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I want to live my life totally under the influence of the Holy Spirit.

I want to live my life around people who are crazy in love with Jesus.

I want to live my life around leaders who have experienced the extravagant grace of God's forgiveness and want to see every human being experiencing life and love under His influence.

We are to live our lives under the influence of Christ's extravagant love from the cross.

We are to live our lives under the influence of the extravagant generosity of Christ's resurrection.

We are to live our lives under the influence of the extravagant power of the Holy Spirit.

When I think of "under the influence" my mind always thinks of the term "DUI".

Merriam Webster's Dictionary defines "DUI" as "the act or crime of driving while affected by alcohol or drugs."

Tragically, there are so many lives lost, maimed and broken from people living and dying under the influence of worldly things that rob, kill and destroy.

But we don't have to live under the influence of such evil things!

Jesus came as a way to give us another choice as to what we allow to be an influence in our lives. He proclaimed, "I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly" (see John 10:10).

God doesn't want us to live our lives lost, maimed and broken.

He wants us to live our lives free, whole and victorious!

We don't have to be influenced by evil; instead, we can choose to be influenced by the love of God.

Jesus was totally surrendered to the will of the Father. He was living life under the influence of the power of the Holy Spirit. But just as anyone has been tempted to be under the influence of a power not from God, Jesus was given the same opportunities.

In the Word of the living God, we see where Jesus was tempted by Satan to live His life under the wrong influences in three different ways:

  1. The strain of intimidation—the drain of self-doubt
  2. The stain of materialism—the drain of its worship
  3. The strain of religion—the drain of its ambition

After Jesus had overcome the first major temptation of Satan of intimidation, He was then taken to a high mountain and shown all the kingdoms of this world in a moment of time.

The first temptation deals with the lust of the flesh.

The second temptation deals with the lust of the eye.

If you can control the lusts of the flesh and you'll be heading for high places.

Temptations in these areas pull you to live under the influence of the world instead of living under the influence of God.

Temptation is the strain that wants to drain us of God's ability to overcome sin and know His renewal for our lives in difficult situations.

Sin has been defined as "a willful transgression against a known law." Sin is a life that is self-centered not God centered.

William Temple, in his commentary of John's Gospel, states, "For there is only one sin and it is the characteristic of the whole world. It is the self-willed, which prefers 'my way' to God's and which puts me in the center of where only God should be placed."

The second temptation Jesus faced, and we all face today, is the strain of materialism.

Materialism deals with what we focus our worship on.

You can worship with your money.

You can worship with your time.

You can worship with your attention.

You can worship with your praise.

All of these areas in our life show what we are under the influence of.

For example, would you rather buy a new phone or sow your monthly tithes?

It is not a sin to have a nice phone, but you have to have your priorities in order.

It can be tempting to put the world's ways above God's, but we must let God be our influence.

Where you go depends on what you worship and what you let influence you.

To go to high places requires worship.

To go high places with God you must establish a lifetime pattern for worship of Him and living under His influence.

What are you letting influence you today?

Are you being trapped in the temptations of intimidation or materialism?

Or are you being influence by the powerful love of God's eternal grace and forgiveness?

Live your life totally under the influence of the Holy Spirit.

Live your life around people who are crazy in love with Jesus.

Live your life around leaders who have experienced the extravagant gift of God's forgiveness and want to see every human being experiencing life and love under His influence.

Mikel French has challenged spiritual awakening all across America, where many celebrations extended into multiple weeks, and has conducted celebrations in France, Sweden, Russia, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Germany, South Africa, Malawi, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Haiti, Japan, Singapore, India and Thailand. He conducted an outreach celebration in Manila, Philippines, reaching 200,000 teenagers with the book of hope. Through the generous support of partners, he has presented the message of Jesus Christ to millions of people in the nation of Russia through televised citywide soul-winning celebrations. Mikel considers it an honor to assist in conducting the annual pastor's conference, where thousands of pastors from Russia's 11 time zones come for training, teaching and equipping. Mikel and his wife, Marsha, reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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