URGENT: Encouragement and Prayer in a Time of Pandemic...See All of Our Coronavirus Resources Here

7 Differences Your Life Can Make That Will Outlive You

7 Differences Your Life Can Make That Will Outlive You

I believe every person on this earth wants to impact the world in a significant way. We want people to know we were here and made differences that outlived us.

As I thought about examples of these contributions, I thought about contemporary entertainers, politicians, social activists, and educators. However, I also thought about the "cloud of witnesses" in Hebrews 12:1. Their faith led to unbelievable feats, which are still discussed thousands of years later.

Let’s learn from these seven men and women from the Bible how we can make a difference with our own lives that will outlive us.

Photo Credit: © Getty Images/Ridofranz

  • 1. Noah: Follow God's Instructions

    1. Noah: Follow God's Instructions

    Imagine hearing from God, stepping out in faith, and saving humanity. That's what Noah did with his life. God gave him instructions to build an ark, and Noah followed His instructions. Noah's obedience saved his wife, three sons, and their wives from destruction. God then used eight people to repopulate the entire earth.

    There will be occurrences in our lives when God demands we obey His instructions. We may not understand nor agree with those instructions, and people may think we're crazy because they don't understand them either. However, we must obey God's voice. Obedience to God's voice will lead to blessings we may never see.

    If you want to make a difference with your life that will outlive you, live a life of obedience to the Lord. You won’t regret it.

    Image Credit: © Getty Images

  • 2. Joseph: Depend on God's Favor

    2. Joseph: Depend on God's Favor

    “But the Lord was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.” (Genesis 39:21)

    Most people have heard or read Joseph’s story in Genesis. He was Jacob’s 11th son and favored by his father. Joseph's older brothers were jealous of him and sold him into slavery in Egypt. Joseph found grace in Potiphar's house and was made overseer. Eventually, Potiphar's wife lied about Joseph, and Potiphar threw him in prison where God "shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison” (Genesis 39:21).

    Although Joseph faced trial after trial, he continued to find favor with God. God’s favor promoted Joseph to second in command over Egypt. Joseph’s promotion allowed him to save his brothers’ lives as well as their families’ (see Genesis 50:20-21).

    You can make a difference when you walk in God’s favor. Doing so positions you to be used by God to "save much people alive," (Genesis 50:20). If you want to make a difference with your life, walk in integrity and favor despite the trials you face.

    Photo Credit: © Getty Image

  • 3. Moses: Live outside Your Comfort Zone

    3. Moses: Live outside Your Comfort Zone

    "And it came to pass the selfsame day, that the Lord did bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their armies." (Exodus 12:51)

    Moses was perfectly content, living in his comfort zone. He was a married father tending his father-in-law’s flock when the Lord appeared to him in a burning bush and turned his life upside down. Although Moses was busy working, there was a greater work God had in store for him. This greater work would require Moses to leave his comfort zone, return to Egypt, and demand that Pharaoh let God's people go.

    The life Moses was living before the burning bush probably wouldn't have made much difference to anyone. His pre-burning bush life wouldn't have made a difference that would outlive him. However, delivering God’s people from Egypt was the difference that outlives Moses, even to this day.

    We must move outside our comfort zones, too, if we desire to make a difference that will outlive us. Greatness and blessings are on the other side of fear and our comfort zones. What burdens do you see your brothers and sisters in Christ carrying? What lies and struggles weigh them down from living fully in Christ’s freedom? Sometimes they just need to hear a word of truth spoken to them. Make a difference by letting the Lord use you to heal and deliver His people from the yoke of bondage.

    Photo Credit: © Pexels/Tom Swinnen

  • 4. Hannah: Believe in the Power of Prayer

    4. Hannah: Believe in the Power of Prayer

    “She, greatly distressed, prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly.” (1 Samuel 1:10).

    Hannah is an excellent example of how “effectual fervent prayer” (James 5:16) can accomplish a lot. Hannah was praying so fervently that Eli incorrectly thought she was drunk. Hannah confessed to Eli that she was a "woman of a sorrowful spirit," (see 1 Samuel 1:15). Hannah so moved Eli that he told her God would grant her petition, and God did. God blessed Hannah with the child she so desperately wanted. That child, Samuel, grew up, and God used him mightily.

    The Lord convicted me recently because I stopped praying about a particular situation. I stopped praying because it seemed, the more I prayed, the more the opposite of my prayer occurred. I became frustrated and believed my prayer wasn't making a difference.

    We mustn't ever stop praying. We must pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Our prayers matter, and our prayers can change things. If you want to make a difference with your life that will outlive you, keep praying. Pray for your spouse, children, parents, siblings, communities, elected officials, the world. Keep praying, and don't stop. Your prayers will make a difference that will outlive you.

    Photo Credit: © Getty Images

  • 5. David vs. Goliath: Step into the Power of Faith

    5. David vs. Goliath: Step into the Power of Faith

    “Then David said to the Philistine, 'You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted.'" (1 Samuel 17:45)

    Faith is powerful. David volunteered, by faith, to fight Goliath when he witnessed the Philistine speaking against God. Many other men saw the same thing, but none of them volunteered to fight Goliath. David did so with boldness and confidence, not in himself, but the Lord.

    Are you a David, full of faith? Or are you more tempted to remain among the crowd, like King Saul’s army, and Saul himself, who are paying more attention to the threats of the enemy than to the strength and glory of God.

    People who remain stuck in fear and doubt will rarely make a difference with their lives. But the story changes when you choose to step into the ring, choosing to be bold, brave, and leaning on faith—those actions change the course of history, even if in very small ways.

    Think of someone who inspired you with their faith-fueled boldness and courage. How does their faith encourage you? Then think about who might be needing to be inspired by your steps of faithfulness? Nothing done in faith will be done in vain. Ask God where He’s calling you to trust him, and you’ll find where you’re called to make a difference.

    Photo Credit: © Unsplash/Benjamin Davies

  • 6. Mary: Submit to God's Will

    6. Mary: Submit to God's Will

    “And Mary said, ‘Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.’ And the angel departed from her.” (Luke 1:38)

    Imagine being a young, unmarried woman who becomes pregnant during biblical times. Imagine what people would say and think, what your fiancé would say and think. People judged and gossiped about others then as they do now. Yet, when given the news, Mary replied, “...may it be done to me according to your word.” Mary was more concerned about obeying God and letting His will be done in her life than she was about what people would say or think.

    Being overly concerned about the opinions of others has stopped many people from obeying God’s voice. However, those of us who want to make a difference with our lives consider whether we are willing to be bondslaves for the Lord. A bondslave submits her will to God’s will. A bondslave’s only intention is God's will.

    We can make a difference with our lives when we voluntarily submit our wills to God’s will, letting Him use us as He desires.

    Photo Credit: © Getty Images/Ijeab

  • 7. Paul: Be Yourself

    7. Paul: Be Yourself

    “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.” (1 Corinthians 15:10)

    The same Paul who earlier persecuted the church had a life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ (see Acts 9). After that encounter on the road to Damascus, Paul became a different person and lived a life devoted solely to Jesus Christ. Although Paul remembered what he did to the church, he didn't try to change who he was. Paul didn't live in the past. He didn't spend all his time trying to convince people he was a changed man. He lived a life that proved he was. Acknowledging his past, Paul said, "...by the grace of God I am what I am."

    And we can do the same thing. We don’t have to try to prove to people that we’ve changed. We don’t have to try to convince people of our calling or gifting. We need to let our light shine so people will see it and glorify God.

    If you want to make a difference that will outlive you, stop trying to blend in, stop trying to emulate others. Stand boldly and declare with Paul, “...I am what I am,” and then go do the things God called and ordained you to do.

    Noah, Joseph, Moses, Hannah, David, Mary, and Paul are just some of the people in the Bible who walked by faith and made a difference with their lives. The Bible records their stories, and to this day, people all over the world find comfort, encouragement, and strength because of the differences they made with their lives.

    We too can make a difference with our lives that will outlive us when we:

    1. Follow God’s Instructions

    2. Live A Life of Favor

    3. Live Outside Our Comfort Zones

    4. Trust the Power of Prayer

    5. Walk by Faith

    6. Submit to God’s Will

    7. Be Ourselves

    Aretha Grant serves her local church as a bible teacher and elder. She loves writing and is the author of Overcomer: 25 Keys to Walking VictoriouslyAretha resides in Hagerstown, MD with her husband and two youngest children. You can read Aretha’s blog at www.arethagrant.com.

    Photo Credit: © Unsplash