In order to be fruitful, people and plants require plentiful supplies of water. Sources of water to be found in Scripture include wells (Genesis 26:17-33), streams (John 7:37-39), and rivers (Revelation 22:1-2).
Wells require hard work in both the digging and the drawing of water. Jesus promised that those who believed in him would experience streams of living water flowing from within them. Such streams are generated by, and characterised by, the Holy Spirit. Earthly streams mostly begin as trickles, or multiple trickles which gather together and increase the flow. Rivers grow from many streams joining together into a flow that gathers strength and momentum. The River which flows from the throne of God and sustains the Tree of Life is the best water source of all. This river flows both in and through the people of God and is a dynamic source of life to those with whom it comes into contact.
Sources of water sustain life. People gather around flowing sources of life producing settlements and communities.
The word “flow” is key. I recently discovered that the Latin word “influentia,” which gives us our word “influence” actually means “flow”. Influence is something which flows into situations and causes change to take place almost imperceptibly.
Flow suggests effortlessness rather than change being brought about by power, coercion or control. Flow is being and doing, without striving. As we drink of the water of the Spirit, we become influential.
The media, particularly social media, is awash with influencers. Influencer has even become a job description, but God’s Influencers are people who lead by living in proximity to ordinary people who are looking for a source of wisdom, discernment, power, truth and other qualities that can begin a transformative work in their lives. Our Father calls us right where we are to be a people who influence our communities for good. It’s called bringing in the Kingdom of God!
It’s not about courses, and programmes and projects, useful as they may be. It’s about taking Jesus at his word and trusting that out of our very being will flow streams and rivers of living water to a world in crisis.
Don’t try to be an influencer; just be one.
*I recommend reading an excerpt from “A Creative Minority” by John Tyson and Heather Grizzle pp.50-54 which gives one example of how this can happen.