For those of you who have entered into a true Spirit-filled, surrendered walk with the Lord where God and Jesus are now leading and directing your life in the direction They want it to go in - one of the first things that you will find happening to you is that God will start to prune out the people that He does not want in your life and start to bring in the people that He does want in.
As you will see in the Scripture verses listed below - the Bible tells us to choose our friends carefully, that he who walks with wise people will become wise himself but that he who keeps company with fools will he himself be destroyed. The Bible tells us that we not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers and that we are to stay away from people who cause divisions and offenses and to withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly.
This does not mean that we cannot "work" with the lost, the downtrodden and the people who need to find God and His message of salvation. When Jesus came to our earth in the flesh - He always went after the sinners and outcasts. But when Jesus went after these sinners - it was always for the purpose of getting them saved and cleaned up.
Jesus did not chase after everyone. He ripped on the Pharisees and many of the high-ranking Jewish leaders. Some people are open to be helped - others are not. The Bible tells us to stay away from "dogs" and beware of people who are "evil workers."
The first thing God will do with your life is to start to set some boundaries. He will now decide the path that you will now follow in Him. He will be leading you into the jobs He wants you to have. If you are single and not married yet - He will lead you to the mate that He wants you to marry if it is in His will for your life that you get married.
And once the boundary lines start to go up - one of the first things that God will start to do is decide who is going to come into those boundary lines and who will be going out. In other words - God will be deciding who your true friends are going to be and who will not.
The main reason God will be helping you in choosing who your true friends are going to be is because His ultimate aim for you while living down here on earth is to "transform" and "sanctify" you. In other words - He wants you to "spiritually grow up."
The Bible tells us that we are transformed by the "renewing of our minds" and God's ultimate aim for us is our sanctification - where He starts to begin to make us to become more holy like Himself.
The reason God will start to take out the friends in your life that He does not want you to have is because some of those people may be negative influences in your life. They may not be open to "growing in God" like you are and all they will do is try and hold you back when you start your own spiritual growth in the Lord. They will start criticizing and making fun of you and all they will end up doing is stunting your growth in the Lord.
God will not put up with this and He will thus be taking these bad influences out of your life very early on once you enter into this surrendered walk with Him. For those of you who are married and have children - it is the same thing when you do not want your children hanging out with other children who you know would be a bad and negative influence on your child.
You know that if your children start hanging out with the wrong crowd - that they can become very easily corrupted in a very short period of time. As a result, you will become very protective on who your children will be choosing to be their friends once they become old enough to start choosing who their playmates are going to be.
It is the exact same way with God the Father! That is why God will be moving to take out these negative influences very early on in your walk with Him. Once that starts to happen - you have to go with the program or you could cause God to start pulling back on you. And once that starts to happen - you will start to "backslide" and everything could start to shut down.
If you allow God to prune out the people that He does not want in your life - then what He will start to do is to bring in the people that He does want you to be friends with. I call these types of friends "God friends." These will be other Godly, Spirit-filled Christians who are truly walking in good stead with the Lord and they will now be the people that you will be able to share your walk with!
As you will see in the Scripture verses listed below - you will need other Christian friends to help you grow in the Lord. The Bible tells us that we only "know in part." No one has all the answers. By sharing your walk with other good solid Christian friends - you can each help each other out in your pursuit of the knowledge and ways of God.
You will know some things about God they may not know and they will know some things that you may not know. You thus are able to contribute to each other's storehouse of knowledge.
One of the verses listed below state that two friends can sharpen each other up like "iron sharpens iron." Just like one piece of iron can make the other piece of iron extremely sharp by rubbing up against it - two solid Christian friends can have the same type of affect on one another by sharing their own personal walks in the Lord with one other.
By having other solid Christian friends to share your journey with - you will literally accelerate your growth and development in God because you will have more than one source in which to feed and learn from. You will be learning about God from your own personal adventures with Him - but you will also be learning more about God from your other friends' personal journey with Him.
How many of these types of God friends can you expect God to bring in? Only God will be able to answer that for each and every one of you. Some may only get one or two to start off with - others may get 5 or 10. Let God make the decision as to how many and when they will be brought into your life.
What I have learned is that it is not the quantity or amount that comes in - but it is the quality. You are much better off having just one or two good, solid quality friends as versus 10 or 15 that are not as good quality as the one or two may be.
Every Christian is operating at different levels of spiritual development with the Lord. God knows best who would be best suited for you at the level that you are currently operating at with Him. When God does bring in these types of special God friends to share your journey with - they are real treasures. These God friendships will be Anointed by God Himself due to the "feedings" that will occur in them.
Sadly, what you will find out very early on, is just because someone may be a saved and born again Christian does not mean that this person has his or her "act" together in God. Some have become too judgmental and too critical in their walks with the Lord. Some have become arrogant and pompous - thinking that they have all the answers to everything. They will tend to look down on anyone else that is not operating at the knowledge levels that they are operating at.
Some have become so flakey in their walks with the Lord - that they have lost touch with reality and you won't be able to "connect" with any of them. God knows best as to who will be best suited for you - so let Him guide you to the ones that He wants you to connect up with.
I have seen God do this so many times for others - that I literally consider it a miraculous piece of work - especially as to how He gets you to meet some of these people in the first place. Some of these "chess moves" are quite incredible as most of these people will be total strangers to you until God moves to match the two of you up.
The other thing that could occur besides God matching you up with total strangers is that He may move on someone else you know - but that you are not particular good friends with. That person gets saved and "plugged in" - and then he or she finds out that you too are saved and plugged in - and now a good God friendship starts to build up as you now have something in common with one another to start to build a good solid friendship with.
This could be another member in your family, someone that you may work with, a friend who you may have known from your past, someone you may see at church from time to time but never really talked with or someone you may meet on the internet through a chat room. The possibilities are endless as to where these people may come from.
These God friends can come from anywhere and at anytime - so keep your radars up - as you never know when God may move to bring one of them into your life.
Now I'll go to the actual Scripture verses confirming all of the above for you.
The Scripture Verses
1. Choose Your Friends Carefully
This first verse specifically tells us to choose our friends carefully! Here it is:
"The righteous should choose his friends carefully for the way of the wicked leads them astray." (Proverbs 12:26)
2. Benefits of Choosing Good God Friends
Here are some very interesting verses showing you why God does want you to have other good friends in which to share your walk with.
Here are 6 really good verses showing you that there is safety in the multitude of counselors, that plans go awry without other people to hash things out with, that "war" is waged by wise counsel with others, that learning is increased by listening to wise counsel and that if you cease to listen to wise counsel that you will start to stray from being able to acquire more knowledge in God.
- "Where there is no counsel, the people fail; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety." (Proverbs 11:14)
- "A wise man is strong, yes, a man of knowledge increases strength; for by wise counsel you will wage your own war, and in a multitude of counselors there is safety." (Proverbs 24:5)
- "Every purpose is established by counsel; by wise counsel wage war." (Proverbs 20:18)
- "Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselorsthey are established." (Proverbs 15:22)
- "Listen to and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days." (Proverbs 19:20)
- "Cease listening to instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge." (Proverbs 19:2)
3. As Iron Sharpens Iron
This next verse is extremely fascinating as it tells us that two friends can sharpen each other up as iron sharpens iron. A true God friend can help keep you sharp in the Spirit, let you know when you are getting too far off track, help you get through and make sense of some of the downswings that can occur in your walk, confirm and help bear witness when you are on the right track, give you pep talks when needed and help keep you in the game when you start to get too mad and too frustrated when things do not go your way.
You each serve to help keep each other "up" in the Lord so you both can continue to stay on the straight and narrow road that God has you set on. You can also help each other out if one starts to be tempted to do something they should not be engaging in. Here is the verse:
"As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend." (Proverbs 27:17)
4. Do Not Be Unequally Yoked with Unbelievers
These next set of verses tells us not to be yoked together with unbelievers, foolish men, "dogs", evil workers, those who are disorderly, reckless, contentious, always causing trouble and strife, etc.
There is one verse in particular that specifically tells us that "evil company corrupts good habits." This verse perfectly shows what can happen to any of your children if they start hanging out with the wrong type of people.
Here are 7 good verses showing us to stay on our side of the fence and to stay away from the bad apples who have no desire for God or anything that He stands for.
- "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the Temple of God with idols? For you are the Temple of the living God." (2 Corinthians 6:14)
- "He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed." (Proverbs 13:20)
- "A scoffer seeks wisdom and does not find it, but knowledge is easy to him who understands. Go from the presence of a foolish man, when you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge." (Proverbs 14:6)
- "Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers ..." (Philippians 3:2)
- "But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which you have received from us." (2 Thessalonians 3:6)
- "Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you have learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple." (Romans 16:17)
- "Do not be deceived: "Evil Company corrupts good habits." Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God." (1 Corinthians 15:33)
Just as God saw fit to create Eve for Adam in the Garden of Eden when He first created the first man - God still places an extremely high value on personal friendships and He will make sure to lead the right people and the right number of people in your life so that you can each help each other out to go farther and fly higher in the Lord.
When Jesus first started to send the 12 apostles out to walk with His Anointing - He would send them out "two by two."
Once you enter into a real supernatural walk with the Lord - you will go "nuts" if you do not have someone to share your walk with. There are simply too many God things that will start to happen in your life and you will need someone to talk with, to vent with, to share with, to learn from one another and to help keep each other on track.
Article written by Michael Bradley of Bible Knowledge Ministries. Their website is a resource of Bible Knowledge, articles, commentary and teaching. They currently have over 100