5 more days to a brand new decade! Are you ready? Are you excited? Looking back the last 10 years, I was often driven around by my emotions. Especially when I was in my 20s. Well, I forgave myself. I was young and immature, not strong in the word of God. I allow my feelings, every wind of doctrine and the opinions of men, to blow me around. I was easily shaken and affected by other’s comment. The word to describe me is “confusion”. There is no clarify in my vision. I constantly meditate on the comments of people.
The year 2020 is the start of a new decade, year of election, but to me, it also means having a 20/20 vision. Perfect vision. How can we have perfect vision? There is 2 areas that I would like to talk about. Many of us received vision from God and we are excited for the new year. But along the way, we get distracted and lost. What affects our vision? The key to a victorious and successful 2020 is to focus. Be Anchored. Be Steadfast. Be Immovable.
Where there is no vision, the people perish- Proverbs 29-18
Declutter Your Social Circle
Who do you keep company with? Who are the top 5 people you hang out with? They will shape your destiny. Are they strong in the Word? Do they inspire and challenge you to live a godly lifestyle? Are their words wholesome or vulgar? Do they make you feel small and put you down all the time? Are you being controlled by them without even knowing? Do you often have imaginary conversation with them? Do you imagine how they will like you and approve of you? Do they make you feel guilty and threaten to reveal your secrets? I know how you feel and it really sucks to be in that position.
Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
~ Proverbs 13:20
You know what? It is ok to change your friends. I did it so many times. It’s a great exercise because when we grow, people come and go. Let them go! Many people I know declutter their house for Christmas. Many people talk about decluttering their mind by meditation or going away for a holiday. Why not declutter your social circle? Please do not get me wrong. I am not telling you not to love them or cut off ties with them. Some people are in your life for a reason and some are for a season. For some, you can only love from a distance.
Remember Lot? His righteous soul was tormented daily due to the things he hear and see everyday. He remained in that environment and when disaster strike, his sons in law thought he was joking. His daughters mindset were so perverted that they take turns to have sex with their own father.
Some friendships do not last, but some friends are more loyal than brothers.
~ Proverbs 18:24
So how do you declutter your social circle? First of all, please be prepared that you may be alone for a while (you will enjoy that). You may be ‘talked about’ for a while. So you need to be confident in who you are. Know that God will bring you new friends when you set yourself apart for Him.
- First group of people to declutter are what I call the toxic friends. They are controlling and belittling. They do not live godly lifestyle, e.g. smoking, gambling, engage in casual sex. I know such things are rampant in the world. But we must remember that we are not of the world and we do not love things of the world. We are set apart. This group of “friends” often make you do things that are against your conscience. They mocked you for your faith and beliefs. They may be “christians” and still attend church. They will seared your conscience and desensitised your conviction. Too much repeated exposure will numb you to the point where you can no longer easily distinguish between good and evil. In some cases, you may need to cut off ungodly soul ties as the bondage is very deep (personal secrets were exchanged and there is co-dependence). This is especially you need to text or talk to the person everyday. It’s unhealthy and too much dependance on them. This will give the devil a open door to control you.
- I will not fellowship with these people unless I felt that there is a purpose. God may have a word for them or I may need to invite them to church. Even then, it will be “touch and go”. Keep them in prayer. Pray for their salvation and Holy Spirit to touch them. We are not their saviour. Salvation is of The Lord.
I have a church member who happened to live near me so I met her often. Her constant outburst of anger drains me. She was in and out of a relationship with a married man which she said she wanted to get out. She is always late, sometimes up to 1.5 hours and not apologetic about it. Going to church with her often made me missed worship. One day, she was blasting out at someone on the phone, took out her cigarettes and started smoking. You see, they will test your boundary. They want to test see how much you can accept their nonsense (they know you want to reach out to them). But I am not desperate for her friendship. If I can’t influence her to pursue God, I will not be influenced by her. That does not mean I don’t love her. I do! But I cannot conform to her lifestyle and compromise. So I prayed for her often. I prayed Holy Spirit will draw her back to His arms and help her to cut off her addictions and bring peace to her heart.
- Second group of ” friends” to declutter are gossipers. Do they love talk about others? Do they share with you latest news about that brother/ sister who bought a expensive watch? Never trust these people with your secrets. They say things you like to hear. They wanted to “protect” you so they need to tell you how horrible that person is. But Holy Spirit is your guide. Do not let your perspective or discernment be clouded by they words. Constant “drinking” from gossipers corrupts our soul. These are weeds in your heart that chokes the Word of God. Repent and stop the ungodly fellowship. Take a stand and share with the person truthfully. They may be offended and that is fine. Bible has so many verses that warns us about friendships and gossipers. These group of people have a spirit of division that Romans 16:17 warned us about. If you need someone, to talk to, go to the Holy Spirit. Go to the throne, not the phone. Do remember to keep them in prayer.
- A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends.
~ Proverbs 16:28
- ‘Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.‘ ~Proverbs 17:9
- The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts. ~Proverbs 18:8
You will be surprised. People will respect you more when you decide to walk away from that abuse. Make a decision to declutter your social circle. By removing the above 2 groups of people will make your life so much more refreshing. Finally you can start breathing fresh air! Be bold and confident to say no to gatherings that you do not have peace about. We must not do it in a rude way. I learnt to say “no” politely. Soon, they stopped calling you. 😀 Dare to be different, hold your head up high and know you are the child of the Most High. Ask Him to direct your path to new friends. Let Him choose your friends! But first, let Him be your best friend.
Word of God
This book is constantly persecuted. It was burned and even banned in a few countries. I read that a bible was found in a toilet in North Korea and the lady janitor was fed to dogs. During the period A.D. 500-1500, also know as the Dark Ages, people were forbidden to read or possess the bible. Rome burnt bibles along with their owners. Nazis burnt the bible. Hundred and thousands of years later, the Bible is the world’s BEST SELLER. It endures FOREVER.
The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” ~Isaiah 40:8
Enemies are so desperate to destroy the Word of God because it contains the Truth that sets you free. So they try to distract you from reading the bible. They try to send people to lead you astray (so you must be bold and committed). They put offences (weeds) in your heart to choke the word.
The bible transforms and strengthens you. The bible inspires you teaches you His ways and His will. The Word cleanses you. It brings you joy and peace. It brings light in your darkness.
- So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.~James 1:21
- In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. ~John 1:1
- Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my pathway. ~ Psalm 119:105
In the coming new year, let the Word of God be the Anchor to your soul. When your thoughts run wild or you are in the midst of trials and tribulations, stand firm on His word. Do not be blown by the wind, freaked out or worried by the circumstances. It is not easy but when you are under attacked, cling on to the bible. Let Him be your ANCHOR.
Few years ago, I was going though deliverance. The spirit of lust was tormenting me. I was fighting thoughts that were so unclean and evil. I was crying out to God in my bedroom. I love Him and do not want to go back to my old life. I felt prompted to read the gospel. I read the 4 gospel and as I read, the thoughts slowly left me and I became calm and peaceful. Power of his word is amazing. Psalm 119 talks about how His words can preserves use save us and give us wisdom.
If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life. ~Psalm 119: 92-93
Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. Your commands are always with me and make me wiser than my enemies. I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts. ~ Psalm 119:98-100
Do you desire wisdom? Is it one of the thing on your prayer list? Feed on the Word of God. Are you fearful and worried about many things? Cast your cares alone is not enough. Feed on His word and let it grow and prosper in your heart. You will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water. You will bear fruit in the season, your leaf also shall not wither; And whatever you does shall prosper. Let His words scrub your heart clean from the ideas and mindset of the world.
Make reading the Word a priority in 2020 and meditate on it day and night as you go about your daily activities. Let His word sharpen your vision. Be careful with who you spend your time with. Be selective and have a high standard (not aloof or arrogant attitude) of your social circle. Continue to love people, pray for those who hate you and spitefully used you.