Influence is everywhere
Influence is everywhere we go. Seeking favor with fickle man is a futile endeavor. But favor in God’s eyes is greater than man’s prize. Don’t let others influence you against others. Today we see the effects of influence, conspiracy, and manipulation. Absalom was angry that he was not allowed to be in the presence of his dad following the murder he committed against his brother Amnon, who raped his sister Tamar. And so Absalom revolted. He sought to steal the hearts of the people away from his father. He did it with flattery, manipulation – seeking to raise a conspiracy against David by influencing people.
Oh goodness. When people try to influence others because of striving for a position that you have, it is not fun! Influence is often unseen and honestly, we are under the influence daily by the spirit of the air, namely, satan.
Influence from the enemy of our souls
- Ephesians 2:1-2 (ESV), “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience.”
- Ephesians 6:12 (ESV), “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
- 2 Corinthians 4:4 (ESV), “In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
When we are deceived by the influence of people with an agenda, it makes a mess. This is what Absalom created. Another thing about people’s hearts being in favor of you is that they can shift to being against you in a moment with conspiracy and negative influence.
Influence from man
We tend to put one another in a box and try to label them beyond repair. When someone makes a mistake, people shun and say they are done with us, but God does not work like that. David experienced betrayal not just by his son, but by his counselor, Ahithophel. David speaks bout this betrayal in Psalm 55 and Psalm 41, where we see some of the emotions David was feeling:
Psalm 55:12-14 (NIV), “If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were rising against me, I could hide. 13 But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, 14 with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship at the house of God as we walked about among the worshipers.
Psalm 41:9 (NIV), “Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me.”
The Fruit of Influence
Ah, the drama of people influencing others and siding with one another. It is a form of shame where people minimize others. What a different world this would be if people stopped using passive-aggressive or aggressive tactics and went directly to people instead of behind their backs. If Absalom had gone to David sincerely.
Scripture of the day: 2 Samuel 15:25-26 “Then the king instructed Zadok to take the Ark of God back into the city. “If the Lord sees fit,” David said, “he will bring me back to see the Ark and the Tabernacle again. But if he is through with me, then let him do what seems best to him.”
Influence from God
David was surrendered to God’s will.
It can be tempting to complain and be discouraged when we are under attack, but when we know that God is in control, we can ask Him to deal with the conspirators and manipulators in our midst. David asked God to turn Ahithophel’s counsel into foolishness in 2 Samuel 15:31. He left it in God’s hands. David’s son was looking for favor from men, but David was humbled and sought favor from God.
Favor in God’s eyes is greater than man’s prize.
Sure, people can have temporary popularity, but worshiping at that altar of man’s acceptance will leave you disillusioned. Man is fickle. In chapters 16-17 there is espionage and trickery, and David’s counsel Hushai confounds the counsel of Ahithophel. Absalom was defeated and killed – his hair got caught in a tree, and then he was killed.
When God is on your side, he will fight for you.
No sooner, though, had David overcome Absalom than a Benjaminite named Sheba revolted against David David’s responses to the attacks was humility. He surrendered to God. He was kind to those who attacked him and sad when his son Absalom died. He submitted himself to God’s judgment. What a lesson for us when people come against us.
- Favor in God’s eyes is greater than man’s prize.
- Don’t let others influence you against others.
- Go directly to someone if YOU have an offense with them.
- Better yet, overlook their offense and pray for them. Let it go.
- Don’t just take someone else’s word for it – they might be trying to influence you.
Influence is all around us. People strive for favor with fickle man. But favor in God’s eyes is greater than man’s prize. Don’t let others influence you against others. May we be influencers for righteousness, not sin.
7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan
Day #142: 2 Samuel 15-20
Scripture of the Day: 2 Samuel 15:25-26
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