Erika Wulser - Biddeston II, Queensland, Australia - 2017

I enjoyed that hymn we sang and we sang, "I Would Be True Because He Trusts Me," because others trust me. God has trusted us so much here and we really want to be true and faithful. What God has trusted us with will have an influence on our lives and will go out from our lives. I have been thinking of this word “influence.” We know there are many influences in this world and it is good if we have in Christ and through Christ a backbone in our life and the wind would not blow us in any direction and we can stand firm and faithful in our place so God can trust us. I thought of those that were in the Bible that were faithful in their place and even though they were small and not people with great names and they were faithful in their influence and it has such an impact on other people.

First of all I read about Paul in II Thessalonians 3:9, “Not because we have not power but to make ourselves an example unto you to follow us.” I thought it was quite a big thing for Paul to say for them to follow us. Is it safe for others to follow us, is our lives safe for others to follow us? Paul was following Christ and even if you do follow Christ in His footsteps, would it also be safe for others to follow? Is our influence a safe influence for others around us? Everyone has an influence either to the good or to the bad. I was in a home and there was a door and it squeaked and it got on my nerves and one drop of oil would make such a lot of different and it may not be much and one little drop of oil can make all the difference. An influence can change the whole situation. One of our friends often taught her children if there was a fire going on, you have two options:  you either put a little bit of wood on the fire or you throw a bucket of water on it. That is the influence. When gossiping is going on, what do we do? Do I carry it on and increase it or do I get a bucket of water and throw on it?

In the Old Testament, Moses had 12 spies and he told them to look at the promise land. They went and they looked and they saw. They all saw the very same thing and they all bought back the fruit of the land. They saw the people and they saw the city and they saw the walls and they saw all the very same things. 10 of them bought back a report and it was not a true report and there were strong cities there and there were giants there, but they forgot there was a God that could help them and they thought they were not able to overcome them. The other two said, "Yes, there are giants," and they said, "We can overcome." Those 10 men with their report and they got all of the children of Israel in such an uproar and that was the influence of just 10 men. The children of Israel had to be 40 years in the wilderness and they were spying out the land for 40 days and for every day, there was a year in the wilderness. It is a very serious thought to me what influence do we leave or give to others and it could be very serious. We know all the men over 20 years old and they all died in the wilderness and a very serious influence those men had and they bought back a report that was not 100% true and they forgot  to put God in the picture.

There was this little maid, a young girl, and she was taken by the Syrians and she was serving in the household of a foreign man and actually her enemy. It would not have been easy as she was taken from the homeland, taken from her language and from the customs and from the family and everything was new. She was serving and her master was a leper and she could have thought, "That serves him right. He has taken me captive and destroyed some of my country and I am here a servant," but her influence was wonderful. She told him, "If you go and see a prophet, he will heal you." This little girl was not something great and her influence made this big officer move and moved so far that the king wrote a letter to another king. It was a big move for the young girl who knew of the prophet. How wonderful it would be if in our place where ever we are, people could see that influence and we could point them to the prophet or point them to Jesus.

There was another time David was in big distress and Saul wanted to kill him and the time came when David and Jonathan had an agreement and David did not know whether to flee or whether to stay. There was an agreement that Jonathan would come out into the field with a little lad and he would shoot a little arrow and David knew if he would be able to stay or flee. This young lad did as Jonathan told and he shot the arrow and David understood the message. This young lad had no idea what was going on, he just obeyed and he went and did and came back. Many times, God’s children do not know and if they have a positive influence and may have helped someone that was at a crossroad and did not know how to choose, left or right which way do I take to be safe. Because of this young lad, it was just simple obedience and being faithful in his place, he was a positive influence and a great help to David to do the right thing and make the right decision. We can be a great influence by just being faithful in our place and we do not know who looks upon our life and we may never know.

There was Queen Esther and there was a man who wanted to destroy all the people and she was chosen to be there in the palace. She said, "The king has not called me for 30 days and if I go without being called and hold out the golden sceptre, it would mean death." She said, "I will go and if I perish, I perish." Her willingness to die to herself and her willingness to dare to take a step of obedience and it meant that all the people got saved. Her influence in being willing to die, die to self, she saved many people.

Above everyone else, I thought of Jesus and there is never been a man on the whole earth, and there were a lot of very good men and kings and there has never ever been a Man like Jesus that has had so much influence and still has. If we are in Jesus' influence, it will help us in the right direction. If we can follow Him, He was never a danger to anyone. His choices, His steps, and words was always in the will of the Father. He was always safe to be with and He never said or did anything that would have led anyone astray and His influence is still here today. I cannot express how it spoke to me that God would help us to be careful that we could be faithful in our place and that our influence would be good for others.

Saul was in the battle against the Philistines and he said, "No one should eat anything until the day is over." Israel was battling against the enemy and they were very tired and Jonathan never heard that and he took the little bit of the honey that was in the forest and his eyes lit up and he got strength, but there was a curse on that because of the Word of Saul and all the soldiers were faint.

One word can have such a great influence and one word said. We can never take back one word said in the wrong spirit, one word said with the wrong desire can have such a great influence and a great impact not only on us but also on others. I have one longing that God would help us that we would just be true and that we can follow with Jesus footsteps that it would be safe for others around us that our influence could guide others in the right direction to God and to Christ. We would not feel sorry that we have been an influence that would have lead people astray and into a lost eternity and may it be so.