The Dangers Of Wrong Friendships
By Rodney W. Francis
For those who carry the call of God on their lives it is very important to protect that call. To be called of God to honour and serve Him is the highest vocation of all. He has chosen us to represent Him on this earth in that which He has called us to do.
In Judges Chapters 13 to 16 we read of the life of Samson. He was born into this world by a miracle of God (his parents were barren) and he was raised up of God to bring victory over the Philistines. Samson had a very unique power gifting from God that enabled him to deliver the Israelites out of the hand of their captors. As we read through these chapters we discover that Samson had unyielded areas of his life that were to prove his downfall and cause him humiliation and suffering that he did not need to go through. His problem was he loved the women and did not restrain himself sexually. In Judges 16 we read of Samson going into a harlot (prostitute) by the name of Delilah. He should have known better. The enemy set about to use her to find out the secret of his great strength. Samson became flippant about the power he had and began to “play games” with Delilah with regards the secret of his strength. I think he thought he was smarter than the enemy.
When anyone has a call of God that includes the using of the power of God (and that should be all of us), we need to know that we have an enemy who will set about to try and rob us of that power. Christian believers moving in the power of God are an absolute enemy of the devil. We do damage to his plans, purposes and kingdom! Samson was routing the enemy – but he did not live a separated and sanctified life unto the Lord. This “double-lifestyle” caused him to chase the women and, those friendships were to prove very painful and costly for him. He should have known to guard and protect the call and secrets of God in his life, and not “play games” with those he should not have even been with!
The enemy knew that Delilah was their best chance of discovering the secret of Samson’s great strength. So they worked on her to work on him to find out that secret. Samson should have known straight away their tactics but he was blinded by his “love” for Delilah. So he began to play games with her and telling her different things that were his secrets (all lies); and this enabled the enemy to deceive him through his wrong friendship with Delilah.
WRONG FRIENDSHIPS CAN CAUSE DECEPTION!
This brings us to another important matter. Deception is very cunning in how it works to ensnare and trap us. It started with a false love relationship with a woman Samson should not have been anywhere near. But with her giving him what he wanted he did not realize that the enemy would use that for him to give what she and they wanted ~ the secret of his strength. Little by little the deception process weaved its way into Samson’s heart. Once the enemy saw that Samson was playing with them, the pressure was increased and Delilah then accused Samson of not loving her. Wrong relationships breed a false love that then turns to be used one against the other. Delilah said to Samson, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me these three times, and have not told me where your great strength lies” (Judges 16:15 ). Delilah was now putting the pressure on Samson and using their love as a weapon against him (false love does that). By this time the deception process was well under way, but Samson was unaware of that (deceived people do not know they are deceived – they believe that what they believe and have are of the truth)! Today there is much deception about amongst Christian believers. It is generated often by people who have “winning personalities” and have a “persuasive way” of presenting their beliefs. If we do not know the principles of Scriptures in these times, then we can become subject to these ideas and teachings. Know your calling and know what God says to you!
Once Delilah challenged Samson’s commitment to her she then applied the pressure day after day: “And it came to pass, when she pestered him daily with her words and pressed him, so that his soul was vexed (“impatient to the point of”) to death, that he told her all his heart” (Judges 16:16-17 ). She literally wore Samson down with persistent pressure to discover the secret of his strength. From the previous happenings Samson should have known better, and that whatever he told Delilah would be used against him. But she wearied him to the point where he gave in and told her! He told her things he should not have told her! And she knew it!
Once Samson had told the true secret of his strength, the enemy immediately set-about to rob him of that strength. By now Delilah was in control of him, and so she “lulled him to sleep on her knees” (Judges 16:19 ). In that position ~ while he was asleep (in the wrong place) ~ they cut off his hair and robbed him of his great strength! Once his strength was gone, they over-powered him and gouged out his eyes (robbed him of his vision). Samson was now their slave. Robbed of his power through his own stupidity! From that point on he became a focus of their mocking and ridicule. They had conquered the man of power! The next season of Samson’s life was one full of pain, defeat and bad memories ~ until he came to a place in his own heart and life where he was prepared to surrender all to God ~ to literally lay down his life for Him! When he came to that place (after his hair had grown again ~ the enemy forgot to keep him shorn!), God heard his cry and we know that Samson had his strength restored, and he died in a great victory! Praise the Lord for that!
Friends, there are some things in life that are not to be shared with other people ~ especially those who are not of the same spirit as us. That is why it is so important that we who carry the call of God make sure we build the right kind of people and friendships around our lives. The very fact that we are walking in a realm of the power of God that they are not, makes them jealous. And if they cannot get that power, they will try to bring down those who do have it. Over the years I have been accused of many different things; that if they were true, would have destroyed my ministry years ago. But they were not true and God enabled me to rise above such false accusations and to go on to better things in Him. Praise the Lord! Make very sure you know the heart(s) of those you share the secrets of God with. The call of God is too precious to be relinquished to the enemy and allowing him to take us into a place of bondage, slavery and suffering because we shared the secrets of God with the wrong person or people. Be discerning!
True friends will encourage us to fulfil the purposes of God. They will not discourage us and try and pull us down. True friendships are very important as we all need encouragement ~ and guidance at times ~ to enable us to fulfil our destiny. Do you have some friends like that?
Let us learn from the mistakes of Samson and not fall into the same traps that he did. Make sure that Jesus Christ is always “Number One” in your life so that you can protect the things of God that He has entrusted to you. Compromising with the world (1 John 2:15-17 ), the flesh (John 3:6 ; John 6:63 ) and the devil (2 Corinthians 11:1-15 ) is not worth it. They are all robbers of the power of God in our lives! And we need the power of God in our lives to rise up above the distractions and temptations that the world, the flesh and the devil bring against us. Let us all be totally committed to Jesus Christ in this hour. If you believe you have been robbed of the power of God, then turn again to Jesus Christ with a full and total commitment of all you have and are, and be prepared to give all for the cause of Christ to be fulfilled in your life and calling. It can be done! You can do it! Life is too short to be wasted with the deceptions of the enemy. JESUS IS YOUR ANSWER THIS VERY HOUR! He loves you, and so do I.