Do You Have Friends Like These?

Gwen Smith Blog, Friendship, Strength, Uncategorized 27 Comments

After the Lord had delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt they spent 40 years in the desert. During that time God provided for them both miraculously and practically. One practical way God moved was through His people. Much like today.

Moses was God’s chosen leader, but many others were used as well. We see this demonstrated in Exodus 17 when a savage, nomadic tribe called the Amalekites attacked the Israelites. The Amalekites lived in in the desert region near the Dead Sea and were quick to destroy anyone who got in their space. I imagine that when they went into battle with the Israelites they had no idea that if they messed with Moses and his traveling companions they were messing with the all-powerful, unstoppable army of the Lord!

Here’s the way it went down…

The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”

So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. (Exodus 17:8-13)

This enemy was defeated because a group of likeminded believers stuck together and took action. Most of these Israelites weren’t warriors – they were just like you and me. People of trade, fresh from captivity and hopeful for a bright future. Normals, not heroes. They didn’t win this battle because of their amazing war skills. They won this battle because they did what God told them to do. They had access to God, they looked to Him for help, and they worked together on behalf of His people.

You and I have access to God, can ask Him for help, and can partner with believers to win battles and achieve great things too.

When the enemy attacks me I need reliable friends who have my back and are willing to do battle on my behalf, like Moses had. I’m thankful to have a handful of girlfriends and a prayer team that hits their knees when I write and travel. I’ve witnessed their prayers move the hand of God.

Likewise, when my friends or church leaders are in the thick of it, they need others (including me) to join them in the spiritual battles. As an elder’s wife, I’ve felt the strain that church leaders feel constantly and cannot overstate the importance of lifting up our pastors and women’s ministry leaders in prayer.

We get attacked on all fronts: emotionally, relationally, socially, and financially.

Lies assault us, toxic conversations break us down, temptations vie for our honor… the list is endless. It’s important to recognize that every single attack we face has a spiritual component. And when these attacks come our way (daily) it’s essential that we surround ourselves, and our friends, with prayer.

Taking a cue from Moses, I see an opportunity for you and me to choose a few friends to do battle with today. Let’s move forward with our eyes wide open to the invisible attacks coming our way and partner up with one or a few who will join us in pulling up a rock, holding each others’ hands up and bending knees low.

 

Dear Lord,
Thank You for giving me access to unending grace and strength through Your Son, Jesus Christ. You are my Refuge, my Help, and my Hope. I am so grateful that when my days are filled with battles that You are right beside me – and that You have given me friends to join me on the front lines. Please open my eyes to see the needs around me and to step up as a friend.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE

READ Galatians 6:2, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” What is one practical thing you can do to make this happen today? Tell me your answer as a comment on my blog.

Today’s devotion reminds me of a sweet song from the movie Toy Story, “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.” I’ve posted it on my blog. Click here to LISTEN TO the TUNE! {This is the cutest version ever!}

SPECIAL OFFER: If today’s message is where you are and you need more practical help, check out Gwen’s latest book I Want It All. We’re offering a 20% OFF discount on the I Want It ALL book at our webstore when you use the coupon code: 20OFF. Click here to get yours now.

Comments 27

  1. I have the privilege of spending the week with my ex sister-in-law and brother-in-law. He had triple bypass surgery about 2 months ago and I get the pleasure of making him one of his favorite meals for this evening of Meatloaf cold slaw and mashed potatoes. What a privilege it is to be friends with them and to be God’s hands and feet and bless others because God has blessed me

  2. I’m going to hold up my son’s hands today through prayer as he begins his battle against alcoholism. He admitted for the first time yesterday that he is an alcoholic and is ready to begin changing his life. Pray for him with me that he will win his battle and, most importantly, recommit his heart and life to Jesus!

  3. Excellent message. Thank you.

    Without confiding in 3 close friends and asking for their prayer cover over my marriage, I’m unsure how I would have coped.

    The sad part is, my husband would be horrified if he knew I asked friends to pray for us. Yet we are both Christians. I cannot journey and carry him on my own.

    Vulnerability is hard but much needed for transformation. Thankful for trusting, loving, praying friends.

    Hopeful for my marriage.

  4. Its amazing the message for today. God has his own way of speaking with us. A school mate of ours has descended into bad life choices which has started showing in her habits and life in general. Very typical of us, all we do is analyze the situation and leave it there. She has withdrawn from all of us and we see very little of her. The last few days got me thinking long and hard about the fact that, the creator our Lord is in charge of the Universe. He is the all knowing God and nothing is impossible for him. He uses what seems ‘unusable’ and shows his glory. Last night, I asked one of my friends that we pray for our lost friend at midday today which we successfully did. And after I checked your message, here we are with interceding on behalf of your friends and bearing each other up. May God continue to lead us in the right ways…and may God continue to lead you on. God bless

  5. Thank you Gwen for today’s devotion.I pray that God will help me to be that special friend.I feel so overwhelmed at times with life that I forget about others and pay too much focus on myself.I pray today that God will help me to be a thoughtful and prayerful friend.

  6. It was perfect timing that I read this today. The past couple days all my Christian friends have been praying for me regarding my medical issues and for my dr. appt. I have later today. I also received a couple prayer requests from them asking also for God’s healing touch. I’ve been reminded lately that God’s timing isn’t ours! He will heal all his children, just not in our timing necessarily. How wonderful it is to know without a shadow of a doubt that all believers will never be in pain in heaven. I have also been reminded that with God all things are possible. God is the Great Physician and He can make a way out of no way, often when we have nearly given up and least expect it! He has for me many times in the past so I am hoping and praying he will again soon!!! Let’s all keep praying for our pastors..that is something, I hate to admit it, I seldom remember to do.

    1. The lord brings friends into our lives to strengthen us and we them. A new “friend” may be someone you have not considered a friend, someone who we learn has much in common with us, someone we often, without knowledge, is in the same battle we are in. She needs my counsel and I need hers. Most unlikely friendship , but such a comfort, help, encouragement and also practical counsel . Personal example, two widows in to separate states. Two denominational backgrounds, born 15 years apart and other differences God knows our needs and supplies them in the most amazing ways. Praise Him. Mary P.

  7. The video was so precious!! Thank you for sharing it. I had a friend to text this morning who is still suffering the aftermath of a car accident in August. She is being treated for several small aneurysms on her brain, and text a group of friends to pray. This devotional was so on time because I did not even know she was not at work (I retired recently) until over a month after the accident. It is important to be there for our friends. Jesus is the best friend ever. We need to be the best friend ever

  8. Hi Gwen,

    I just recently started receiving your emails and want to thank you for this outreach ministry. Today’s devotional hit a soft spot for me. I have a few good friends but no one who is an active Christian. I have met a few women in my church, and even though they are polite and friendly no one is very welcoming to start a new friendship. I live in a small community where everyone grew up with each other. And yes, I have volunteered in every aspect of my church. So the GIG devotionals are my way of receiving that Christian women support and has challenged me to look within to see how I can change myself and maybe it will help others. And I do pray for those as yourself who spread the Word so that God will open the ears and hearts of those who are listening. God Bless You!

  9. Yes! Cutest version ever!

    Practical today…. praying specifically for God to erase doubt and give clarity and vision to a few of my friends, Self-doubt seems to be the way Satan works in so many of our lives.

  10. I feel as if I’ve been doing this for quite some time; for, I share the GIG devotion daily with three of my friends. These prayerful, powerful, and caring women have “held my arms up” more times than I can count. I can only hope that the devotions and the added comments I include have blessed their lives as much as they have blessed me. Knowing they’re praying for me has been a very powerful reminder of God’s love in my life.

  11. I can really relate to this story. My husband had major heart surgery 2 weeks ago and if it had not have been for our friends and our church family praying, encouraging us and lifting us up in faith, I don’t know how we would have gotten through this time. I thank God so much for friends that will stand beside us and hold us up in our time of need. Thank you so much for this post, I really enjoy getting the emails! God Bless!

  12. I am asking for CHRISTIAN sister to pray for me today.Had a man put roof on GOD that he lets me stay in.This man sexual harassment me 2 times & I LOCKED MY GARAGE & DOORS & HAD BASEBALL BAT BY DOORS for him to NOT come in.He knock at door at 7 pm said I need 2 more ridge cap to cover my ROOF & went to town on Sat & left them in my truck & he said didn’t like my attuid toward him.I told him I am 71 1/2 old & old enough to be his mother I don’t like being molest as a dog, he got in truck & left & now he has MECHIC Lien on me for rest of what he thought I should pay.ASKING FOR PRAYERS TO GUIDE TO RIGHT ATTORNEY WHO WILL NO COST ME LOTS OF MONEY. GOD HAS 1ST & LAST SAY.

  13. I would be totally lost without my sisters in Christ & prayer partner/warriors! Gods design for us is absolute & perfect he knew we would need help & I praise him & give him the glory for the Loving friends he has blessed me with. We hold each other up in prayer as needed whether it be for ourselves or family members. Thus fulfilling Galatians 6:2. My prayer is that anyone who does not have Loving friends & prayer warriors will ask God to place someone in their life to help them along life’s weary road.

  14. Hi Gwen, I have never written on a blog before, and I try always to help lift my friends burdens by praying for them. However today I asked god to help my none believers see through me, the extraordinary changes he had made and is making every day since I truly surrendered my heart and soul too Jesus. I became a Christian just a few years ago and it took until May of this year for me to truly understand that God truly loves me. And that is when changes started happening. I pray in Jesus’s name that my friends do not have to wait so long to see the truth. ,thank you for suggesting I share my thoughts today.

  15. Beautiful words of encouragement for today. To know you have friends who are there to pray and lift you up to God when going thru your fight. What an awesome thing. I’ve gone thru some difficult health battles. But, never by myself.

  16. God is calling me to trust Him in my discrimination court battle. I am growing weary but the devotional today reminded me of all the instructions and promises He gave me 2 years ago when He told me (through His Word, messages from my Pastor and other guest preachers and while praying) that I must stand for justice and speak out. I would have preferred to walk away from the job because I don’t like conflict. However, I’m realizing now that several other women of color are also being mistreated at my company and someone needs to speak out. God said He would fight for me against this ‘Pharaoh.’ Please join me in prayer. Our current political climate is not encouraging either but our God is still in the throne.

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  17. I work as part of a team of 3. I am stepping in and taking over one of my co- workers duties so it is not left for her tomorrow. She is grieving her Father’s passing anniversary this month and it’s been tough for her. I pray she feels the love!

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