Today I was reminded of a word I once read by Marsha Burns. It was profound and really captured my attention. It said; Keep yourself from defilement. This may require pulling back from activities and relationships that are not beneficial to you. Stop and consider what and who influences you the most and make sure the input is positive and not negative. Your relationship with Me, says the Lord, requires time and spiritual effort as you allow Me to be the greatest influence in your life. Psalms 62:7 In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.
The word influence means the following:
IN’FLUENCE, noun [Latin influens, influo, to flow in; in and fluo, to flow.] Literally, a flowing in, into or on, and referring to substances spiritual or too subtle to be visible, like inspiration. In a general sense, influence denotes power whose operation is invisible and known only by its effects, or a power whose cause and operation are unseen. Moral power; power of truth operating on the mind, rational faculties or will, in persuading or dissuading, as the influence of motives, of arguments, or of prayer. To move by moral power; to act on and affect, as the mind or will, in persuading or dissuading; to induce. (Webster’s 1828 dictionary)
Think about that! Influence literally flows into a person and is very subtle. Although it is very subtle, it denotes power over a person that becomes visible and known by its actions.
Influence literally moves a person to act.
As I was studying this word, I came across the following scripture in the New Living Translation.
This is how the LORD responds: “If you return to me, I will restore you so you can continue to serve me. If you speak good words rather than worthless ones, you will be my spokesman. You must influence them; do not let them influence you.’ Jeremiah 15:19
Daily, in our life we come across many influences. People influence us. Situations influence us. When someone is drunk on liquor, we say they are under the influence, and that is truth. Their actions are the end result of the liquor and its influence. It is something that has flowed inside of them and causing actions on the outside of them.
My question today is this; what is influencing you today? What are the visible actions of the influence you are under? What is flowing in you that is causing an action on the outside of you?
If we find ourselves yelling and angry, we have been influenced by someone or some situation. If someone is upset and crying, they have been influenced by something. If someone is walking in total peace in the midst of chaos, they too have been influenced by something.
What is your influence? What is your action and what is moving you to that action?
Just a few days ago I was making my bed and the Lord said to me; “it is what is on the inside that defiles a man.” I knew it was scriptural. I didn’t understand where God was going with this.
Matthew 15:17-20 says; “Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”
Heart issues. These are the things that defile. Issues in our heart that needs to be healed or resolved. I wonder if we realize that when someone commits an evil act it first began in their heart. It may have begun with the influences that they had in their life, they are simply acting on those influences.
I can promise you if you hang around people who sin or even people who lie and gossip, before long you will find yourself doing the same things. I have found in my own life, if I hang around negative people for too long, negative thoughts will attempt to grab my attention. On the other hand, if I hang around positive people, and especially people who are strong in the Lord, I stay upbeat and positive.
Also, I have found, if I am having a bad day, if I will call a friend who I know is strong in the Lord, she will often lift me up. But what I won’t do at those times, is call a friend who is negative when I am already struggling to stay positive.
Our daily influences are very important. We must allow and even invite God and His word to be the ruling influence in our lives. If we do that, we will live in victory. Today, let’s not only remember what Marsha Burns said but let this become our daily prayer: Keep yourself from defilement. This may require pulling back from activities and relationships that are not beneficial to you. Stop and consider what and who influences you the most and make sure the input is positive and not negative. Your relationship with Me, says the Lord, requires time and spiritual effort as you allow Me to be the greatest influence in your life.
Allow God and His word to be your greatest influence in your life.
Meditate on this:
Never stingy and always generous to those in need, their lives of influence and honor will never be forgotten, for they were full of good deeds. Psalm 112:9 (The Passion Translation)