To see the list of the blog posts in this series, click here. Now as we continue exploring the theme of United Within, the focus is on the effects of influence.
Everybody influences someone else – either for good or for bad; and even our own words influence us. The reality is that the leaders would have been highly respected by the people. So to hear the 10 leaders speak with such a conviction was credible to the people and the listeners.
In fact, Deuteronomy 1:27, 28 says, ‘and ye murmured in your tents, and said, because the LORD hated us, he hath brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us. Whither shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, the people is greater and taller than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there’ (KJV).
And Numbers 32:9 says, ‘for when they went up unto the valley of Eshcol, and saw the land, they discouraged the heart of the children of Israel, that they should not go into the land which the LORD had given them’ (KJV).
In addition, because the 10 spies were the majority (83 % of the spies), this helped to make their report even more believable and trusted by the people. But we know that majority does not automatically mean correct.
Fortunately in the midst of it all, Caleb and Joshua had positive influences and company in each other.
As we struggle within ourselves, when we are looking for answers, many times the words we heard prior to the struggle and the advice we received even in unrelated circumstances, come back to our memories with such clarity. So the question arises, have I exposed myself to positive influences that will provide me with good advice as I go through my challenges?
It is important that with God’s help we can correctly decipher all of what we have heard and seen.
Also we need to be aware of our influence on others. Being our ‘brother’s keeper’ means we are also alert to how we influence them. Will our words and actions help others when they are going through their struggles?
As God’s people we realize every word and every action will count for something. We have the opportunity to choose to let these things count for good and to build up God’s kingdom on this earth.
So as we go forward, we can:
- confront our fears in God’s power,
- have a correct view of the external,
- have a correct view of ourselves,
- embrace an optimistic and joyful attitude,
- take responsibility for our actions,
- let God be the leader of our lives,
- expect God to do in our lives what He has said that He would do,
- maintain an even-tempered attitude, keep calm and utilize our energies productively, and
- be aware of the influence others have on us and the influence we have on others.
The next blog post will be on ‘Response’.