Monday, January 24, 2011
"FIND FRIENDS WHO HEAR GOD"
Good Evening to All!
The answers to the Bible Trivia are as follows:
1. Abram and Sarai (Genesis 17:5, 15)
2. Jacob (Genesis 32:28)
3. Oshea (Numbers 13:16)
4. Jedidiah (2 Samuel 12:24-25)
5. Simon, or Simeon (John 1:42)
6. Saul (Acts 13:9)
7. Naomi (Ruth 1:20)
8. Joseph (Genesis 41:45)
9. Daniel (Daniel 1:6-7)
10. Eliakim (2 Kings 23:34)
11. Mattaniah (2 Kings 24:17)
Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
(Proverbs 27:17 KJV)
According to the NKJV Reference: This famous Proverb is telling us that people grow from interaction with one another.
How easily are you influenced? I never realized it until I married my present husband and he was VERY candid with me one day. I used to work with this young woman, (I have spoke about her before) who was...shall I say very authoritative? My husband called her "overbearing" because she was the type of person who enjoyed telling everyone what to do. It didn't matter whether it was her husband, her children, or her co-workers. She was the boss (even if she wasn't). I started socializing with her outside of work, we would go to each other's house and visit. My hubby began to notice a big difference in me and very quickly let me know that I reminded him of her and he didn't want to be married to her so I'd better change my attitude. The thing is, I never even noticed it. I knew I didn't like her telling me what to do, but I didn't want to make her angry or upset, so I just let it go. When hubby told me I acted just like her a red flag went up and I broke off ties with her, at least most of them. We still worked together, so I had no choice but to be around her, and I went out to coffee with her once in a while, but it was far and few between. Her friendship wasn't worth messing up my marriage.
I went into detail about that because if we will listen to what God has to say, He has a lot to say about our relationships with people. Whether it's our marriage, friendships, acquaintances, or even business associations, He has an opinion about them and we NEED to LISTEN.
He may want us to spend more time with certain people because they are spiritually healthy to be around, and He may want us to sever relationships with others because they tempt us to stray away from His plans for our lives and HIM.
We can easily become just like those we associate with, just as I did above. I don't know if it was God speaking through my hubby back then or just my hubby not liking the fact that she was too bossy. The point is, she was toxic to my attitude and my marriage, so it was good that I broke off our friendship became "co-workers".
God may do that with other friends we have if they are toxic to our relationship with Him. It is definite that we will fall. We are not perfect. The main point is when we do fall, we fall toward God and not away from Him. In other words, when we fall, we need to get up, dust ourselves off and keep walking TOWARD GOD. Ask for his forgiveness and His help in restoring your relationship with Him. Don't think because you have messed up that you might as well give up because all is lost. NO WAY! Walk toward God. If you have friends that do drugs, and they swayed you into trying them, get up dust off and tell your friends you don't want any part of that lifestyle and if they do, then you can't be a part of their lives. I know that sounds harsh, but it has to be done. When I stopped drinking alcohol, I had to sever ties with my "drinking buddies" because they always wanted to go out for a drink. I am not made of stone. I could not go out "for a drink" and drink cokes. The alcohol was too tempting for me. They didn't want to go have coffee or go out to eat, they wanted to drink and party. I was "done" with that lifestyle thanks to God's help.
I believe God had His hand on me a long time ago and was getting me ready for "our" relationship. I am not what you would call a very strong person, and am easily influenced so now the only people I associate with are people with my same values. This is not to say I go around doing interviews and checking to make sure people are Christians before I befriend them. It is just that if I notice that someone drinks quite a bit, or curses, I don't go around them. If they do drugs, I steer clear, and I tell them why. This is what God wants us to do. Listen for His voice in your spirit and He will tell you if this is a good relationship or not. He doesn't want us around anyone or anything that will jeopardize our getting into heaven. God may encourage us to associate ourselves with people who are loving, and giving. If we do, we might just become more loving and giving of ourselves.
I really enjoy being around someone who thinks about others. It makes me feel the same way. I'm not nearly as focused on "me" when I am with this type of person. I'm more about what I can do to help someone else than I am thinking about myself or my problems. There is ALWAYS someone in worse shape than we are. Therefore, if we help others it makes our problems seem trivial and at the same time God will bless us. It tells us in His Word that God blesses those who bless others. We need to associate ourselves with people who can improve us as human beings, not tear us down by teaching us how to get into trouble physically, monetarily, mentally, or spiritually.
We need to be around people that bring out the best in us. "True Christians". These are people who have a real relationship with God, who walk the walk and talk the talk. We need to do both. Our actions as well as our speech needs to show the love of God within us. The reason I am so adamant about this is because we never know who is watching us. According to God's Word, we are not to be stumbling blocks to others. If someone who doesn't know about God, or may be on the "fence" of whether or not to begin a serious relationship with Him sees us doing something contrary to the Word of God or acting the opposite of what a Christian is suppose to act like, then they are going to run the opposite direction from Christianity. People can tell if we have the love of God in us or not, and if we claim to be Christian, but don't show it, than we are not abiding in God's Word or His will.
I know the church is made up of humans and we have ALL fallen short of the glory of God, but this is where reading your Bible comes in handy. By reading God's Word, by praying and talking to Him you will get more and more in tuned with His voice inside your spirit, and it will get louder and louder. If you will listen to Him, He will open up a whole new world and help you realize how hard you were making life on yourself by not listening to Him, to marching to the beat of "your own drum". Let Him help you by helping you to choose who to have relationships with and who not to.
I love being friends with other Christians. I love being around them in general. They are so up beat, and loving. I really enjoy talking to them. We have so much in common. I get really excited when I start talking about Jesus and my friends feel the same way. We don't worry about offending each other, or sounding like a "fanatic", because we feel the same love for our God and love talking about Him. I also enjoy it because I'm always learning something new. Everyone is at a different level in Christ. So I value a "mature" Christians views. I know for example that I read the Bible completely through several times. Every time I read it I get a deeper meaning of the scriptures. It's like seeing a movie several times but noticing something different in the scenes each time. That's the way it is talking to the precious elder ladies in my church. I have several that if I have questions, I can call one of them and they can help me. They are in their 70's and have been in the same church for most if not ALL of their lives. These women live, eat and breath the Bible. It amazes me. I wish I would have been blessed in that way many, many years ago. These are the kind of people that I tend to gravitate toward. I also have friends who aren't in the church, but they are also respectful toward me and don't curse, tell dirty jokes, drink or do things that they know would bother me in that way. I am truly blessed with the friends which God has brought into my life.
I hope that you are as blessed or will start listening to God's opinion for your relationships in this life so it will help you on your journey to the destination of your next one in His Kingdom of Eternity.
I didn't mean to be so long-winded tonight, but for some reason, this topic hit me like a ton of bricks and I truly felt the need to discuss it. We all need to listen for God's advice more closely AND ABIDE BY IT. He's not talking to us for His health. He speaks to us because He has a reason to do so. He wants us to end up in Eternity with Him and the ONLY way that will happen is if we abide by His Word.
Good Night to All and May God Bless!