Job 29 says...
21“Men listened to me and waited
and kept silence for my counsel.
22 After I spoke they did not speak again,
and my word dropped upon them.
23 They waited for me as for the rain,
and they opened their mouths as for the spring rain.
24 I smiled on them when they had no confidence,
and the light of my face they did not cast down."
Wow. Talk about influence! Admittedly, as a pastor I would love this kind of attention and interest from the people who listen to me speak. It makes me wonder (and maybe you as well)...what was it that gave Job such influence? Perhaps the verses written just before these give indication....
11 When the ear heard, it called me blessed,
and when the eye saw, it approved,
12 because I delivered the poor who cried for help,
and the fatherless who had none to help him. 15 I was eyes to the blind
and feet to the lame.
16 I was a father to the needy,
and I searched out the cause of him whom I did not know.
17 I broke the fangs of the unrighteous
and made him drop his prey from his teeth.
Quite simply...Job was a man of action - not a man of words. If we want to be under the influence...if we want people to listen, maybe we should be someone worth listening to. How often do we believe in standing for justice and "right" things, yet our lives are consumed with selfishness. If you want your life to be influential - perhaps we should both start creating stories with the action we take rather than continually trying to be more effective in the way we speak. I think we'd all rather watch a sermon than listen to one anyday of the week - but how about BEING a sermon yourself...that's my desire.
Lord, I want to be a man of action, not just a man of words. Convict my heart -help me to see people and this world the way you see it. May people not know me for my words, but for my willingness to go out of my way to touch those in need.