02 October 2010

you have a friend request

Some of you may be aware of some of the challenges I have been facing of late: out of work for just shy of three years, facing some financial struggles and a foreclosure in process.

I’ve been very open about these experiences even though I have never been one to be open about any of my personal matters. It has been my hope, in sharing, that someone will find encouragement and come to the realization that God is always in control, able to surround you with peace and fill you with joy, able to protect and provide and worthy of praise at all times.

So, tell me why I received a ‘friend request’ from a gentleman who calls himself ‘Homeless for the Holidays’?

I am convinced that the enemy is sick and tired of me standing IN CHRIST

Now I am guilty, at times, of over-spiritualizing things. And it likely was a simple and genuine friend request. I mean, the movie that this person based their profile upon is about a man, an executive, who lost his job, had trouble finding employment and was faced with the challenge of trying to provide for his family while being threatened with losing everything. Sounds familiar ...

However, I immediately had to focus on the spiritual component and the fact that it could very well have been a fiery dart from the enemy, designed and aimed to taunt and to instill fear.

Ephesians 6:12 tells us, 'our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.’

Whatever it was – I do not believe it was coincidence or chance

And while I might take the opportunity to watch the movie –
I declined that friend request


Psalm 91 delivers the promise that, 'He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.’

That verse has become my friend. It speaks to my present and my future.
My dwelling place is in the shelter of the Most High. My rest is in His shadow.

Surely GOD Himself has prepared a dwelling place for me and He has a dwelling place in me. Because He lives in me, all of His power, provision and protection are present in my life at all times. I am His friend and He cannot deny His friend anymore than He can deny Himself. He has promised me a place to dwell. Therefore, I cannot be friends with ‘Homeless’. I cannot be friends with the truth of God's Word and also socialize with a directly opposing mindset - and neither can you.

• If your vision is to be debt-free, why are you accepting ‘friend requests’ from random cashiers in department stores when they ask, ‘Would you like to open a line of credit?’
• If your vision is for a healthy marriage, be cautious of ‘friend requests’ in the form of innocent conversations and lunches.
• If you are sick and tired of being bound by drugs which make you sick and tired – why are you still accepting invitations to parties where you can befriend other drug addicts?

Not everything that says it wants to be your friend has your best interest in mind.

James 4:4 questions and warns us: 'Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.’

Choose friendships which align themselves with the plans that God has for your life – whether those friendships be with individuals, institutions or ideologies. Connect only with those things which are headed where you are going, which will facilitate the future God has ordained for you.

Choose your friends carefully.

Eve befriended and socialized with a snake and sin entered the world. Sampson befriended Delilah and got his eyes gouged out. Jonathan befriended David and his descendant sat at King David's table. Ruth befriended Naomi and found her place in the lineage of the Messiah. A nameless criminal befriended Jesus, while they both hung on crosses, and he found his place in eternity.

Consider carefully those friend requests - both the ones you receive and the ones you extend

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