As I was commuting home from work, I began to think and pray concerning my next article. I was formulating and visualizing the draft in my mind. Then my mind started to wonder. I began to think about my friendships. They are precious to me. I value them on a greater level than I did when I was younger. Then, I would analyze the worth of each relationship on the thought of ‘what have they done for me lately’. Not realizing in my younger years, I was keeping score of what I would receive based on how much I thought I gave. Looking back on that, it makes me sick to my stomach to admit the depth of my self-centeredness. I thank God for His sanctification process and His purification. Oh the blood… Thank you God for wonderful change.
There is more, I began to think about facebook friends. I started to ponder about the limited bonding of facebook friends. I asked myself, how can they connect on a deep level when there is no face-to-face time. Facebook friends are just a number, I thought. Are they truly connected? Some people have almost a thousand facebook friends, how could they really call themselves friends? Still, I am writing my next article… in my mind. There is so much I want to say, “Lord guide me” was my prayer.
It is so nice to know that the Lord knows my thoughts from afar. It is so beautiful when He interjects a precept that stretches my faith and shut down my brain with humility all in one thought. This is what the Lord said, look at how many friends you have on facebook. I thought not many in comparison. Here comes the Lord’s love, “What if for every friend, you took the opportunity to share my gospel with that many enemies.” I thought, Lord, do I have THAT many enemies? He said, maybe not, but I do! Talking about humbled, quiet, and no more distracting thoughts, just silence and praying for grace, strength, and courage to witness to not only family and friends but also to my enemies. At that very moment, I realized that some people that I may have been referring to as friends, were actually my enemies and vice versa. After all, if they are enemies of God, then they are enemies of mine. Get busy Zephany!
Another reminder of John 15:18-25, “18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’ NIV
This helps me with my perspective when it comes to counting friends. It is nice to have friends, but it is even nicer when our enemies can soon become our friends, now that is worth counting.
Pray with me: Heavenly Father, Lord, give me the discernment to recognize our enemies, so that I can befriend them with the gospel. This is the only true measure of friendship. Help me oh Lord, to not look selfishly and inwardly at friendships, but help me look at them outwardly toward you and not what they can do for me, but what they can do for you, oh Lord. I can only do this greater good by your might. Share that with me Lord. Refresh me with 1 Peter 1:3, Lord by your divine power, you have given me everything that I need for a godly life through my knowledge of you, Lord. Help me in my personal weaknesses, and challenges to make them all opportunities for your kingdom. In Jesus’ mighty name, amen.
The journey flows…