Influence: the power to change or affect someone or something: the power to cause changes without directly forcing them to happen.
We are called to be people of influence. What influences us will be what we get excited about, what we talk about and what we believe to be true, it’s what we love as well as how we are loved. We influence others by what influences us. Influence will never force something upon another.
Control is deceptive because it can disguise itself as influence. Religion will force people to conform, love will never force people to conform. True love will transform. The Father will never force us to pray, give, read the bible, serve or spend time in His presence. His love is always invitational. Slaves are controlled, sons and daughters are free. Slaves are motivated by fear, sons/daughters by love. The fruit of influence is freedom. When we are loved well, we love well. We will never love like Him until we have been loved by Him. John 8:35 “And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever”.
Many in the church today live with an orphan heart or a slave mentality. Many live in fear, controlled by feelings, lies, hurt or deception. Religion creates slaves and cause us to approach God as a slave, serving for Him instead of serving with Him. Orphans have a difficult time living in a family. Orphans live in orphanages. Many churches are run like orphanages or institutions. Many with an orphan mindset can remain comfortable in an orphan run church. A church that lives like a family will be a difficult place to live in if you keep an orphan mindset. An orphanage is an institution, the body of Christ is a family.
The Father is transforming His church into a family and not an orphanage. He wants sons and daughters, fathers and mothers not slaves and orphans. He wants a family!! He wants the church to influence others and not to control others. How you view your identity will determine your influence, as well as where you choose to worship and grow.