"True Call Of Friendship"

I believe all friendship comes down to this: love.

We all have our own definition of what it means to be a friend.  For most of my life I thought friends were those whom I could count on to listen when times were tough, those people I celebrate with & those with whom I shared my deepest secrets. While all those are worthy characteristics of friendship, I have been introduced recently, to the worthiest & most noble trait I can hope to find in any friend & what I hope to be for everyone who calls me friend: someone whose life is so centered around Jesus Christ that my friendship with them strengthens the relationship I have with God.   

 The true call of friendship is to bring us closer to God.
 Friendship is yet another way He shows His undying love for us.  So if we think of friendship in those terms, there are probably a few we should all reconsider.  Very recently, God spoke to me about my friendships.  He told me to reconsider many of them & stop making excuses for lack of Christian friends.  Most importantly, He reminded me, a person content as a loner, that He doesn’t intend for us to fight the battles of this world alone.  
He intends for us to arm ourselves with friends.  He wants to bless us with great, wonderful, & amazing friends.  When we surrender to His path for our lives he even chooses those people for us.  


God is good y'all.
 
Most of our friends growing up were friends by default.  We went to the same school, played on the same team, our parents were friends, etc.  They were friendships arranged by us or perhaps by the world.  I still consider some of those people friends, but so many others have completely fizzled away. 


Possibly, this is God providing an escape plan?

The people I now consider my nearest & dearest friends are angels sent straight from Heaven.  When God sets up a friendship, it doesn’t matter how long you have known each other.   It doesn’t matter where you live or what your background is.  You don’t have to have anything in common other than Him.  Trust that when God wants someone in your life it will happen.  When anyone mentions the word friendship to me many faces & names come to mind, but none as vividly as those of Terrena Carriman, Christopher Ketner & Joshua Redfield.  I have known these people for such a short time, but in a way that I have never experienced before I know that God, by his almighty power, set up our friendship. From the day we became friends my life has changed for the better. 

Great friendships do that: they make life a little better, every single day. 

These awesome people have changed my views on friendship by showing me what being a friend really means. From our first fellowship, I knew that we were friends for life because God was central to it all. It feels like we have known each other for a lifetime because we have shared moments & created memories that not even the oldest friends have known.  From day one our lives have been so parallel.  I know that God connected us so that through it all we will remind each other of His greatness, encourage each other & seek counsel from God-loving people in similar situations.  This is the first time God’s presence in a friendship has been made so evident to me.  This new friendship has challenged me to really examine what kind of friend I am & what I expect from others.  I thank God every day for their beautiful souls.  We pray for each other, encourage one another & stand in awe of God together.  Their friendship is unlike any I have ever known before & that got me to thinking (…uh oh...look out…) why is it different?
 

Hello Stacie. GOD. DUH.  This is a friendship ordained by God. A Divined Friendship.
 

So then my next question:
What does a friendship ordained by God look like? 

Luckily, we have an instruction manual for life.  The Bible shows us exactly what God’s expectations for friendship are: 
 

Encouragement – Ecclesiastes 4:9-10  “Two are better than one…For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow…” 

~ A true friend helps you up when you fall down.  In fact, they are so invested in your life, at times they fall down with you (for if they fall).  You help each other stand.  A real friend loves you, prays with you, walks you through your trials.  They help you see the blessing in your burdens.
~ A “friend” will only help you when it helps them.  They would never allow themselves to fall down with you.  You are lucky if they even hear your cry for help, while a true friend knows without even a whisper that you need encouragement.  They see you as defined by your failures & relish any chance to remind you of mistakes.

 

Accountability – Proverbs 27:5-6,8 “Open rebuke is better than hidden love! Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy…The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense,”
 

~A true friend lovingly tells you when you are wrong.  Francis Chan in Crazy Love said, “harsh realities and the loving truth often go hand in hand.”  It is often the hardest to be on the receiving end of this but we must trust that our real friends are holding us accountable to the life God has called us to live rather than pointing out our flaws to hurt us.  When you genuinely love someone, you want them to be the best they can be.  A true friend tells you from a place of love, when you are wrong.
~A “friend” judges you when you are wrong.  When they tell you you’re wrong it is most often to prove that they are right.  Or, equally harmful, they never tell you you’re wrong.  They allow you to live in sin because they aren’t worried about or aware of God’s standards for your life.  They shower you with praise even when you don’t deserve it.


Intercession 2 Timothy 2:3 “Night and day I mention you in my prayers.  I am always grateful for you, as I pray…”
 

~A true friend prays for you.  They intercede for you. They respond when God wakes them up at night or stops them during the day with your name heavy on their heart.  They pray God will bless you, use you, empower you and deliver you.  They also take time to thank God for you every day.  They pray more for you than they do for themselves.  You can call a true friend any hour of any day and they will pray with you and for you.
~A “friend” spends time praying for themselves, if they pray at all.  They seek to explain your problems with worldly advice rather than turning to God.


HE IS ALWAYS GOING TO BE YOUR BEST FRIEND
The one thing God expects most of all though, is that no friendship on this earth will replace your personal friendship with Him.  As long as God is your BFF everything else takes care of itself.  Keep your focus on being God’s friend & you will become a better friend to those around you here.
Remember friendship is a relationship…a two way street.  Make yourself worthy of the friendship God wants to bless you with & never expect more from others than yourself.  It is about giving & giving & giving until you think you have given all you have & then giving more still, without expecting anything in return.  
 

It all comes down to love.  The only foundation strong enough to support the towering skyscraper of friendship is love.  Friendship’s power lies in loving someone else more than you love yourself.  
 

Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loveth at all times…”


Stacie C. Fields, a southern girl to the core, has been a Brooklynite for three years, where she lives in Windsor Terrace. From the age of three Stacie knew God was calling her to be a dancer and from her first visit to NYC at 11yrs old she knew this would one day be home. She also enjoys standing in awe of God's beautiful artistry, reading the classics, eating, traveling, baking and entertaining friends in her humble abode. She is an avid tree climber who loves adventure. With a passion for life, this gal has the spirit of a five year old, yet calls herself an old soul and describes her style as grandma chic. She thanks God everyday for bringing her to Brooklyn Tabernacle and can be heard daily proclaiming "God is good y'all!!!!"