“We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” Numbers 13:30
“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…
It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.” C. S. Lewis
- Create a space to meet with God. Mark 1:35 reminds us to find our strength through quiet times with our Father God the way Jesus did throughout the gospels. Ask God to fill you with His love and wisdom.
- Read Numbers 13:27-33, 14:6-9. Ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate His Word deep in your heart. He longs to connect with you through His word.
Together We Can!
My heart longs to feel known. Whether my feelings are rational or not (usually not), I have felt alone, unheard, and misunderstood. At times, I haven’t been affirmed, comforted, or included. In these lonely times of my life, doubt creeps into my mind, and I start to think, does anyone love me? Then if I let these untrustworthy feelings take over, even God Himself can come into question. It’s hard to admit, but through my life, I have asked questions like, “Is He real, and if so can He be good in the midst of my painful circumstance?”
Universally, I am learning that when our hearts lose courage we need our friends to lend us their faith (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).
In today’s reading, we saw two friends (Joshua and Caleb) whose faith carried the people of God across the finish line of a 470-year journey to fulfill God’s promise of their freedom. I believe we face similar challenges today which require interdependency amongst families and friends.
Sometimes our life’s greatest gifts, such as marriage and parenting, can stretch us beyond our current capabilities. We need each other’s help to face our “giants” and enter into God’s promise of hope-filled future. We aren’t designed to do life alone, no matter how self-sufficient some may seem. We all need to be loved and reminded how our all-powerful God uniquely created us in His image if we are to conquer our fears.
Do you have a Caleb or a Joshua in your life who will believe God for you when you can’t believe for yourself? I pray you do, friend, because we all need people with us in the ‘wilderness’ of our circumstances while we work things out with God.
If this is a season where you feel alone, begin this journey by asking Him to bring healthy friendships into your life. Holy Spirit, the Great Comforter, sees your pain and ministers to your needs until the right relationships come into your life (John 14:16).
This past Fall, I struggled with loneliness, so my husband and I asked God for help. We followed His prompting to invite a few friends over for prayer. I told them about the months I had spent with God in solitude, and they suggested that He was preparing me to share the things I was learning from His Word. As a result, I am writing this devotional through His power activated by the encouragement of my friends.
Being open with your struggles may feel scary for you. Asking for help can feel vulnerable, but it is a brave act of self-care that prevents soul damaging isolation. Cultivating intimate relationships requires transparency and openness even when we feel shame. As soon as we are honest with a trusted friend about our struggles, we are no longer alone in our circumstance; fear loses all its power (John 1:4-5).
Any fears you may currently be experiencing have no chance against God’s great love. The land described in the book of Numbers always belonged to the ancient Israelites, but they did not occupy it until there was agreement with God’s promise. We can believe His promises, dear one! He is for us, and I am confident that He will give us the courage to do all that’s in front of us today with great joy. Go get ’em, mamas, for you can certainly do it!
Questions to Ponder
- Examine your heart before the Lord. What is your first response when your heart fills with fear?
- God tells us in Psalms 55:22 that He wants us to bring our cares to Him. He knows His children’s hearts intimately, and He is the only one who can mend the broken places in us where love has not yet invaded. He will show you the friendship or the person; He will provide a safe place for you to be open.
- Is there a healing work to be done in your heart? Write a letter to God about the ways you’ve been disappointed by your relationships.
- Friendship is a gift from God to give us a picture of Heaven here on Earth. Invite God to heal any painful places you discover. He loves to provide for, deliver, save, and restore us so that we can experience the fullness of life through Jesus (John 10:10).
- Ask God to give you strategy for adjusting your relationships toward health as you write out your response to the following questions:
- Are the relationships in your life intentional; did God ask you to pursue these friendships?
- It would have been foolish for Caleb and Joshua to stay with the people in the wilderness if God had not asked them to be patient and wait for His promise (Proverbs 13:20).
Are your current friendships led by:
- Fear or Forgiveness? (Hebrews 12:15)
- Comparison or Celebration? (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
- Jealousy or Generosity? (Romans 12:10)
- The Quantity of friends you have or the Quality of your friendships? (1 Cor. 15:33)
- Expectations of others or Acts of Service? (Mark 10:45)
I pray these questions spur a conversation with our Lord that bring clarity and healing into any hurting places of our lives. Bless you, friend.
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