'Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.' Jeremiah 4:15
I'm terrible with directions. Terrible.
Anytime that I have to drive to a new location, I will not make the drive without a mapquest printout.
One unfortunate day, however, I forgot my print out at home, but quickly remembered I could download GPS on my phone to get me to my destination.
Dowloading the application, however, required internet connection, and due to the rain, which I blame, my phone was not able to acquire the right amount of signal.
Three failed attempts later, I was forced to stop at a gas station and ask for directions, which I'm horrible at following.
Israel after following the Lord and depending on Him to give them direction, decided to attempt finding direction on their own with the influence of surrounding nations. Away from Him. Sadly it led them further from God until they found themselves tarnished in their sin and had forgotten their first love.
In our life, we will have opportunities to allow people into our lives. Some will come and go, but some will remain as close friends.
Our close friends are who we count on for laughter, for encouragement, for support and company, and at some times direction, all things that we as humans need emotionally.
However, we must be careful to seek hearts that are after His own.
Hearts after His own will have that necessary connection to the Father to re-direct you with knowledge and understanding, if your heart should ever be wayward.
As believers in His name, we have been chosen to be a holy priesthood, leadership and as such our hearts should seek close friendships that can influence that leadership in our life.
Last week we looked at how separation from God should create and anxiety within us. If we surround ourselves with company that does not seek God's loving ways, that anxiety of being far from Him may not develop, hindering our return.
Seek hearts that love the Lord to lean on. Surround yourself with those that with wisdom and knowledge will encourage your walk with Him. Those friends that have a passion for living for the Lord will fan that flame within you into a roaring fire to conquer the nations for His name, instead of feeling lost.
Should we then shun out the non-believers as friends and not say a word to them?
No, because that's where the other side of the coin comes in. As believers in a godless world, our duty is to be shepherds to those that are lost. We've been called to lead them back to their Creator.
When we interact with them, our actions should reflect His holiness and love. With wisdom and knowledge that only comes from the Lord, we should be planting a seed in them to desire a relationship with God.
We all need direction. Believers and non believers the same as we are all sheep, His word says that at times go astray.
Knowing that the close, brethren like friendships that we have established are after His own heart, gives us comfort that as instruments of the Lord, they will be there to encourage and lift up our faith, which is the one thing we should treasure above all. In turn we will too, be there to shepherd those that have gone astray.