With a friend you can face the worst

9-10 It’s better to have a partner than go it alone.
Share the work, share the wealth.
And if one falls down, the other helps,
But if there’s no one to help, tough!

11 Two in a bed warm each other.
Alone, you shiver all night.

12 By yourself you’re unprotected.
With a friend you can face the worst.
Can you round up a third?
A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (The Message)

I love the verse “With a friend you can face the worst” (Ecclesiastes 4:12). We are not meant to do life alone. Often times when life becomes difficult, when we become mad or sad, we draw away to be by ourselves. We shut the door on life and on people but what we should be doing is opening up to the people who we call our covenant friends and face “the worst” together.

A covenant friend is someone you have a close bond with. It doesn’t mean that we are going to do everything together, but we are going to really know each other. We are building intimacy together, trust, a safe haven and doing life like a family.

Sometimes it is hard to open up and to admit to somebody else that you have needs and that you are facing “the worst”; that you have a need for somebody to listen to you, to give you advice and direction and to walk with you through tough emotions and circumstances. It is hard to open up because you think to yourself are my needs too big for you and will my needs be met? If I have needs are you going to pull away from me because now I am in a needy season and that is too much for you to handle.

Sharing with someone will not necessarily fix the problem you are facing but it will open you up and allow you to be vulnerable and let people in to see the real you. It will help to lift the burden you feel and help you to realise that you are not alone.

If we want to have safe covenant relationships we have to be that person first. You need to be the safe person that when your friend shares with you they know that you are not going to break their confidence. They know that you will walk through the good times and the bad times with them and that you will not abandon them when things get tough.

12 By yourself you’re unprotected.
With a friend you can face the worst.
Can you round up a third?
A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.

I encourage you to build a strong community around you. Find your people, your tribe your covenant friends. People with whom you can take a risk with, be vulnerable with and do life with. Be that friend for others that you wish you had.

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I long to be called a friend of Jesus

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I never really thought about being a servant versus being a friend with Jesus until recently. You know how you read a verse in the bible so many times that you know its words inside out but not fully grasping the understanding of it and then one day you read it again and it just comes alive to you, like fresh revelation. John chapter 15 verse 15 was one of these verses for me.

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:15

A servant serves. They do what their master asks of them but they are still held at a distance, living in separate quarters to their master, eating at a different dinner table and using a separate entrance to the house. But a friend is taken into the masters life. A friend regularly spends time with the master, sharing in his life, engaging in conversation and having their thoughts and ideas heard.

As a friend of Jesus you are taken into His life. You have access to the heart of God and His heartbeat becomes your heartbeat. Instead of working for Him like a servant you work with Him. He trusts you with more of His power and you become changed into His likeness more and more. Your identity changes because as a friend you are not worried by what other people think of you, you know who the Father says you are.

As a friend you enter into a partnership with Him. Your ideas, dreams and desires are heardTake delight in the Lordand he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4.

You are not a puppet carrying out the Lords plans. You are a contributor to what He is doing. God wants to be influenced by what you think and dream. He is after your desires and intimacy with you.

So how do we move into that place of being a friend of Jesus? Jesus says in John 15 verse 14 “You are my friends if you do what I command”.

Becoming a friend of Jesus is about following Jesus, it is going in the direction that He is going in. It is doing the things that He is doing  and saying the things that He is saying. We have an intimate connection with Him when we regularly spend time in His presence listening to His voice and hearing His commands, we are faithful in doing what we asks us to do, we read His word and hold it in our hearts and we follow people who are also following Jesus.

Just before Jesus saysYou are my friends if you do what I command” He says this “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

His command is not difficult, yet how many of us struggle with this simple thing, just to love one another? To love one another like Jesus loves us helps us to get to that place of being counted as a friend of Jesus. His commands are not outrageous, they flow from a heart that loves us and just wants the best for us, so lean into His voice and hear and read His commands and start there, doing the things that He has commanded us to do. Lean into the heart of God and hear His heart beat. He is inviting you to be His friend.

Change : Champions of change

Surround yourself with people who make you hungry for life, touch your heart and nourish your soul. Author unknown.

As I am journeying through life, I am understanding more and more the importance of surrounding yourself with people who encourage and inspire you, who give wise counsel and can speak life into your heart and soul.

We need to gather to ourselves our tribe. Our tribe are the people in our life who love and support us unconditionally. They are the kind of people who will not throw water on the fire that is burning in us, instead they will fan the flames to get that sucker roaring!

Stepping out into change is hard and we need a good support crew around us. Our tribe should be people who we have choosen wisely. We are entrusting our bare hearts to them so they should be proven to be trustworthy and loyal and should not betray our confidence.

We need our tribe to be people who will encourage us and cheer us on. When we become vulnerable with them and we share our exciting season of change that is about to begin they do not fill our heads and hearts with negative thoughts and attitudes but are able to encourage, inspire and champion us on.

Our tribe are real with us. They can give us the honest truth but from a place of love. They should offer great advice and we should always leave their presence feeling uplifted and full of hope.

So gather your tribe as you begin to walk through your new season of change. Gather the people to you that will be of great encouragement and support. Surround yourself with them and champion one another on, pray for each other, encourage one another and love one another unconditionally and you will find that your season of change is not that difficult at all when you have your tribe with you.