Shoreless Influence

Throw a pebble into the lake, and a wave is formed; and another and another; and as they increase, the circle widens, until it reaches the very shore.

So it is too with our influence.

Beyond our knowledge or control, our influence is as far- reaching as eternity.

It is either a blessing or a curse to those in our lives. For, we are all surrounded by an atmosphere of our own,–an atmosphere, that may be, charged with the lifegiving power of faith, courage, and hope, and sweet with the fragrance of love or heavy and chill with the gloom of discontent and selfishness, or poisonous with the deadly taint of cherished sin.

By this atmosphere surrounding us, every person with whom we come into contact is consciously or unconsciously affected.

So what can we say of our influence?

Is it enhancing our inner circles?

Is it reforming or preserving power in the world?

Is it counterworking the destroying, corrupting influence of evil?

Is it reflecting the Spirit of Jesus to those in need?

Ellen G. White says, “Every act of our lives affects others for good or evil. Our influence is tending upward or downward; it is felt, acted upon, and to a greater or less degree reproduced by others. If by our example we aid others in the development of good principles, we give them power to do good. In their turn they exert the same beneficial influence upon others, and thus hundreds and thousands are affected by our unconscious influence. If we by acts strengthen or force into activity the evil powers possessed by those around us, we share their sin, and will have to render an account for the good we might have done them and did not do, because we made not God our strength, our guide, our counselor.”

If for some reason you still believe that your influence is insignificant and your obedience to God goes unnoticed, consider our first Shero of the week – Belshazzar’s grandmother.

Belshazzar, king of Babylon and son of Nebuchadnezzar, was in the midst of a raucous party in Babylon, surrounded by a thousand of his lords, his wives and his concubines. In the mist of the party, Belshazzar saw a hand that began to write on the wall with long and elegant strokes. With his knees knocking and his face growing pale and terrified, Belshazzar was unable to understand the mysterious writing.

It was his grandmother who then instructed him to call on Daniel, the faithful Jewish visionary who had guided her husband, King Nebuchadnezzar, through many trials, including hallucinations, dreams and insanity.

Daniel, now an old man, was found, and read the message on the wall.

Belshazzar had forgotten Daniel but because of Daniel’s great influence, the grandmother of the king, remembered him a time of need. And because of her great influence, Daniel was called to the king.

Belshazzar’s grandmother remembered that Daniel had given the king, her husband, a sense of order and God’s presence through his difficult trials back in the day. She had seen Daniel and his friends walk through flames and not be burned; she had seen hungry lions lay down before him when he was thrown to them for food. She knew he was a holy man, one of God’s people.

When everyone in the kingdom had forgotten the influence of Daniel, one woman remembered him and His God.

When everyone was carried away by the terror of the evening, one woman, sober and quietly, used her influence for good.

I am comforted that God always registers the silent good work I am doing. Even though it may not be advertised or broadcasted.

I am also glad that in the right moments, He brings wise counsel to my mind to share with those in need.

No act that we commit is without notice or influence.

And if for some reason you believe that you are too young, too inexperienced to influence an older peer; or too poor, too ordinary to influence someone who is wealthier than you are; or you are too shy, or too uncultured to be used by God, consider the story of Naaman and the servant girl, our second Shero of the week.

Naaman, was a high-ranking military commander, yet it was his servant who led him to be cured of leprosy.

The young servant girl urged Naaman to follow the prophet’s Elisha’s orders to bathe in the Jordan River and because of her influence, Naaman obeyed the prophet and was restored to health.

Ellen G. White says, “Every person is exerting an influence upon the lives of others. We must either be as a light to brighten and cheer their path, or as a desolating tempest to destroy. We are either leading our associates upward to happiness and immortal life, or downward to sorrow and eternal ruin.”

God doesn’t need us to have a high ranking status, qualifications or years of experience to exert a powerful influence on His behalf to others.

He just needs your heart as He needs mine.

Love,

Dee

(C) 2017, Dentrecia Blanchette

Still His Servant…

In our previous post, The Hand of God  we mentioned that Joseph was wrongfully thrusted into prison for sexual accusations spewed by Mrs. Portifah. There, his character shined brightly amidst the darkness of his reality and eventually he gained the confidence of those in charge, who later placed him in charge of all the prisoners.

This promotion of sorts did not remove Joseph out of the dark dungeon but placed him in a greater position of influence where he would be able to serve his purpose for that time even while oppressed and in need, himself.

I believe that we aren’t always brought to low places and periods as a consequence to our actions or lack of faith in God but rather to serve persons within those low places. And as painful as it may be, especially when we have to thrive in these low places and periods, it is the truest definition of being a follower of Christ – being able to be faithful to Him no matter the height of depth He thinks it best to place us.

The chief baker and chief butler joined Joseph as they were cast into the dark dungeon for offenses admitted against the King. While imprisoned with them, Joseph one day recognized that they were gloomy.

Reaching out to them, he learnt that they both had dreams that they were unable to interpret. Joseph said to them, ‘Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.'” Joseph refers them to God, but also presents himself as a mediator. The dreams were relayed to Joseph who explained that in three days, the chief butler would be executed and the chief cupbearer would be restored to his position. After interpreting the dreams, Joseph, in true human fashion, made a personal plea to the cupbearer to remember him when he is restored to his position.

Joseph’s ability to remain sensitive and observant to the needs of others while serving in prison speaks of his strength of character that did not allow his external reality to crush his inner servant spirit.

And this is the type of follower God is molding us to become – one who could not only be faithful in a palace but in a prison too, or in a cave or a city, in comfort or crisis, in summer as in winter, in abundance as in a faminine.

Lord, there are times where I give in to anger, bitterness and self-pity while serving in my prison. The prison robs me of my softness, sensitivity and clouds my ability to see and serve the needs of those around me or who are in similar prisons themselves. Strengthen my inner servant spirit to be faithful to Your calling on my life even when the things around me are dark, distressing, disappointing and depressing.

Three days later, Joseph’s interpretation of the dreams were made manifest and with a heart filled with jubilation and freedom, the chief cup bearer, forgot about the request made of Joseph.

There are persons whom we confide in and share our unique dilemmas or burdens with, believing, that they will help us or remember us at an ideal time, to shift the elements of our reality. We find ourselves leaning on these persons more than we are leaning on God, only to later be let down by these “human heroes”.

For two more years, Joseph served in prison. Even then, the hand of God was still with him for had the cup bearer honoured Joseph’s request, Pharaoh would have released him from the prison but restore him as a slave.

God had something greater in store for Joseph.

It wasn’t until Pharaoh had a dream, that Joseph, the dream interpreter, was remembered and called upon. His accurate interpretation of the King’s dream not only granted him freedom but granted him power and influence as he was made to rule Egypt.

This is how the hand of God moves in our lives. It allows human efforts (the advice of a loved one, the memory of a colleague, the favour of a professional) to disappoint and fail us so that our trust could solely be placed in the providence and deliverance of God. 

And only, when we make the hand of God, our only hope, will He grant us freedom with a prize…freedom with a promotion….freedom with an elevated purpose.

Lord, you have trusted me enough to place me in this low place and period so that my character can be strengthened and I can serve at least one person here. Help me not to give in to bitterness, self pity and anger but to the working and leading of your Holy Spirit. Don’t stop working on me, even now.

Love, peace and joy,

Dee

(C) 2016, Dentrecia Blanchette

 

High Road

When others hurt the things we love, our first instinct is returning the hurt in double doses. When our integrity is attacked, our first instinct is to defend ourselves. When we are wrongly treated, our first instinct is to repay the evil for evil.

The Bible reminds us that avenging ourselves, though instinctive, isn’t our business; vengeance is God’s business.  God says in Deuteronomy 32:35, “To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.” Romans 12:17-18 plainly says, “Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.”

The bible calls us to take the high road. It’s hard to practice that “repay no evil for evil; turn the other cheek; forgive seventy times seven” Christian behavior…but it is not impossible….for we have help. “We have the same God that has worked for His people in ages past. Jesus stands by our side, and shall we falter?–No, as the trials come, the power of God will come with them. God will help us to stand in faith on His Word, and when we are united, He will work with special power in our behalf.” (Ellen G White, My Life Today, p. 99) God calls us to respond to attacks in a way the world may not understand. He admonishes us to respond to unfairness in a way that goes against the very fiber of our being. He calls us not to ignore the injustice or unfairness but not allow them to stress, define or control us.

Whenever you are tempted to repay evil for evil, in one way or the other, pause and take a minute to ask for divine wisdom to respond appropriately; leave the matter to God – let Him defend you. Protect your peace and meditate on “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable” (Philippians 4:8).

Remember:

1. It is better to be controlled by the Spirit of God than by our anger or bitterness. (Give God complete access to your emotions and burdens so that He can give you the peace and strength needed to be honorable at any cost.)

2. Maintaining your peace is worth more than cherishing bitterness (Bitterness is a burden. Anger is a poison. Running on the mill of revenge will only leave you frustrated, dissatisfied, empty, tired.)

3. Time wasted plotting revengeful acts can never be regained.

4. Showing mercy to others isn’t a sign of weakness but an act of worship to God who shows mercy to us when we least deserve it. Today, embrace the wisdom found in Deuteronomy 32:35. God will fix those who hurt and wronged you and ultimately lead them to redemption. He will probe the conscience of your unfair boss or abusive partner. He will stir conviction in the heart of the friend that betrayed you. He will humble the friend that planted seeds of lies about you.

God has your back so take the high road.

Peace, love and blessings,
Dee

Scripture of the Week
The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14: 14

(c) 2015, Dentrecia Blanchette