Would You Trade Your Friends For Jesus?
Look at Job! He lost everything, and even his wife told him to curse God and die. Think about how he felt. He walked alone, but never gave up and continued to trust God. At the end of his trial, God blessed him with more than he had before.
Ever feel like you’re alone? Living for God on your own and no one there to stand with you. Wonder why friends and family turn their back on you? Even people in the church-world cutting you off and turning on you, when you thought they were your friend. Why would people in the church-world turn on you, or cut you off if you are living for God, fighting, praying, and fasting to become what God wants you to be? Working to have a closer walk with God and a deep spiritual relationship with him, you get cut off. I have seen it so very much the past few years, people in the church world turning on their brethren, I have seen and faced it. Preacher against preacher, saint against saint, and church against church. So many go to church, just to go to say they went. So many just live the normal, just to get by, and be able to say they are living for God.
What they are missing, and don’t want, is that deep walk with God. They don’t the kind of walk with God you have. When your heart beats for God and His desires. When you desire the things of God and desire the deepest things of God, you will find that there are people in your life that don’t want that. They still want to ride the fence. Go to church, shout, and worship, but still, there is not that desire for God like you have.
People don’t desire the deep things of God anymore. When you have a relationship with God that your friends or family don’t have, they will eventually no longer be a part of your life. If we are praying and fasting to grow in God, you will sometimes find yourself walking alone. People don’t want to be a part of your life because your lifestyle and walk with God, convicts theirs and they like theirs.
Jesus was persecuted, spit on and beaten. He faced criticism and even those that were supposed to be living for him and walking with him turned on him. He was tempted, he walked alone. I am sure he got lonely, but he knew that sacrifices came with the way He lived his life on the earth. Just like Jesus, we are going to face those things because we chose to walk in the Spirit. We chose to build our lives around God and what he wants. Pastors and preachers face that persecution because they have been called to go deep and they have made a sacrifice to be what God called them to do and go where he said go.
God will separate you from those who don’t want God like you want him. Yes, it hurts to lose those friends and family, but if they are not going where you are in God then you have to walk without them. The enemy uses our family and friends to turn other family and friends on us. We must forgive, and let God have it, and keep striving in God. The devil hates us when we want more and more of God, so he uses those close to us to try to tear us down. Sometimes we have to walk alone when we desire more of God. We don’t participate in the things the world calls fun or the things that are not Godly. We chose to take a stand and fight for God. We are in this world, but not if it. Taking a stand sometimes means you will walk alone; sometimes those family and friends don’t want to be a part of the stand you take. Nowadays, it is preacher… preach to me something that will make me feel good, don’t tell me to pray and fast, and don’t tell me how I should live.
Sometimes we don’t like to hear the story of Job or hear the words look what Job went through. Could we stand alone and live for God when everyone else turns against us? I know I don’t like to even think about that question because I enjoy the company of friends and conversations. Let’s be real, it would be hard, we would get weary some days and want to give up. Our mind would work on work on us and the devil would sure try to feed our minds with lies because he knows we would have no one to encourage us. Our flesh enjoys the company of others, but could our flesh stand-alone if we had to? I will be the first to admit it would be a difficult battle for me, but I surely know that if I truly had a desire to make it, then God would give me the strength. He would fight for me.
In real life. We have all in some way felt like we have walked through the darkest valleys like Job. I haven’t walked into that exact valley Job did, but I have experienced the loss of friends and family all for my stand for truth. All of these people were in the church, and I didn’t understand how in the world could family, friends who claim to live for God, come against me for the stand and standard I have in your life.
I look back and I see those people’s lives and I know if God would have allowed me to keep close relations and connections with most, then I would not be living for God like I should. God has to separate us sometimes from those that will gender your growth. God removed, and he has given me the friends and family that encourage me, that are sold out to this Gospel and desire the deep thing of God. We are afraid of losing people but don’t fear, know that God will replace those empty places with the ones that you need in your life. If you can lose friends over the truth and Gospel of Christ, then they never were true blue friend.
Let God put the right friends in your life. I have been so blessed with friends that pray for me, encourage me and laugh with me. They accept me for my flaws, craziness and for my wrong way of saying things sometimes. They accept me for who I am, not what they think I should be, nor try to make me become something I am not. If you are going to be a true friend you won’t force someone to change or be what they want you to be. You accept them for them. Love is seeing someone’s imperfections and seeing them as perfection.
True friends tell you like it is even if it hurts or makes you mad, but they are not doing it to hurt you, but because they love you and want to see you succeed and grow. In this life we may find ourselves like Job, living for God with few friends and family. I can assure you, it can be done and you can make it, even when there is no one to really turn to.
Just as He did with Job, He proved his love for God, and God completely restored everything he lost and gave him so much more. You have to lose to gain. God gives, He takes away, but He doesn’t take away without a greater plan to give you more and restore you. Through the process in anything we face, He will restore our faith in Him to a much deeper level.
Friends, mark you either as an embarrassment to their life or as a blessing. They stand against you because you are standing for God, for truth. Ask yourself the question… “Can I still stand for God if I have to walk alone or when the closest people to me turn on me?” Some days we don’t think we can make. There are days when I don’t know if I can put another foot in front of another, but somehow, I manage to eventually get it there. Someday all I can manage to say is God just get me through this. Many times, I don’t know how I got through something’s; it was just the grace of God that got me through it. When we get to a point that our mind is made up we are going to serve God no matter what, I promise you, you will make it and survive it. You may not remember or know how you got through what you did, but you purposed that I don’t know how, but I will survive.
A Job spirit is not easy to have some days and as the world gets crazier, it can make it harder. If you have one friend in this life, keep them close, encourage them, and pray for them. Don’t make them feel small; make them feel like they are strong enough to overcome. Who wants to walk were Job did? Nobody, but some of us will, so we just pray, bite our nails, grit our teeth, and just say, ‘Devil shut up.” I am in this to win and I will not be defeated. So, go and face that giant like a champion. God is on your side.