In the church it seems lightly thought of, yet in scripture much insight and instruction is given to this type of relationship which may be significant to all of our journeys forward in this life. People who need people. It is a relationship from which we can learn how love grows.
Being a good friend and having good friends is priceless.
Proverbs 18:24 says "A man who has friends must show himself friendly" and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.
Oh, to have friends. What a blessing, yet many people go through life and do not have many or any. To me this is tough to imagine since we were created to do life inter-connected and inter-dependent upon one another.
Talk about going against the stream. I am advocating for becoming a friend and having them. Friends help provide the substance which fuels growth and maturity.
Sometimes we don’t know the value of a thing until we can “see” it.
The above passage in Proverbs was a wake up call to me. It got me thinking and I had to look within and ask, what does this showing myself friendly look like? How does impact my ability to evangelize and share the Good News of the kingdom.
I love people and tend to meet no strangers. I am blessed to say I have some incredible friends. My desire is to help more people experience the blessing of having friendship on a level which is divine and generational.
With authentic friendships, there is a blessing which crosses generations. Over and over I see this, and it motivates me to want to inspire others to receive it.
We live in a society which drives a narrative of self, self, self.
Me, myself and I. Survival of the fittest. Much of this thinking goes against the grain of the fact, we were designed to love others. It is the nature of our Creator, God. God is Love.
Consistently dealing with people who are self-centered, selfish and unloving, without a strong spiritual foundation in Love, tends to produce people feeling isolated, rejected, unheard, not valued and insignificant. In this space of thinking, unproductive living occurs.
It has created generations of people dealing with emotional trauma, and relational issues.
While relational issues exist, I believe in the power of friendship. I believe friendship or relationship with Christ to be the first step of the solution to this challenge.
Mental health is a topic and we are hearing of the overwhelming cases of many dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts regularly. I am hopeful to say the Scriptures and the church can play a powerful part in helping to provide spiritual help in battling these challenges.
I believe it is found in seeing Christ as friend and the generational blessings associated with relationship with Him.
Friend defined: a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations.
Many people are associates to others, but in terms of depth of relationships, we often have none. Many people live lives having acquaintances which they can often do without, but friends provide value which one often cannot do without.
Christ came to earth, as a friend. Because of His nature, we were converted by His love mandate. I believe Christ to be the friend who sticks closer than a brother.
We are instructed by the word of God to follow in His steps.
Friendship on this level seems tough for many, yet it is possible because of God giving us Holy Spirit to help us. Seeing Christ, as friend, has great possibility for changing the way we engage humanity on His behalf.
Now all things are of God who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them and has committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19
The ministry of reconciliation is the service of helping people return
to an amiable relationship with God. Friendship with God. Being reconciled to God in relationship now opens wonderful possibilities for having healthy relationships and friendships in our sphere of influence.
We have the same mandate. It is an “sent ones” mandate the church MUST be willing to embrace.
Before the fall of Adam, we see that the Father would regularly come to walk with and talk with Adam, as friends, until the relationship was violated by Adam's mistrust of God. As a son of God, Adam enjoyed covenant friendship with Jehovah.
Many people's lives sit in the place of unfulfilled purpose because of a violation of the spiritual law of covenant friendship.
Covenant friendships always lift us into the next place of God's purpose for our lives. We were built by God to be family, a team and to be inter-dependent and inter-connected. We were not meant to be isolated. Remember: It is NOT GOOD for man to be ALONE!
When Jehovah decided to change the purpose of Abram, He made a covenant with Him. Jehovah joined Himself in covenant friendship and changed his name from Abram to Abraham one together with Him.
The scriptures refer twice to Abraham being a FRIEND of God. The nature of God produces ‘friend’! James 2:23 and Isaiah 41:8
Abraham had friendship with God, by God’s own statement because he thought like His friend. They had agreement.
Genesis 26:3-5 is God reaffirming the promise He made to Abraham His friend and why.
Genesis 5:21-24 says "And Enoch walked with God: and he was not (did not die); for God took him. Jehovah and Enoch had such a FRIENDSHIP God just translated him. Wow!
Exodus 33:11 reads, "And the Lord spoke with Moses face to face as a man speaks to his FRIEND.
Friendships in the earth are impacted by our willingness to embrace friendship with God. I want You to know it is possible for all.
There are many blessings, breakthroughs, forward movements into destiny which are connected to the power of friendship.
I believe one of the greatest gifts associated with friendship is salvation. Salvation can become a generational blessing in the lives of families. God desires friendship with us so we may experience healing, wholeness, family and shalom.
Questions to consider as we seek to evangelize humanity with Good News.
Who are my friends? Do they cause me to draw closer to God or not? Am I a good friend? Have I sought to “be friendly” in a way which causes God blessing to be passed on. Are there traits to being a “good friend?
As we ponder these questions, I will address more about friendship in the Power of Friendship part 2.