“One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24)
In His Kingdom, God graciously gives us a community of friends. He also provides at least one good friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Often times, keeping on the narrow road is not easy. The narrow road is one less travelled. It can be lonely. Some junctions have no clear signs to show the way ahead. It can be confusing and exasperating. Some sections are dark.
We want to get through it quickly, but to stay on the narrow road, we can only meander through it slowly. It is scary. And God can seem quiet during such times.
At 2am, when we are in the midst of such troubles, do we have a good friend whom we can call without a risk of being rejected, misunderstood or scolded? Who are these good friends? How do we develop such friendships?
These are individuals, advisably of same gender, who have the same love for Jesus, passion to live out the Kingdom life and calling, and a deep desire to want to keep on the narrow road until they cross the finish line.
They have an agreement to support each other in prayer and in practical ways to keep on keeping on. To grow that relationship, they create a safe environment for themselves through upholding three basic principles.
- No pretence
- No leakage
- No need permission
The first calls for an openness and authenticity with each other about their personal lives, including their brokenness. The other party is to withhold judgment and provide a compassionate listening ear.
The second calls for an absolute confidentiality to all information received.
The third is open permission to speak into one another’s lives. The other party is not to be defensive or angry, but open to listening.
Such a good friend is like a fighter pilot’s wingman.
He provides the necessary cover and support during a mission and always stays close, keeping watch for dangers, issues or erroneous ways that the fighter pilot may be oblivious to. He affirms in difficult times and celebrates in victories.
Such a relationship would take time to develop because the foundation of trust must be grown at a gradual pace.
If you desire to have such a good friend, ask the Lord to provide.
Then seek out a spiritually mature brother or sister to explore walking through a journey together for a season. Alternatively, you can ask church leaders to recommend one.
Once an arrangement is agreed upon, commit to meet at least once a month and for a season – one year for example. Meet and read the scriptures together. The use of a devotional book is helpful.
Share each other’s journey, personal challenges, brokenness, victories and pray for each other. Supplement these with regular short messages, calls, prayers, encouragements and updates. Doing so, you will slowly find that your relationship with this Kingdom friend has grown.
To be a Kingdom kind of a person living out the Kingdom call is not easy.
The bar Jesus sets is very high. However, the grace He provides will be equally sufficient. He never rejects when we boldly approach and persistently come to Him.
In the narrow road journey He calls us to, God provides a community of friends and at least one good friend to help us finish the race well.
So, in your current journey, do you have one such good friend you can call at 2am?
This article was first published on Yio Chu Kang Chapel’s website and is republished with permission.