This past weekend, I gathered with over four hundred women in Indianapolis with one intent—to lift high the name of Jesus and center our hearts on Him. These women, all four hundred of them, came with different passions, pursuits, and backgrounds. We had one thing in common, the desire to know Jesus and to live our lives purposefully for His glory. The conversations were flavored with encouragement, big dreams, and the wrestlings of our souls. We came just as we are, broken and bought by His blood, and left with a renewed boldness in our hearts. Something beautiful happens when women gather to lift high the name of Jesus. Chains are broken, walls are torn down brick by brick, and dreams are built back up again. The Influence Conference is more than a gathering of women, it is a reminder of our calling and commissioning to live as daughters of the King and ambassadors of Christ.
This is the second year I have attended Influence, and both years I left with a renewed sense of purpose. This year’s theme was called “Campfire Commissioning,” a reminder that we are all in this journey together to go and make disciples. We have been called by Christ and commissioned by Him to go and spread the good news in every way that we can. Whether you are single, married, engaged, working, retired, a momma, a teacher, or a student—you have been called and commissioned by Christ. The influence we have been given is not to make our name great, but to magnify His.
Lace Up Your Shoes
Leaving a conference is like descending a mountain. We have heard truth, been encouraged to preach the gospel to ourselves, been inspired by our sisters in Christ. Now we have to go and implement all that we have learned. If we don’t make changes, the information we have stored up in our lives will be tucked away in a drawer of our heart only to remain there for years to come. We have to lace up our shoes and go. One of my favorite sessions was led by Ruth Simons, the creator at Grace Laced. She shared about the importance of preaching the gospel to ourselves every single day. In the moments when our thoughts wage war against our souls and the truths we have hidden in our hearts, we have to preach Christ back to our hearts. Ruth gave four practical ways to fight against our flesh and live in light of the gospel using Psalm 42:
- Address your own heart
- Diagnose yourself
- Remember the character of God
- Tell your soul what to do
The moment I walked through the door to our house I was given an opportunity to lace up my shoes and put this into practice. I felt overwhelmed by our messy house, the dishes we left in the sink, and the projects I needed to complete this week. As my soul began to stir up worry and anxiety, the Lord brought these four principles Ruth shared back to mind. In that moment, I needed to address the anxiety weighing down my heart, diagnose my worry and why I was worrying, remember that God is going to give me the strength to do what He wants done, and tell myself what to do: not to worry, but to trust in Him. Already, I’ve been challenged by the Lord to walk in this truth and make it practical, even in the hardest of moments.
The Idol of Me
Jess Connolly shared about the strongholds and pretenses that take our hearts captive from 2 Corinthians 10:4-5. The strongholds are those things that challenge the truth we know in our hearts. The pretenses are the arguments and lofty thoughts that are spoken to us that trip us up. This is where Jess got me. I had never thought about myself being an idol. So often, I long for people to say good things about me. I worry more about my name than His name. She said the most dangerous pretense is “she really loves the Lord.” Wow. Have you ever said this about someone, or had this said about you? Jess pointed out that the subject is “she” and it should always be “He.”
I can be an idol. I never realized how easily it is to build an altar that places me or others above Christ. Our lives should leave others more in awe of Him than in awe of us or our love for Him. I long for the life I live as a wife, momma, daughter, sister, and business owner to stir up a desire in others to know Christ more. In order to do that, I have to tear down the idol of “me.” Not only do we need to tear down the strongholds that take our hearts captive, but we also need to tear down the pretenses that we use to build ourselves up. Christ should be the wall that surrounds my life, the truth that builds up my soul, the goal that defines our days. Not I, But He.
Hold The Door
As I’ve been thinking through these two lessons that had a profound impact on my life this past weekend, the Lord led me to Psalm 84:10—
“For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.”
It is encouraging to know that we do have influence and that we can make an impact, but all of this must be prefaced by the fact that we are small. In order for us to be leaders, we must be faithful followers of Christ. The Lord doesn’t need us to dream, to work, or to write, share, speak, draw, and share. He doesn’t need us, but He chooses to invite us to be a part of His story. We, as women of influence and daughters of the King, are to be the most joyful “doorkeepers” of the gospel.
We are the welcomers, the greeters, the ushers. We are not the main character of this story.
That is what it means to live a life of influence. It means to hold the door for others to peer into the glorious gospel that has taken our lives captive and changed them forever. We must remember how small we are and how great He is. That makes all the difference, friends. He has assigned us to hold a door and point others to Jesus Christ. May we use the influence He has entrusted us with to shine a light for Jesus, humbly and joyfully hold the door for others, and share truth in all we say and do.
If you would like to learn more about the Influence Network, click here!
lacing up my shoes and holding the door with you,