The only thing we need… or… how not to slaughter your friends

“Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes out of the mouth of God.”

Every word that comes out of the mouth of God huh? Not came… but comes.

He speaks every single day, in so many different ways. I won’t try and convince you, I’ll just tell you what I know. The God that made you and me is talking to us all of the time.

Whether through nature, a friend, a book, your circumstances, maybe the still and quiet voice inside, God is trying to get your attention. He longs to have you near Him, and that’s the goal of everything that He is saying. “Be with me.”

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

___

mr. intensity

Meet grumpy John, Mr. Intensity, able to crush a faltering friend in a single bound!!!

I love to do things for God, and it’s not always for the right reasons. I often think that I can make Him happy by my own efforts and strength. But it’s funny, He’s never impressed by me. He knows me. He knows what’s underneath. He’s happiest with me staying next to Him and going where He sends me. And to be quite honest, I’m only truly happy when I’m doing just that.

But none the less, day after day, I lose myself. I lose myself in desperately trying to do the ‘right’ thing.

But how could the right thing be wrong you ask? Well, if the author of life isn’t backing it up, then it doesn’t matter how right I am, I’m gonna miss it and hurt someone.

You see, there’s something much bigger and deeper than being right or wrong,  and that is being with God and letting His Word come through you. Nothing goes so far, deep and wide as the Word of God. The book of Hebrews says that the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two edged sword… enough to separate soul from spirit… He knows the thoughts and intentions of our hearts.

The Word of God brings life and is redemptive, just like the Father… but you see, being ‘right’ often kills. There’s no life in simply being right. Only a judgment and a sentence.

I’m not talking about the scriptures, I’m talking about the living and moving mind of our God. And I’ll say it again, it is still speaking every moment of every day.

I’ll give an example.

___

The other night I was at a meeting with other men and women my age. We get together on Monday nights and encourage each other and so forth, and talk about what God is doing. When I’ve talked a lot at a meeting like that, I can get pretty confident by the end of it, sharing my thoughts and opinions. My head swells and I start really moving out of my brain instead of checking in with God.

And this night, I did just that. As we were leaving, I saw a friend talking to someone. This particular individual had been having a rough time with this guy. I hadn’t liked the way that he had gone about talking to him before, and I assumed that he was doing the same in that moment.

I walked by and headed home, but I was annoyed. My wheels were turning and I was assessing what I thought sure was going on. I was getting pretty hot under the collar.

Eventually, I could go no further. I was sure this guy was killing this other guy with this talk, and I had to do something about it… So, I fired off this pointed text message, (good grief, a text message of all things) and let him know what I was thinking.

The next morning, I saw him on the bus that we all ride to work together in. I could tell he was stewing about something. I assumed that he had made himself this way by going after this guy needlessly and being all emotional. (take note… not once yet had I ASKED my friend what was going on…only giving input and telling him my two cents)

Now, the next few minutes is a blur.

I said something to him as we made a coffee shop stop, I really can’t remember what it was, and then, I was being yelled at. I mean really, yelled at a whole lot. On the porch of the coffee shop, inside of the coffee shop, back out on the porch of the coffee shop… I got an earful. And here’s what stuck out to me in it all. He told me that he was sick of me meddling in his life.

Meddling? Me? Meddle? I don’t meddle. I follow God and give people what God has and…

I was beginning to feel a little gross inside. I had come to that crossroad where you want to keep fighting to hold your ground, but there’s this growing unclarity and unrest inside you. I could tell I wasn’t standing next to God.

I talked to one of my best friends, and he asked me hard questions and gave advice. But none the less,  I wanted to give up. I love this guy so much, but I really don’t want to hurt him trying to help him…

My tendency is to often learn my hardest lessons by the blood of my friends. By ‘helping‘ them.

I was obviously not helping.

People were giving me advice. Some were saying that they couldn’t believe that he went off on me the way that he did. I was just getting more and more quiet and ashamed inside.

It was like there were two conversations going on. I was talking to friends, but inside, I heard God talking. I had prayed, and asked God for help, because I knew that if I went one step further with this brother, I may break him. I want to lift him up. And gently, God had answered me deep inside, and told me what to do.

You see, a few days earlier, this guy had been in a pretty heavy discussion about some things he was going through with myself and two others. One of the things I told him was to stick with his friends, literally, physically attempt to be near them, even when he was mad. To at least make that effort to come near them, and that just that conscious act toward togetherness, God would honor it.

So we’re sitting on the bus, and he was about 5 seats up from me. I can see him shaking in his anger. He’s feeling helpless, not just angry. I could hear God saying to me, “Are you willing to do what you told him to do? Can you just go be with him? Can you put your opinions aside? He needs a friend, not talk. He needs someone to simply be next to him so that he doesn’t feel alone.”

So I did. I went and sat next to him. I thought it would have been likely, and justified for him to separate my skull from my spine. But he didn’t. I asked for forgiveness… and I told him he was right. He doesn’t hear that from me enough. He stopped shaking, and we rode the rest of the way in peace.

I love the Word of God. It brings people together and builds relationships in the right direction, toward the Father. The Word of God is good food!

If we can keep in mind, in every single circumstance and confrontation, that the person standing in front of us lives off of the Word of God, and not our stinking and wretched thoughts, we would do a lot better. May we bring down food from above and let the Father destroy what we think we have to say.

It’s worth it to be still and quiet and not say anything until God says something. My friend Shammah said the other night at a teaching, “If Christ only did what he saw the Father doing, how much more should we be seeking to do the same?”

***as an addendum… I later found out, that the original talk that I was annoyed with and meddled with and fired off a text during was actually a really really productive and worthwhile talk. The other guy said that it didn’t go badly until that text came through. Good grief that’s embarrassing. ***

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One thought on “The only thing we need… or… how not to slaughter your friends

  1. Kitty

    Wow , what a story. It makes me think of when I can see and feel something that is actually really truth but unless it is all in the timing and moment of our Father to say something we sure can make a mess of it. Love ya John.

    Reply

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