I don’t remember getting out of the Spirit! The point is we never have to be absent from His presence. I attempt to steward my life in such a way that I never allow anything to become larger in my mind than my awareness of His manifest presence. I need to do better, what about you? My deepest desire is to live every moment under the constant influence of the Holy Spirit. This makes life exciting and very adventurous because the Holy Spirit is with me every place that I go such as: Walmart, Starbucks, or Lowes. Moreover, He desires to “get released” from time to time; He spills out when I bump into people. Graham Cooke once said, “No one is safe around a Spirit-filled believer.” Our lives will always make a difference for God when we live and walk in the Spirit. I’m certain that there have been people in your life who have influenced you in a positive manner. But if not, please take comfort in the fact that you have the abiding, manifest presence of the Holy Spirit who will be “with you and will be in you” as Jesus said (John 14:17).
If you will let Him, the Holy Spirit will become the greatest influence in your life.
God, I thank you for the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit. Baptize me with a fresh touch of your Spirit, and influence every move that I make. I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.