One of the Bible’s prime examples of enduring influence seems an unlikely choice. Abel was murdered by his brother before accomplishing anything we would call significant (Gen. 4:2-8). Yet his “picture” hangs in the Bible’s hall of faith with this caption: “By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks” (Heb. 11:4).
Phillips Brooks, a 19th-century minister, said: “This is the difference between men whose power stops with their death, and those whose power really opens into its true richness when they die. The first sort of men have mechanical power; and the second have spiritual power. And the final test and witness of spiritual force is the ability to cast the bodily life away and yet continue to give help and courage to those who see us no longer; to be like Christ, the helper of men’s souls, even from beyond the grave.”
How can we speak from beyond the grave? Through faith and obedience to God in the simple matters of daily life. What seems insignificant and mundane today may be the megaphone through which God amplifies your voice long after your journey on earth is done.
Lord, take my life and make it wholly Thine;
Fill my poor heart with Thy great love divine.
Take all my will, my passion, self, and pride;
I now surrender, Lord—in me abide. —Orr
Obedience to God is the key to lasting influence.