While we are called to love one another even those who persecute us because they too are God’s creation who He loves, not everyone is meant to be your close friend. While Jesus had many acquaintances he only had a few close friends. We note how he sent out 70 disciples to minister and had 12 disciples who walked closely with him, even among the 12 there were 3 who stand out as exceptionally close to him within his inner circle namely Peter, James and John.
Thus it is worth noting that our Messiah had different levels of friendships. As we live consecrated lives unto The Lord, the urgent, persistence call is to “depart! depart! from uncleanliness, you who carry “holy vessels” of the Lord ( Isaiah 52:10-12). To put this into action there are many things one is inclined to do which are a result of obeying the commandments of the LORD. Those that we allow in our inner circle of friends whether we are leaders or congregation members could be helpers in our holy walk or distractors and at times we only realise when it is too late. But there is hope, we serve a God of second chances who teaches us to learn from our adverse experiences.
If we are not doing so, we need to pray and ask Father who should be among our close circle of friends. If you have suspicions or discomfort about specific people, do not ignore them as this could be a nudge for you to be careful or start paying attention to what The Lord is trying to tell you. In fact get on your knees daily until you get your answer. Some people may want to be your close friend but are they sent by the LORD? Are they meant to be at the acquaintance level, rather than inner circle level or kept at a distance for reasons you don’t need to blurt out but highlighted by Holy Spirit enough times for you to take a serious stand.
As well as praying about specific situations, praying for the gift of discerning of spirits or a greater measure of it is important for we do not fight flesh or blood, but satanic principalities and powers.
In these last days, we must guard our hearts seriously and be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. It is not about being fearful of people but walking in wisdom for there are wolves in sheep’s clothing, satan as a roaring devouring lion counterfeiting Jesus the redeeming Lion of Judah.
Also it is exhausting and an unproductive use of your time (it is set for God’s purposes, remember) to be here, there and everywhere being with people who may not be sent by the LORD and going places under their influence where God may not have sent you.
Father I commit all our friendships into your hands. You know us, who we are and our purpose in this world. Father I pray that you will minister to each and every one of us and give us wisdom and discernment in how to conduct our interpersonal relationships so that whatever we do with whoever we are with is your will and gives glory to your kingdom, in Jesus’ name Amen.
You are blessed, determine to stay blessed.
Deborah E. Nyamekye
©Deborah E.Nyamekye 21/11/2015
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2 thoughts on “PLAIN SPEAKING & COUNSEL II: The question of friendships; Acquaintance, close/inner circle friend or none of the above!”
Great advice.. Perry Stone once said he has an outer court, inner court, and the holy place, when it comes to friendship.
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Thanks Mary Ann, I love that illustration. God bless