“. . . your God, will be my God.” Ruth 1:16
Believing in God is a struggle for many. Often because their image of God does not match the image of God revealed in scripture. The God of the Bible seems to be too outdated. He is believed to be too strict, too severe, and much too stern for our current day. In the lives of many, God has been dethroned and replaced with an image of one’s own making.
Our only hope for turning things around is using the power of godly influence. Now, whether we think so or not, there is someone watching us. Consciously or not, someone is being influenced by our words and actions. In our “anything goes” society, what we say and do may seem insignificant, but in reality, our influence has a far-reaching effect. It was the influence of Naomi that brought Ruth to faith in God. There were three forces combined which influenced Ruth to believe God.
The influence of friendship.
Godliness in relationships tends to influence others toward godliness. No doubt that Naomi had proven herself to be a true friend. What a blessing to have a mother or brother or sister or friend who loves the Lord. Being a godly friend points others in a Godward direction.
The influence of admiration.
Naomi’s character and selflessness influenced Ruth’s belief in God. Ruth had watched Naomi put other’s interests ahead of her own. Ruth came to admire the God Naomi served. When a Christ-follower lives so that others see something in them they don’t see in themselves, influence towards salvation happens.
The influence of encouragement.
Naomi was glad to tell Ruth of the faithfulness of God. How He delivered Israel at the Red Sea, how He had led them to possess the Promised Land through Joshua, and all the wonders He had performed and how through the tabernacle they learned to worship Him. Because of Naomi’s encouragement, Ruth’s heart was won to God. From out of her heart and through her lips was drawn the confession, “your God shall be my God.”
What are you allowing to influence your life? What kind of influence are you having in those around you?