“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 or friendship would eventually 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 will bring frustration and self-destruct. Friendships change yet as women we often struggle with letting go of friendships that are no longer fruitful. Not letting go is rooted in fear and fear always leads to torment. Letting go allows us to trust God with our friendships, and when we are willing to let go and let God, He will either bring the friendship around in due time or bring in new friendships that will propel us forward into our destiny.
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, hobbies, and friendships, which in the right season are a huge blessing. This is why we need God’s supernatural wisdom in every area of our life…including our friendships! 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.”
After traveling out of state the past few years, I am finally in Atlanta again & I’d love to see you there.
Faith in Action
“Looking Up and Looking Out”
First Baptist Church of Smyrna
Saturday, February 12, 2011 8:30 a.m.—3:00 p.m.
A day full of blessings waiting for you with:
MAIN SPEAKER FOR GENERAL SESSIONS:
PRAISE AND WORSHIP
BREAKOUT SESSIONS OF VARIOUS TOPICS
BREAKFAST AND LUNCH
A simultaneous event for preschoolers and children of participants will be offered.
$15 Registration due by February 6th
Call for information: 770-435-3231
For those of you near Highlands/Cashiers, North Carolina…Hurry, Registration is due by January 31st: call: (828) 526-4685
Contact me if you have any questions and I hope to see you soon! More Conferences are coming and I will try and keep you posted.
“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 the friendship to long until it resulted in conflict? As a counselor, I often tell my clients, “When you set a boundary, someone will get 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.
I have found in my life that there are three types of friendships:
1. Friends for a lifetime.
2. Friends for a season.
3. Friends for a moment.
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!” 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 African American 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.
A friend for a season can also impact you more than you know. I had a best guy-friend during my college years. He greatly prepared me for my husband. His friendship brought healing and restoration in my life – he was a friend for a season that impacted my life for such a time as this.
A friend for a lifetime is a rare treasure. These are the individual’s who love us rather than judge us, they hold confidences instead of gossiping about us, they want the best for us rather than feeling jealous of our success, they do not hold offenses but come to us if there is a problem, they make themselves available at all hours to listen and pray for us, and we don’t have to defend ourselves to them because they know who we really are and they value us as much as we value them. If we have just one lifetime friendship, we are extremely blessed!
The thing about friendships is that we too often try and put the wrong people in the wrong place. Or how about this one – how many of us expect everyone we are friends with to act like our friends for a lifetime? It all comes down to our expectations of others. I will never forget when my feelings were hurt because 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 for me and ask about my speaking engagements...knowing where a friend fits into our life can not only bring tremendous peace but also keep us from frustration and disappointment.
As women of God, it is time for us to let go of the childish things (offences, jealousy, back-biting, gossip, cliques, 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! 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.”
What are your thoughts or comments? Please click on the comment button. I would love to hear from you!
“Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and give praise to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
Most of you know our guest writer, Carol Abersold (center), as the Bestselling Author of “Elf On The Shelf” which is #3 on the USA Best Seller List. But what you may not know is that Carol is wife, mother, Bible teacher, mentor and woman of God who longs to glorify God. Please check out her wonderful website at:www.elfontheshelf.com. My daughter goes onto her website often to create cookies, color, and play games.
I know you will be blessed by Carol’s devotional today and it’s timeless message to let your light shine everyday of the year. Enjoy!
Although I had tried to faithfully serve the Lord for more than fifty years, my light, for all intents and purposes, was out. I found myself in the blackest of pits mentally, physically and spiritually. I had been physically suffering with three herniated discs in my neck, my husband’s business was failing, and my in-laws let me know how much they disliked me after thirty-four years of pretense. I found myself curled up in a ball weeping and crying out to God for help, healing and deliverance. All hope seemed gone.Why was I, a Sunday school teacher, amateur Bible scholar, a word believing, walking, talking Christian suffering from hopelessness?!! My usually strong husband was suffering from his own worries ( I was one of them), and I “turned to God” but He seemed to be on vacation. What was the deal!
My oldest daughter came over to pray for me. She took action and made an appointment for me to get professional Christian counseling, and she encouraged me to start writing. My Eeyore-like reply was, “I have nothing to say.” Determined child (adult) that she is, she looked up on a shelf in my kitchen where my little pixie elf from childhood still remained even though the holidays were past. “Why don’t we write a book about the elf tradition?” she said. My reply was, “Oh, Chanda, nobody would want to read that……Okay.”
And so we began writing what turned out to be The Elf On The Shelf: A Christmas Tradition. While we were in the process of writing the story, I received the professional help I needed from Tracy Hurst. These two women, Chanda and Tracy, let the Lord use them to shine His light upon me. He graciously healed me from my pain, the source of our financial drain was revealed to us, and most importantly… I got my light back.
The point is this: a Christian woman’s light never completely goes out, but it can grow extremely dim. Perhaps, you, like I, need someone to shine their light on you until you can get your “batteries recharged.” Don’t be afraid, just receive it. In turn, when darkness seems present in another’s life do not hesitate to shine your God-given light.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, let me be equally as willing to be set alight, as to shed light. Let the Holy Spirit remind me not to lose heart, because I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Let me not be ashamed to seek proper help when my light seems to dim, and let me be a beacon shedding Your light on everyone I meet today. Amen.