“A God-loyal people get a good life.” Proverbs 13:21b, The Message
“Eventually, evil will pay tribute to good, the wicked will respect God-loyal people.” Proverbs 14:19, The Message
I will never forget talking with a precious woman one day, when out of no where, she asked me, “Tracy, why is your life so blessed?” I was shocked that through just a few conversations with me, she had this revelation. The truth is, I was so taken aback by her direct question that I did not know what to say. My immediate reply to her was something like, “I am truly blessed because of God’s grace. It has nothing to do with me and everything to do with God.” And while this response was true, I began to inquire of the Lord as to the specifics as to why I have such a blessed life and how I could help others obtain it. In my search for truth I stumbled upon Proverbs 13:12 which tells us that God-loyal people get a good life.
Through my teen years, I applied my loyalty to the wrong crowd in order to obtain acceptance and security. When I let go of this wrong association and grabbed onto the Right Association – Jesus Christ, I became God-loyal. Instantly, I began walking down the path of a blessed life. I remember sitting on the lawn of Asbury College one afternoon and hearing a still small voice say, “Tracy, you have been through much pain, but your future will be filled with much joy.” That promise has come true for me and I am more in love with Jesus than ever before.
So with this discovery in God’s Word, I declare to you today that I am blessed because I am God-loyal. Period. I will be the first to tell you that I am far from perfect, but notice that being God-loyal doesn’t mean perfection, but a quickness to repent. I have found that when I am quick to repent it keeps me on the track of a blessed life. Proverbs 14:6, Message Translation states that, “The lives of God-loyal people flourish.” Ahh….isn’t this good news? When you are God-loyal your life will flourish!
We are all loyal to something or someone. To whom do you give your loyalty to? If we give our loyalty to a wrong association, it can literally lead us to destruction. But if we are continuously God-loyal, we are promised to have a blessed life that even the wicked will respect (Proverbs 14:19).
“Lord, I want a blessed life, therefore I choose to be God-loyal. I choose to let go of wrong associations, thoughts and actions and I give You my loyalty. I declare that my life is flourishing and blessed because I am God-loyal. Amen.”
“Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.” Proverbs 17:17, The Message
Has God ever shown you that you needed to let go of a friendship, but instead of following His lead, you intentionally held onto them too long until it resulted in conflict? As a counselor, I often tell my clients, “When you set a boundary, someone will be hurt.” And although none of us like this truth, what we fail to see is that by NOT setting a boundary – we are the ones who are continually being hurt – over and over again! Boundaries may hurt people’s feelings but it will not harm them. Boundaries allow us to be authentic to ourselves and with others. Boundaries are a good thing and keep us and our friendships healthy.
I have found in my life that there are 3 types of friendships:
1. Friends for a lifetime.
2. Friends for a season.
3. Friends for a moment.
And believe it or not, all three types of friendship are just as important as the other. You may be thinking, “Come on Tracy, surely a lifetime friend is more valuable than a friend for a season or moment!” But, I beg to differ with you – each type of friendship is valuable in its own right.
A friend in the moment can impact you for eternity. I will never forget sitting in a Chapel service at Mid-America Bible College. A young student presented the gospel. I don’t even know his name, but through his message and invitation, I accepted Jesus as my Savior – he was a friend for a moment that impacted my life for eternity. Years later a beautiful intercessor prayed over me and declared “Tracy, you are not a misfit, you may not have fit into your father’s or mother’s plans but you fit into God’s plans.” Her words still ring within my being and although she was a nameless friend for a moment – I will never forget her or her words.
A friend for a season can also impact you more than you know. I had a best guy-friend named Wayne during my college years. He greatly prepared me for my husband. His friendship brought needed healing and restoration in my life – he was an amazing friend for a season. And although our season ended due to us establishing healthy boundaries once we both became married, I will forever be grateful for his friendship in the right season. You see, when seasons change, friendships can change or may even come to an end, but it’s okay – the Lord giveth and taketh away – blessed be the name of the Lord.
The thing about friendships is that we too often try and keep “right” people in the “WRONG” season. Or how about this one – how many of us expect everyone we are friends with to act like our friends for a lifetime? I will never forget when a friend failed to ask me about a recent speaking engagement. She knew about the event, but never inquired about it. After much prayer, God clearly showed me that I was wrong by expecting her to act like my friends for a lifetime – who ALWAYS pray and ask about my speaking engagements.
Today I would like to honor all of my friendships. Whether you have been a friend for a moment, a season or for a lifetime: I honor you and I am a better person because of you – thank you!
As women of God, it is time for us to let go of wrong relationships and childish things (offenses, insecurities back-biting, gossip, he-said-she-said conversations and every evil thing) and grab onto God with all of our might! God is the One person I can declare is your Friend for a lifetime! Selah (pause and think about that for a moment). Jesus is the One who is always on our side. He is cheering you on from heaven and intercedes for you when no one else does. Jesus is the friend that you are all longing for – grab onto Him and trust that He will give you wisdom in all your friendships.
“Lord, thank you for being my friend and Savior for a lifetime. You are always with me and I love you. I give you my friendships and ask that You forgive me for placing my hope in them rather than in You. Show me who my friends are for a lifetime, season and moment. I acknowledge today that each level of friendship is important in my life. I let go of childish things – offense, rejection, trying to defend myself, he said – she said conversations, gossip, criticism, and the such and grab onto You – the author and finisher of my faith. Amen.”
“Dear friend, take my advice; it will add years to your life. I’m writing out clear directions to Wisdom Way, I’m drawing a map to Righteous Road. I don’t want you ending up in blind alleys, or wasting time making wrong turns. Hold tight to good advice; don’t relax your grip. Guard it well – your life is at stake!” Proverbs 4:10-13, The Message
Last week we discussed how a wrong association would bring destruction to your life, but did you know that even a right association at the wrong time would still bring wrong results? Think about this with me for a moment. You can have a right relationship, but if you embrace this relationship in the wrong season, it can bring frustration and wrong results – can I get an amen from someone? This right friendship may have been a huge blessing at one time and it may even be once again in the future, but if we hold onto a right association at the wrong time – it will eventually self-destruct.
Here is what God has shown me:
A right association in a right season = right results
A wrong association in any season = wrong results
And a right association in a wrong season = wrong results
The word “season” in the Greek is “karios.” “Karios” is defined in the Strong’s Concordance as, “an opportune time, set time, appointed time, definitive time, proper time for action and tells us of special happenings that are to occur during a certain time frame.” It is important that we know the season we are in and whom we are to associate with for such a time as this.
There are seasonal places to live, positions of employment, friendships to enjoy and such that are right associations in the right season, but if we apply these in a wrong season, they will eventually self-destruct. This is why we need God’s supernatural wisdom in every area of our life! Next week we will be looking at the three levels of friendships: Friendships for a lifetime, friendships for a season & friendships for a moment.
Proverbs 7:4-5 in the NKJV states, “Say to Wisdom, you are my sister, and call understanding your nearest kin, that they may keep you from *wrong relationships, from *wrong associations who flatter with their lips.” (*Words changed from immoral woman and seductress to wrong associations/relationships by author).
We are entering a season where it is vital that we heed God’s wisdom in our lives. Our obedience is vital to the Kingdom of God. It is time for us to let go of the childish things and grab onto Jesus with all of your might. Jesus is the Right association all the time!!!!
“Lord, I cry out for Wisdom this day. I give you permission to show me any wrong associations in my life. Help me to let them go in order to grab onto You and the right associations for such a time as this. I want to go higher in You and I declare that You are the Right association at all times! Show me the times and seasons. Amen.”
For years I have studied the book of Proverbs, but every time I came to Chapter six and the “Warning On Adultery,” I would simply skip over this portion of scripture as I felt it did not apply to me. After all, this was not an area of temptation for me. I like men and these warnings address a seductive female and her tactics to pull a man into her bed! But recently I approached this normally skipped over portion of scripture by praying, “Lord, I ask you for Wisdom to show me how I can apply this to my life.” Within an instant, I heard a still small voice say, “Tracy, an adulterous woman is a wrong association.” With this revelation, I immediately replaced all the words of warning about adultery to that of having a wrong association in my life.
So buckle your seat belts because what I am about to share with you is God’s wisdom concerning wrong associations and how they can destroy you! The scripture below is taken from Proverbs 6:20-33, The Message Translation and the words of warning about an adulterous women was changed to wrong associations by the author:
“Good friend, follow your father’s good advice; don’t wander off from your mother’s teachings. Wrap yourself in them from head to foot; wear them like a scarf around your neck. Wherever you walk, they’ll guide you; wherever you rest, they’ll guard you; when you wake up, they’ll tell you what’s next. For sound advice is a beacon, good teaching is a light, moral discipline is a life path.
They’ll protect you from wrong associations, from the ‘to good to be true’ talk of a wrong business adventure. Don’t lustfully fantasize about the worlds deemed ‘beautiful people,’ nor be taken in by gossip or dishonest ways to obtain money. You can buy an hour with a fortune teller with a few dollars, but these wrong advisors will eat you alive.
Can you build a fire in your lap and not burn your pants? Can you walk barefoot on hot coals and not get blisters? It is the same when you become entangled with wrong relationships which pull you away from God and seeking HIs Wisdom. Come into contact with them and you’ll pay for it. No excuses. Hunger is no excuse for a thief to steal; when he is caught he has to pay it back, even if he has to put his whole house in hock.
Holding onto unhealthy relationships is a brainless act, but can be soul destroying, self-destructive; expect a bloody nose, a black eye, and a reputation ruined for good.”
Isn’t this good? I wonder just how many times I have overlooked a passage of scripture thinking it didn’t apply to my life, all the while, God longed to show me His Wisdom? I know more than ever that EVERY scripture can be applied to our lives – we just need to seek God for His Wisdom. I pray God’s blessings over each of you. May God give you wisdom on any wrong associations in your life and I declare His strength to help you let go of them. Jesus is the only One we are to hold tightly onto – He is the right association at all times!
“Lord, keep me from wrong associations that will pull me away from You. I give you permission to show me any wrong associations and what I need to do about it. I long for Your Wisdom and counsel. Keep me from turning to anyone other than You for Wisdom. Surround me with godly counselors and those who have my best interest in mind. Thank You for giving me Wisdom this day and protecting me from relationships that would bring destruction to me and my family. Amen.”