Monday, July 31, 2017

When A Friend Is Killing You

"So then, brothers, we are not obligated to the flesh to live according to the flesh, for if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live."
Romans 8:12-13

I live with a liar. I've known him all my life. We have done everything together. He was my best friend for years. I did everything he wanted, got him anything he wanted; alcohol, drugs, food, lust, entertainment, self-promotion. It didn't matter if it was good for me or not. I have literally gone into debt to satisfy him, damaged my health for him, damaged relationships for him, and put my eternal destiny at risk for him. He is demanding, selfish, deceitful, destructive and abusive to me and everyone else in my life. And still, when he says he wants something, I battle not to give it to him. I have no worse friend than him, and he has no better friend than me.

One day, a person came to me. He saw the shape I was in, how messed up my life was, and asked if I wanted to be free from it all. He showed me how catering to my old friend was killing me, and told me that he could set me free. He would empower me to say "No!" to all the demands. He would empower me to say "Yes!" to life and freedom. He would walk with me all along the way. He would never leave me, never forsake me, and would be a friend closer than a brother. I simply had to choose between a friend who was killing me and one who offered me life.

I chose life. I chose Jesus. He did what He promised. He has never lied to me, never abused me, never made any demand on my life that would destroy me. He destroyed the power of my old friend, but made it clear that the old friend would be around until I died or until He (Jesus) returned. Jesus is with me, in me, empowering me to say "No!" to the old man and "Yes!" to Jesus and life.

I still have to choose who I will believe. Will I feed the demands of the flesh, believe the lies of the so-called friend who tried to kill me, bow down to the threats? Or, will I trust the friend who died for me? I spent all those years destroying my life for a so-called friend, and sometimes I still believe him. Jesus came along and died for me, and sometimes I still doubt him. How crazy is that?

I hope these words shed light on the struggle we face in this world. More than that I hope they encourage you to believe in the only true friend you will ever have, Jesus. Don't believe the lying promises or lying threats of your old friend. Trust in Christ. Depend upon His power as you say "No!" to sin, self, and the devil, and "Yes!" to God, Jesus, and life.

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