Influence From The Insignificant
Posted on November 24, 2013
by Bob Miller
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“O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!”
– Psalm 39:4
Considerable resources have been spent on answering the questions, “who am I?” And “why am I here?”. David ponders the same perplexing issues. In his inquiries with God, he identifies his promising impact, his potential influence and his practical insignicance.
Our Result. David writes, “Oh Lord, make me to know my end”. He was living with his end-of-life impact in mind. Although David had no idea how his life would end up, he knew Who did. Jesus reminds us that He is “The Alpha and Omega, The Beginning and The End”. (Rev 22:13) David’s desired destiny had been determined in the Divine. He writes, “And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You.” (Psalm 39:7). In all our trying, God want us simply to trust. We have a promising impact.
Our Reason. The shepherd King writes, “and what is the measure of my days“. Because of Christ, we are assured our impact will be eternal, but will our influence be effective. Jesus reminds us to let our “light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matt 5:16) Paul instructs Timothy, “and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (2 Tim 2:2). Our lives are measured by the shining of our good works and the sharing of His grace. To paraphrase a friend, “Each day I do one thing that will outlast my life.” We have a positive influence.
Our Recognition. The psalmist writes, “let me know how fleeting i am!” I struggle with the supposition of my own significance. John calls it “the pride of life” and “it passes away”. (1 John 2:16-17). It’s being preoppupied with our own position. James reminds us, “yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” (James 4:14) There’s not a great deal of gravity with mist . . . not too weighty. Paul often referred to himself as a “servant” (Rom 1:1) or a bond slave. His self description included “the least of the apostles“. (1 Cor 15:9) Paul reminds the Christ-followers in Philippi that Jesus “took on the form of a servant”. (Phil 2:7). I have been considering the significance of a servant . . . a servant doesn’t practice a priority of prominence . . . he just serves. We have a practical insignificance.
Our promised impact is our result. Our positive influence is our reason. Our practical insignificance is our ergo genitive. That’s who we are . . . that’s why we are here.