Most people desire to attain certain goals in life, but I seldom meet Christians who earnestly seek to demonstrate the results Jesus promised His followers. For instance, Jesus promised that His followers would do the things He did, but how much does it bother us if this isn’t our lived experience? Do we simply dismiss this as a promise to others? Recently, I wrote a blog on how to achieve results in the Christian life. But I must confess that I’d hardly thought about the importance of results before then. Nevertheless, since Jesus affirmed results as part of His testimony [John 10:38], I can no longer explain away the lack of results in any area of my life.
While prophesying about His death, Jesus said that when He’s lifted high, He will draw all men to Himself [John 12:32]. This principle remains true today. When we exalt Jesus in our lives, we’ll draw others to Him. This happens naturally as we live our lives in submission to His lordship. Our salvation is assured when we believe in Jesus as our personal Lord and Saviour [Acts 16:31]. But, the impact of our salvation is limited until we allow the transforming power of God to work through us to influence the people around us. I believe that how much godly influence we demonstrate is dependent on the extent to which we surrender our lives to God. If this is true, how much do you desire to demonstrate godly influence?
In our world, influence is usually possessed by those who have wealth, power or fame. While there are people who don’t desire to be influential, few people choose to live mediocre lives in poverty and leave no legacy. As such, most people aspire to achieve certain goals in life. Unfortunately, many Christians leave God behind in the pursuit of these goals. We forget that He’s the one who enables us to achieve them in the first place [Deuteronomy 8:18]. We also forget that the results we’ll achieve with God at the centre of our pursuits will always be superior to whatever we achieve on our own. The truth is that if Christians could demonstrate that every good thing unbelievers seek can be found abundantly in God, they would want to know our God, and our influence would grow within our communities. That said, how many of us seek to achieve influence this way?
I heard a preacher define authentic influence as the ability to compel others to buy into our convictions without coercion. You don’t need to be in a position of authority to wield such influence. We see this beautifully demonstrated by Jesus. He wasn’t wealthy, and He didn’t wield religious or political power, yet people couldn’t ignore Him because His testimony was accompanied by compelling results. Consequently, He drew people without coercion. He’s our example, and He’s given every Christian the ability to obtain and sustain His results, and wield the same influence He did. It’s our mandate to bring others to the knowledge of God just as He did [Matthew 28:18-20]. However, I believe that our testimony will be more effective if like Jesus we can also demonstrate compelling results.
Results are important in our Christian walk because they’re inarguable, and they add credibility to our testimony. This was the experience of Peter and John when they healed the lame beggar at the temple [Acts 3:1-10, Acts 4:14]. Therefore, we ought to be exhibit A for anything we profess to be true. I really shouldn’t claim to believe anything about God if others can’t see the associated results of my conviction. Otherwise, my testimony rings hollow to others. Sadly, this is all too often the case. Subsequently, many Christians talk the talk but often fail to walk the talk. What would our relationships, pursuit of justice, finances, handling of adversity, prayer life and so on look like if they showcased the results God promised?
Having highlighted the value of results, I must also provide some caution. Lusting after God’s power to produce results for selfish reasons will end badly [Acts 8:9-24]. Remember that Jesus warned that some Christians who prophesy, exorcise demons and perform miracles in His name will not enter His kingdom [Matthew 7:21-23]. Therefore, He cautioned us to watch out for false teachers whom we’ll recognise by their fruits [Matthew 7:15-20]. Our desire for results and influence must be to serve the Father’s will [John 6:38]. We must seek to exalt His name, do His will and usher in His kingdom around us. This is our purpose as God’s children, but how many of us pray fervently to experience this?
In truth, it’s challenging to follow God’s principles in every area of life. This is because obtaining and sustaining the compelling results that God promises requires sacrifice. We must die to ourselves [Matthew 16:24-26]. Furthermore, we’re completely reliant on the power of God to achieve what we’re incapable of achieving on our own [Zechariah 4:6]. Therefore, we have to wait on God. Yet, many of us are often surrounded by people who don’t share our convictions. Additionally, some of us lack the confidence to persist with our convictions when we’re under pressure, or when the results aren’t forthcoming. No Christian is immune to these things. Therefore, we’re urged to encourage each other daily [Hebrews 3:13].
Lastly, the devil is a master at offering us alternative paths to the results we seek. These paths often seem easier, but as it’s always the case with him, there’s a tragic price to pay [Matthew 7:13]. In God’s system, our intimacy with Him increases as our results and influence increase [3 John 1:2]. With every other alternative, we’ll have to compromise our intimacy with God, or even sell our souls for results and influence. So, are you willing to be a conduit for others to experience God?