The Power of Influence

Joshua 14:8, "Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt: but I wholly followed the LORD my God."

Today's verse is spoken by a man named Caleb. He was one of the twelve spies sent out by Moses to check out the people and layout of the Promised land. Read Numbers 13 for the back ground of this statement. Numbers 13 states that of the twelve spies, only two wanted to follow the Lord, the other ten were a discouragement to doing the will of God. Joshua and Caleb were the men who believed God, while the ten "...brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature." (Numbers 13:32)

The evil or negative report given by the 10 spies, "...made the heart of the people melt..."The Hebrew word translated "melt" means to dissolve or liquefy. They caused the courage of these people to go away. On the other hand, the testimony of Caleb is that he, "...wholly followed the LORD my God." The words translated "wholly followed" comes from one Hebrew word which paints the picture of one who is following right behind God. Wherever God went Caleb followed.

We need to be like Caleb. Not only is there a personal blessing for the one who wholly follows the Lord, but there is a positive godly influence upon others, rather than the negative influence of those who discourage others.

May we be like Caleb who wholly followed the LORD, and like the Psalmist, who said in Psalm 119:10-11, "With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."

Your Friend and HIS,

Pastor Abbott

1.  What do you do to encourage or discourage the people around you?

2. The devil wants you to believe the way you live your life doesn't really make a difference.  Why do people believe this and what can you do to combat this erroneous mind set?

3. God blesses those who wholly follow Him.  How might you life be different if you wholly followed the Lord?  How did God bless Caleb?

4. Finally, are you following God?  How close are you to Him?