Some of the greatest things that we posses today or the most exhilarating experiences we can remember, are things that we have or done because we took a step of faith when we didn’t see the whole picture. We just stepped out in obedience to the Spoken Word and the Jordan river parted.
The problem today with many of us is not that we haven’t heard from God, but that we have heard the Voice of God on the outside as well as in the inner man, and having heard we do not take that step of faith in the direction of "Him that calleth thee”.
Abraham toiled in the Ur of the Chaldees with an inner cry for something more, something supernatural, something God. Yet he did not know it that way. But when God spoke to Abraham to take steps of faith in his life and in his family - He did. That is when he ventured into the Plan of God and possessed all that God had for him to possess.
Take steps of faith in the direction you hear the Voice of God. Do not explain away the Eternal Opportunity because of temporal circumstances. Like Peter who stepped out onto the water, yes there were the waves, the winds, and the chuckles of the other disciples; but which of the disciples can say “I walked on water”?
We don’t need to see the whole picture, to plan it all out in our heads before we take steps. God orders our steps and His Everlasting Arms are underneath us. Why not take that step of faith today and stop the procrastination?
We've been teaching on a series of the Life of David which has been a rich journey. We are now on the subject of Jonathan & David's Covenant Friendship. Here are a few points on our message.
The most sacred relationships are friendships that have gone through the Cross. Many people do not have real friendships because they haven't allowed their relationships to go through the Cross. When a friendship goes through the Cross, the flesh and self is crucified and buried, and Christ is risen within the spiritual souls of the individuals.
The Bible says in John 15:13 that the greatest friendship is manifested when someone lays down his life for a friend. Jesus said to His disciples, “You are my friends if you do what I tell you. I will no longer call you servants, for a servant doesn't know what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because I have told you every single thing that My Father has told Me” (see John 15:14-15).
Jesus was the greatest example of a friend - a friend of publicans and sinners!” (Luke 7:33-34). Think of it! Jesus Christ knows everything about us. There is not one thing hidden from Him; yet, He desires to be our personal friend - 1 Jn 3.20. This is our great confidence - “there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24b)
7 Traits of Godly Friendship
1. Godly Friends Love Sacrificially - 1 Sam 18.1-5 John 15:13 - Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends
Let God chose your friends for you. If we choose our friends based only on what they have to offer, or what we need - we'll rarely discover the blessings of a genuine friendship. Need based relationships become a curse and an end in their own. Philippians 2:3 says, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”
Being fufllled in your relationship with God means you approach your relationships full and not from deficit producing toxic relationships. By valuing your friend's needs above your own, you'll be on your way to loving like Jesus. In the process, you'll likely gain a true friend.
2. Godly Friends Love Unconditionally - 1 Sam 19:2 Proverbs 17:17 - A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. God loved Peter out of his failure. Jn 13 "Loved you till the end" - Telos - completion of His work in you
We discover the best of friendships with brothers and sisters who know, love, cover and challenge our weaknesses and imperfections. A true friend tells the truth. Only your enemy would not tell you the truth because he wants you to be just like him.
If we're easily offended or hold on to bitterness, we'll have a hard time loving people. No one is perfect. We cannot be looking for idealistic relationship. People make mistakes. If we take a truthful look at ourselves, we'll admit that we bear some of the blame when things go wrong in a friendship. A true friend is quick to ask forgiveness and ready to be forgiving and when you are in trouble, Not a conditional friendship
3. Godly Friends Trust God Completely for you.
The Bible says that in order to have friends, you need to show yourself friendly (Proverbs 18:24a); showing ourselves friendly goes beyond the niceness of friendship. Hebrew play on words - friends "ra'ah" but friendly "ra'a" meaning the "h" falls off. There is something we lose in friendship. There is vulnerability. Risk. Chose to trust. Trust is the currency of relationships.
4. Godly Friends Keep Healthy Boundaries - 2 Sam 1.26 1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy ... Soul power relationships. Phileo vs. Agape love.
David and Jonathan’s friendship went beyond the physical and soulish but was grounded in something spiritual. Godly friendships set people free - not putting them in bondage. If you feel smothered in a friendship, something is wrong. Likewise, if you feel used or abused, something is amiss. Recognizing what's best for someone and giving that person space are signs of a healthy relationship. We should never let a friend come between us and our spouse. A true Christian friend will wisely avoid intruding and recognize your need to maintain other relationships. It is not possessive or controlling, manipulative. It is not cliquish or party spirited.
5. Godly Friends Give Mutual Edification - 2 Sam 1.20 Proverbs 27:6 Wounds from a friend can be trusted ... True Christian friends will build each other up emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Mutually encouraging in the faith walk and growth. Proverbs 27:17 means when it says, "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." Does this friendship encourage me to grow in my calling?
6. Covereth a multitude of sins - 2 Sam 1.20 Proverbs 17:9 says, “He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends - Proverbs 10.12, 17.9 - 1 Peter 4.8 - Friends do not repeat people’s sins or gossip. Mat 18.15 - They go alone to a friend to deal with a matter. They forgive AND forget.
7. A Covenant Friendship - 1 Samuel 18:1-3 & 2 Sam 9.1 Jonathan's soul was knit with David's soul. Jonathan recognized the anointing in David's to be king and gave him the kingship. Because he loved him as his own soul, Jonathan made a covenant with David - - This will cause a knitting of souls and hearts in friendships.
The Covenant Friendship between David and Jonathan lasted after Jonathan’s death and Jonathan’s family continued to receive the love and benefits of the covenant love with crippled Mephibosheth being the recipient