“You ever think,” Stan asked one morning, “how much your life can impact other people?”
“I don’t know about that,” I replied. “I don’t think there’s a whole lot about me that could impact anyone.”
“Don’t sell yourself short,” Stan responded. “Seems to me that every person has the capacity to impact other people. Some impact may be good, some bad, and a lot of it is somewhere in between.”
I didn’t respond, so he continued. “This whole subject of impacting others is, I think, especially important for Christians to keep in mind.”
“How so?” I asked.
“Each of us who have accepted God’s free and gracious gift of salvation and redemption has the Holy Spirit residing in us. He is not some sort of mystical being that rides around with us. No, He’s a part, an equal part, of the Trinity. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And He’s in us to be manifested.”
“Manifested so He will have an impact on others?” I replied.
“Exactly,” Stan said. “If I live my life as a disciple, the Holy Spirit will be manifested to have an impact on others. If I don’t, He won’t. There will be something manifested, but not Him.”
“As simple as that?” I asked.
“Yes,” Stan replied. “As simple as that. However, just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s easy!”
“Is anything about Christianity easy?”
“Absolutely!” Stan replied. “Salvation is easy because God did all of the heavy lifting. All I had to do was accept what He offered. Then came the hard part, the part about having that salvation manifested in and through me. That, I think, is the role of the Holy Spirit.”
“Why would He want to do that?” I asked.
Rather than answering, Stan said, “What do you think?”
“Well,” I replied, “I guess it could be so others will see Him, be impacted by what they see, and want Him to be part of their lives.”
“It’s not just a guess, my friend,” Stan said. “What we manifest does impact others. Our role is to be available to impact them for God’s kingdom, not for any other kingdom.”
“What other kingdom is there?” I asked.
“If I manifest the world, the flesh, and/or the devil,” he responded, “whose kingdom is that?”
Bible verses to consider:
So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:12-13.
But he who practices the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought from God. John 3:21.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your free and gracious provision of life in your eternal presence when my time here is completed. Thank you for those who told me the truth and manifested it in their lives so I wanted the same thing. I confess that too often I do not manifest you to others, but I manifest the opposite because I choose to do so. Please forgive that foolish approach to living and manifesting the life you have given me. And please help me in following every step of your lead so I manifest you and your presence wherever, however, and whenever you choose (which is always). Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you accepted God’s free and gracious gift of life in His eternal presence when your time here is completed? If no, why? What’s holding you back? Stan talked about salvation being easy because God did all of the heavy lifting. What does that mean to you? If you are assured of your salvation and redemption, how are you doing in what you manifest to those people God brings into your presence? If you sense the need for changes in what you manifest, how are those changes going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?