A friend will do his best to prevent you from driving off a cliff. Your enemy will give you directions to the cliff and happily watch you plunge to your destruction.
A friend cares enough to caution you about financial decisions or bad investments. Your enemy will be glad to see you lose your money.
Your friend will warn you about a snake in the path. Your enemy will tell you to enjoy your walk.
A friend cares enough to help. Your enemy will let you sink.
The Power of Community
Thirty years ago, I made a move.
I had a house payment in one town and an apartment rent in my new location. I had two car payments, my wife was stricken with an illness, and we had two small children. The financial burden was tough.
I met with a group of eight to ten men every Thursday morning at 6 a.m. for prayer. These men prayed for me but came to me one day and said, “We’re going to collect $300 to $400 a month to give to you, until you sell your house.”
I was surprised and thankful, but declined the offer. They insisted.
One man spoke up and said, “We’re not going to sit here and watch you sink.”
I was very close to just giving my house back to the bank, but fortunately I was able to sell it eventually and gained enough money to make a down payment on a house in my new location.
Your friend may not be able to save you. However, your friend will try to save you from sinking. Your enemy will find humor in your demise.
Are You Immobilized And Without Hope?
Your friend will not barrage you with your past mistakes. A real friend is one who puts the past behind and moves forward with you.
The only good thing about remembering past mistakes is so you won’t repeat them. But your enemy delights in rehashing ancient history, i.e. those times when you failed, divorced, folded, went crazy and more. Your friend will focus with you on today. S/he will celebrate your current life and activities.
The Bible says the Devil is like a roaring lion seeking whom he might devour. Often, his most effective work is discouraging us and immobilizing our lives. The work of God is forgiving, forgetting, cleansing, burying and looking ahead to the goal line. The work of evil is to take you back to your old sins and failures.
The Bible talks about forgetting those things which are behind. The scriptures teach that God through Christ forgives us of our sins.
With the sacrifice of Christ, God buries our sins in the depths of the sea to be remembered no more. God doesn’t remember them, so why do you worry about a failure that happened a hundred years ago?
Remember Lot’s wife? She looked back and turned into a pillar of salt. Looking back turns us into salt or immobilizes us from going forward. You can’t go forward looking over your shoulder. The Bible says press toward the goal line. This means you look forward.
Choose who you spend time your time with very carefully. Live looking forward and avoid those who want to keep you looking back.
God is a just God and He does judge wrongdoing. For instance, Psalm 9, verse 12 declares that Jehovah judges those who have shed blood, “For He that maketh inquisition for blood remembereth them; He forgetteth not the cry of the poor.” (Ps 9:12, American Standard Version) God will defend the victim – “Avenge not yourselves, beloved, but give place unto the wrath of God: for it is written, ‘Vengeance belongeth unto Me; I will recompense,’ saith the Lord.” (Romans 12:19, ASV)
For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and a fierceness of fire which shall devour the adversaries… For we know Him that said, ‘Vengeance belongeth unto Me, I will recompense’… It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (See Hebrews 10:26-31) Victims of abuse, trauma, or violence of any kind have a sacred right to reach out to family members, community leaders and law enforcement, to make the wrongdoings publicly known and have authorities put a stop to injustice. God will make His inquisitions through the provisions of law and justice, for He remembers victims and does not forget them.