Wrong Kinds of Friendships
by David Brenneman
But also: "You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God." James 4:4 NASB
We really ought to take great care in looking for direction in life. Our ways are certainly not God's ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts.
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts,Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9 NASB.
I was brought around to these notions this morning after reading in Mark. The passage was talking of Jesus healing many people, both the ill and the demon possessed. Jesus could have easily been going for the popular vote after so many were seeking Him out. But what does He do? Jesus indeed healing and freed all who had come to Him. Jesus leaves everyone to go to a secluded place to talk to His Father instead. Making sure that the path He's walking is what His Father wanted. The next scene...Jesus says they are leaving the area. Weren't there more to be healed and freed? Yes. But He had repeatedly said He was doing the will of His Father who sent Him.
He knew the hearts of mankind...we read of that in other places. He also recognized that Satan was attempting to overwhelm Him...if it were even possible.
We are taught...but do we heed the same calling to get away to find out what our Father in Heaven wants of us? I admit that I don't always. I quite often do what's been put before me and call it a day. But within that ought to be checking in to find out if what I am doing is what I am supposed to be doing.
We can easily gravitate towards certain things and relationships. We sometimes do it because of shared experiences or shared issues. But even in these we ought to pray first. Jesus didn't do His own will...He was after doing His Father's will.
The Bible says in Philippians 4:6 NASB "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."
In everything means in everything. Just like all means all and that's all all means.
If the relationship you are in has taken you from your calling in Christ then while it may look and feel great, you're not doing what you were called to be doing and now there's a problem between you and Jesus.
It's been repeated that in Romans 11:29 Paul wrote of the gifts and calling of God is irrevocable. It cannot be ended by human agencies. Not by outside forces nor ourselves. Jonah was given a calling by God. Look at the proof of Romans 11:29 in that whole book.
Though painful and for decades confusing Joseph went through much in his determination to consider his gifts and calling of God with him. He finally gets it when it all came together and explains it to his brothers. While he could have done much with those in this world at that time in his life we read : "The Lord was with him".
Job went through what can only be described as Hell on Earth because of all that Satan was permitted to do to him. We really don't have much to stand on when it comes to complaining about life's circumstances in comparison. Job stayed faithful.
Jesus stayed faithful to His Father's wishes.
He stayed faithful in His relationships with His Disciples that were from His Father. Quite often we see that He was scratching His head at them not understanding things but He remained faithful.
We often, I know that I have, go with giving up rather than pressing on when the things of this world get to be too much. When relationships get to be hard.
Critical people have existed since Cain. Our sin nature and the enemy of God knows us better than we know ourselves. All three will try to get us to go down paths that are not from God. To honestly get us to take the easy way.
God's word says that all who live Godly in Christ Jesus will suffer. That faith chapter in Hebrews lists many who in this moment are rejoicing in Heaven. They indeed will be told or have been told "Well done".
We were created for a right relationship with Jesus. When we get that right then our relationship with others is next.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and spirit.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
We aren't to put self first. Even when the going gets tough.
So really consider the relationships that you have. Look at whether or not you are really interested in doing life entirely God's way and not your own. We can easily find people to surround ourselves with that make us feel better for all the wrong reasons.
Be entirely the person you are supposed to be in Christ. Nobody will stand with you when you stand before Jesus.
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