Marriott Battle

Who is Your Home?

When do your friends become your idols?

When do they gain the authority to influence the decisions in your life instead of the Creator of your life?

An intimate relationship with God has been close to my heart recently. I have begun to run to my friends with issues about a boy, or body image, or a myriad other things instead of my God. the Bible calls us to community and God has called certain people to be in my life and me in theirs, but when does it go too far?

I was on Pinterest one day and I saw that my friend had pinned the quote, "stop asking people who have never been where you're going for directions". I was extremely taken aback with conviction at that moment because that is exactly what I'd been doing. I had been begging my friends for advice when I ought to have simply run to the arms of my Heavenly Father who is always waiting patiently for me to come home to Him.

Everyone on this Earth is going through a completely different story line. It's not even like they're on season 4 and I'm on season 2, but they're starring in Glee and I'm on Gilmore Girls

We praise God for our originality, but we don't seem to understand that the dichotomy of our unfolding plot lines needs to be different in order for every part of the Body of Christ to justly serve the Kingdom. If we all came from the same past and experienced the same problems, from where would our awareness come and our knowledge grow?

God has put a need in our hearts to yearn for community, but He also put a greater need for Him in our lives. In order for us, as children of God, to accomplish His will and live a life fully for Him, we must seek God before any man. 

In 1 Corinthians, Paul proclaims that "bad company corrupts good character" (15:33). In other translations, the word 'character' is substituted for the word 'morals'. No matter what your intentions or principles are, the people with whom you surround yourself might either taint your objectives or fuel them with Christ-like love and strength. Even if the people you surround yourself with are not actively malevolent or malice, they could be manipulative and messing up your relationship with God through a harmful relationship that does not directly point to Him. You should use your relationship with God as a measuring stick and a judge for your relationships here on Earth. 

1 Samuel talks about how it's a sin to fear people and give into their requests instead of fear God and follow His plans. The juxtaposition of words isn't for creative points, it's for attention. Your soul has to relent of some wisdom and peace in order to give into sin; however, it is pulled towards God's path like a magnet because your soul is designed to follow Him and hear His voice.

Now, listening to your friends can sometimes actually be God intervening and showing His fingerprints in your life. I know I have a lovely group of friends at church and at Liberty who constantly pull me closer to God. Without them, I can safely say I wouldn't be half as in love with life or God's new joys everyday. But I also have friends who constantly make me feel like I'm falling down Alice's rabbit hole and I leave encounters with them wondering if I'll ever get above ground again.

God has literally hard-wired us to be like cell phones; when we spend too much time away from our life-source, we slowly lose power, but the more time we spend at our 'charger' the more power we get. Find the friends who charge you up and not the friends who drain your battery. 

I know the feeling my soul has when I'm closer to God because it's a lot like when I have caffeine or I workout. I feel more alive and ready to take on the world. So I take my feelings into account when deciphering if the friendships I've forged are in God's name our out of His light. 

The Bible so often talks about how men will always sing empty praises or make you content for only a second but the Lord our God will give you everlasting joy. We rely on our brothers more as our constant source of joy and encouragement, when in reality, God didn't call them to be Him for us. We make our earthly friends our new idols and sources for truth and love.

So how do we maintain friendship that doesn't exceed the boundaries of what God calls them to be? Listen to Him. I can guarantee that the best feeling in the world is knowing you have God's blessing and feeling of peace that washes over you. 

At time, the feeling of restlessness and disturbance that God envelopes you into when your soul is going down the wrong path has lead to some of the worst moments in my life. 

Our Heavenly Father has made a way for us to judge when we are in the right. Use His guidance to know when we are in His will and in His goodness. Stay close to the people who stay close to Him and lead you to community with not only with them, but also with our Heavenly Father. 

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