Live to Influence, Not be Influenced

Maybe you’ heard about the preacher who was visiting various classes during the Sunday School Hour to see how they were doing. One Sunday he visited the class of 6th grade boys. They were talking about things in the O.T. He listened for a while and then asked, “Who kn … More

Influence

In this passage Jeremiah accuses God of not helping him when he really needed it (vv. 15-18). Keep in mind God had promised ultimately to deliver and vindicate Jeremiah (v. 11); but he wanted God to avenge him of his persecutors. Though God was long-suffering, Jeremiah hoped for swift justice; he wanted to be vindicated before God would take him away in death. He had taken his eyes off God’s purpose and was feeling sorry for himself. He was angry, hurt, and afraid. In response, God didn’t get angry at Jeremiah, he answered by rearranging Jeremiah’s priorities. As God’s mouthpiece, he was to influence the people and not let them influence Him.

God rebuked Jeremiah for his doubt and self-pity (v. 19-21). To be His spokesman he needed to speak worthy and not worthless words. he was to remain steadfast before God. In no case was he to turn to them for guidance but they to him.  Because of his attitude toward God Jeremiah was about to quit. It was not unusual, throughout scripture, for chosen servants of God to become discouraged and be ready to throw in the towel. Moses became discouraged and wanted to die (Num. 11:10-15); Joshua was ready to quit and leave the promised land (Josh. 7:6-11); Elijah even abandoned his place of duty and hoped to die (I King 19); and Jonah became so angry he refused to help the very people he came to save (Jonah 4). Jeremiah had to learn to walk by faith, which meant obeying God’s word no matter how he felt, what he saw, or what others might do to him.

Application

I must never allow others to influence me to the point I am discouraged and want to quit. Instead I must be His mouthpiece in order to influence others and bring many to the Lord.

Jeremiah 15:15-21 (English Standard Version)

O LORD, you know; remember me and visit me, and take vengeance for me on my persecutors. In your forbearance take me not away; know that for your sake I bear reproach. Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts. I did not sit in the company of revelers, nor did I rejoice; I sat alone, because your hand was upon me, for you had filled me with indignation. Why is my pain unceasing, my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Will you be to me like a deceitful brook, like waters that fail? Therefore thus says the LORD: "If you return, I will restore you, and you shall stand before me. If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall be as my mouth. They shall turn to you, but you shall not turn to them. And I will make you to this people a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you, but they shall not prevail over you, for I am with you to save you and deliver you, declares the LORD. I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked, and redeem you from the grasp of the ruthless."

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