“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” – Romans 8:37 (NIV).
“Where does the time go?” It seems the older you get, the more you think this statement and hear it from others. As a child, time did not seem to move fast enough. As an adult, the days turn to weeks, and before you know it, ten years seem to have come and gone. Even on a smaller scale, I may be completely busy, but at the end of the week, I have no clue what I actually accomplished.
The Bible gives us warnings about using our time wisely. Ephesians 5:15 (NIV) says, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”
How do we use our time wisely as Christians? What plans should we make; how should we act and live our lives? What is the legacy we are passing on to our children? What will others say about you at your job if you were gone tomorrow? Are you impacting the culture around you, or are you being impacted by it?
Each of us has a sphere of influence. This sphere of influence as Christians revolves around three main areas: our family and friends, our job, and our church. Your specific sphere of influence is different from mine. You have a dynamic opportunity to impact certain people or industries that other people do not have. You have a God-given responsibility to positively impact your family regardless of the role you play in it.
Think about your job. If you dread going to work, you clock in and count the minutes until you get to leave; it does not have to be that way. Whether you are in the right job or not is a different topic. The Bible says we should do all things as unto the Lord (Col. 3:23). Whether you are one of hundreds or one of three, you have a role to play in how you interact with people around you and what your witness is for Jesus without possibly ever telling anyone that you are a Christian. God may be waiting to use you as a vessel for His will and purposes in your workplace if you let Him.
We like to compare our influence with other people. We may feel that we are not as valued if we do not have the scope of influence that other people have. Pastors may look at congregation size, social media users look at followers, parents look at the number of children—whatever the case, you cannot compare yourself with other people in an effort to minimize your impact. If you are a close friend with one person, you have an influence on that person!
The Bible says we are in a fight, not against flesh and blood but against spirits and powers of this dark world (Eph. 6:12). To ignore this is setting us up for failure. Someone who wants to be a conscientious objector in this battle will become a casualty of war. How can we be proactive and not reactive in this battle? How can we use the influence we have to fight this battle for Jesus?
What does it mean when I say “take ground in your battleground?” I am referring to you being an active participant in how God wants to move in daily life by listening to the Holy Spirit for promptings on how to act and speak. It’s important to be strategic on the goals you have for you and your family and move toward those goals with actionable steps. Some families have a “family mission statement” which outlines what their vision is for the family and goals they want to achieve.
Taking ground was a key component of trench warfare in World War I. Each side dug into the ground in order to hold their current area but also to put itself in a position to see what the enemy was doing and advance when the opportunity would arise. Taking ground was a meticulous process that required great patience. An army needed to defend its position and be aware of its enemy; not doing so would leave it vulnerable to attack.
Satan wants to take ground wherever he can before his time is up, especially in the family. Just look at the attacks on the structure of the family in the culture today. If he can take out the unity of the family, the dynamics of family cohesiveness, the leadership of parental units, and the influence of Christian families on the culture, that is a victory for the enemy. Do not let that happen in your family!
Do not discount the importance of prayer; it is our MAIN weapon in this fight! Come up with a plan that is unique to your situation and sphere of influence on how you will take ground for Jesus. This may include: praying over your building before you start work, reading the Bible on break, having family devotions once a week, volunteering at church, and being a part of the prayer for the ministries and pastors. Whatever the plan, it is important know what it is in advance, have it written out, and be in unison with your spouse (if applicable).
It’s been said that the best offense is a good defense. Do not wait for a life-changing event to come and take you out mentally, spiritually, and physically. Practice today in the small steps outlined here so that you will be ready on that day!
Take ground in your family for Jesus!
Take ground in your work for Jesus!
Take ground in your church for Jesus!
Don’t wait for someone else to do it…
Discerning Reflection: What are my areas of influence, and how can I take ground for Jesus in them? Do I have a strategic plan of how I want to defend my areas of influence?
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your Word and for giving us insight into how to fight our enemy. Thank You for being with us if we follow Your path. Help me seek You each day and have the strength to make the tough decisions You may call me to. Amen.
Featured Image By Stijin Swinnen
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on discerning-dad.com