I’m not talking about your friends you have long chats over lattes with after a day of shopping or even the long distance friend you love to talk to on the telephone.
I am asking about who your inside friends are.
Not the ones privy to your secrets and passions and desires of your heart either!
The inside friends who tell you things you ought not to listen to, the ones always hanging around trying to trip you up as you press on toward your goal.
I hear the voices of Condemnation and Comparison, sometimes they yell so loud they drown out the voices of the friends I really want to listen to.
I feel the words Fear and Dread want to speak, the weight of them wearies me, and I have tried hard not to listen. But their weight is sometimes more than I can bear.
The inside friends are those who talk to you as though you were still in their prison. We listen to them not realizing they are the ones held captive behind bars of steel.
Can you see them too, holding tight to those bars, peaking through the spaces trying to get your attention?
You and I, Beloved, we are free! We are in the King’s household and the only thoughts and words we should be taking captive are those the King speaks to our hearts, those the King has written.
We dance and sing in the courts of our King! Who are our inside friends? Grace, Mercy, Hope and Comfort. Joy, Faith, Peace and Charity.
The Good Shepherd has sent them to walk alongside us to unite us in purpose and goal.
How can we be effective for the Kingdom of God, how can we plow our fields, how can we be men and women of purity if our thought lives are polluted and we are distracted by the voices of our old imprisoned friends?
Jesus has set us free from our prison of shame and He doesn’t want us to be lingering, flirting with the voices of those we once listened to behind bars.
Jesus wants us to know He has delivered us from the hand of our enemies so we might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness. All the days of our lives lived joyfully before Him. No good thing withheld from us just because He loves us so much.
A good thing is a good attitude and right mindset, a thought life full of Him as we yield to the creative power of His Word spoken to our hearts.
I couldn’t move on to the next chapter in Beckoned by the King until I let the Holy Spirit hold the telescope and show me deep within my heart and soul.
It is really Him asking the question, ‘who are your inside friends?’
I am asking Him to show me and the picture He gave me was the one I have just tried to paint a picture of with these words I am bravely sharing with you.
The next chapter has “Gimel” as the Hebrew alphabet heading. It means dependable, strong and reliable.
How can we be dependable, strong and reliable if we are listening to the voices of the wrong friends? You are my brother and sister in Christ and I want to be standing strong for you to lean on if you need to. I want you to know you can link arms with me and I am not going to make a break and dash in the opposite direction.
And the reason I am strong? Because the one standing on the other side is encouraging me, speaking words of life and blessing into my spirit.
Grace teaches me I stand in faith; Grace holds me up and speaks the promises of God to my heart. Hope gives me reason to rejoice and Joy strengthens my resolve to continue with Faith.
Beloved, will you seek the face of God with me to discover if the voices of old friends are speaking louder than the new ones He has graced your life with? Will you rest in the beauty of His love and care for you and just rest in the strength of His embrace?
If you need to close your eyes while you pray, I will stand guard and cover you in prayer.