“And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.”
Everybody is influenced by somebody, but whoever influences you will determine what you become. You cannot have negative influences in your life and expect to have positive results. Likewise, you cannot have destructive influences in your life and expect your life to have constructive effects.
Israel had several destructive influences that led to their murmuring, complaining and often desire to go back to Egypt. All of these influences could have been removed had they identified what these influences were who were impacting them negatively. Let me share four destructive influences that affected Israel that you must watch so that they are not influencing you.
The first destructive influence you must watch is uttermost influences. In Numbers 11:1, there was a crowd that dwelled in the uttermost parts of the camp. In other words, they lived on the border of the camp which was closest to Egypt. When you look at how God arranged Israel, you will see that they were arranged in such a matter that the tabernacle was in the middle of their dwellings. Those on the uttermost were as far away from the tabernacle as possible. You must be careful about allowing people who dwell on the edge of the world to influence you. You cannot be influenced by worldly people and expect to love the things of God. Every influence in your life should come from those who dwell closest to God if you want to keep a positive outlook.
The second destructive influence is mixed influences. The mixed influences were people who married people from Egypt. Sadly, many people have close friends who have nothing to do with God, and then they wonder why their children go the way of the world. The Scriptures make it clear that you are only to associate with people who worship the LORD as you do. You will not continue to walk the old paths when you are running with people who don’t believe like you. Their influence in your life will eventually pull you away from what you now know to be right according to the Scriptures.
The third destructive influence is critical influences. In the verse above, Aaron and Miriam were both jealous of Moses. Jealous people tend to be very critical of authority. You can’t expect to keep a good spirit when you spend time with people who constantly criticize your church, pastor or way of living. A critical influence eventually causes you to become sour towards your church, and the Christian way of life.
The fourth destructive influence is faithless influences. In Numbers 13:28, the ten spies were faithless and negative about going forward into the Promised Land. You will find that faithless influences are negative towards great goals of faith. You will live a mediocre Christian life if you spend time with faithless people who are negative about the great goals of faith that others desire to accomplish.
My friend, you are only as strong as your weakest influence. You cannot be who you are supposed to be for the LORD and have destructive influences in your life. Let me encourage you to look at your influences and be sure that they are not a destructive influence on you. If you want to keep a good spirit and continue doing right for the LORD, you must distance yourself from any destructive influence.