We all need friends. We need people in our lives that will love us where we are and help us get to a place of higher living. We need friends that will hold us accountable to God's standards - friends that sharpen us. The Bible makes a compelling point about this type of friendship. “Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend [to show rage or worthy purpose].” (Proverbs 27:17, AMP). Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible says of this principle: “We are cautioned to take heed whom we converse with. And directed to have in view, in conversation, to make one another wiser and better.”
When we have a friend that sharpens and we become a friend that sharpens, our lives are enriched. Think about what our churches, our neighborhoods, our marriages, our work places, and our lives would look like if we all had this type of friend in our lives. Helen Keller said it beautifully: "Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light."Are you that friend to anyone? Do you long to have deeper friendships? If you find yourself in a wide pool of shallow friendships, I’d encourage you to pray about it. Pray that God would bring meaningful friendships to your life and that He would teach you what it looks like to be a good friend.
I had already been introduced to God and His plan of salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. As a matter of fact I had already accepted salvation through Christ, but I somehow had gotten away from developing a real, intimate relationship with Him. Deep down I knew that God was pursuing me, and I could not outrun Him. Silly, right?—the thought of God actively chasing someone. But for me I knew it was so, because I could hear His voice in my spirit, calling me and directing me in the correct paths to take at every intersection in my life. I could recall how I intentionally spent an exhausting amount of time trying to suppress the call in order to do things my way. Truly it was time for me to stop running and put my faith into action by completely surrendering my life and my will to His will. I was tired of running, and I knew that it was time for me to get to know intimately the God of my salvation.
So, 'Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart...since...you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward...' (Colossians 3:23-24 NIV). Can you think of any greater incentive than that moment when you stand in His presence and hear, 'Well done,' for giving it your best shot?
I heard of a man of God, Pastor Steve Furtick who tweeted last night:
An ounce of anointing is more precious than a thousand tons of talent.
When I say anointing, I’m talking about the supernatural enabling of the Holy Spirit.
If you’ve got it, you’ll do greater things for God than you can imagine, and live a remarkable life for His glory.
If you don’t, you won’t.
If you’re anointed by God, you’ll do things far beyond your capability. You’ll live in a constant state of humility, because you need the Lord for every step, every breath, every situation. You’ll live in constant amazement at all the ways He comes through for you.
If you’re not anointed by God, even your strengths will become weaknesses in time. You’ll still do good stuff, maybe even impressive stuff. But it won’t have eternal power in it, and it will be just a small slice of what you could have done, if the Lord was doing it through you.
Talent is a great thing to have. It’s a gift from God.
But having talent without anointing is kind of like having seatwarmers in a car but not having an engine under the hood.
God can work in spite of our lack of talent. Through the anointing, even our weakness can become a playing field for the Lord to show off His strength.
But talent alone isn’t enough to get the job done if you don’t have God’s power behind it. You’ll come up short in the end.
I’m asking God today for a fresh anointing on my life. 'We are...created...to do good works...' Ephesians 2:10 NIV
God uses people like you, ordinary people with work and family responsibilities, mortgages and busy lives. The Bible says, '...we are...created...to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.' Note the word 'prepared.' It's the same word that's used for making sure a team has the training and equipment it needs to win. The truth is, each of us is '...an instrument for noble purposes...' (2 Timothy 2:21 NIV).
'...If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.' 1 John 5:14 NKJV
We like to think that our wants are God's will, maybe, and maybe not. '...If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us...we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him' (1 John 5:14-15 NKJV). Your confidence in prayer comes from knowing that you are asking according to God's will.