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Someone sent me a video this week of a well-known motivational speaker who was talking to an audience about friendships and relationships. I called her a motivational speaker because very often her talks are not based on the Word of God. I must confess though that I find a lot of her talks very interesting. In this one she was talking about how one needs to move on and find other friends the moment you become the most successful among your friends. It was a profound statement and the applause from her audience was a testament to the profundity of the statement. But then I found myself questioning whether this is in fact in alignment with the Word of God. If I am the most successful amongst my group of friends and at that time I decided to move on and leave my friends behind to find other friends that are more successful or just as successful as I am, then who will help my friends? By the way, what is the nature of this friendship? Does it mean that the friendship is totally based on what I can gain from my friends? How is leaving my “not quite as successful” friends behind in alignment with loving my neighbors as myself?
Now, one underlying assumption here, which really bothers me, is that when I leave my friends behind because they are not as successful as I am, I have concluded that I do not need them any longer. I have concluded that I do not need them spiritually, financially, emotionally, physically or any other way you might think about it. The one who makes a conclusion like this forgets that “who needs who” is only determined by God and that needs are not measured by financial success only. Our emotions, finances, spirit, and bodies are all areas of our lives where our needs are usually amplified, but pick any area of life that you wish, and the conclusions are the same: we are weak, vulnerable, and needy. Emotionally, maybe you’re doing great today, but tomorrow a series of tragedies could hit you as they hit Job, and you would be shattered, then you will need someone who may not be quite as successful as you are to give you strength. Nothing in this life is a sure basis for security – except for God! He designed it that way so that we would be driven to trust in Him for every need. But despite the obvious truth of this, we make all kind of efforts to find our security in other things, especially in our financial success and once we find that we believe we have “arrived”.
This is a stark reminder about the Church of Laodicea, which thought that they had it together. They said, “I am rich and have become wealthy and have need of nothing.” But God had a slightly different opinion: “you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked” (Rev. 3:17). There could hardly be a greater contrast! How could a Church think that they were rich, wealthy, and in need of nothing, and yet God sees them as wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked? How could a friend think, “I am too successful to continue associating with my friend”? We all need help at one time or the other. God places us wherever He does because He needs us to do something there. We also cannot base our friendships on what we need from our friends or what they need from us. Only one thing is sure, we all need God. And God has made it such that we are needy in that way so that we can all always put our trust in Him.
The reality is that when we see ourselves as God sees us, recognizing our desperate need for Him, and cry to Him, He is ready to flood us with His abundant blessings. Mary acknowledged in Luke 1:53 that our Lord “has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away with empty hands”. When we come hungry to God, He fills us. When we think we’re rich and don’t need God or each other, He sends us away empty-handed. He delights to provide for those who rely on Him. We only need to recognize our powerlessness and completely rely on him for all our needs. We should work hard, but we should also realize that the provision is in the hands of the Lord. God, who has provided everything for our salvation through Jesus Christ, will also through Him provide all that we need to live for His glory. Believing that my needs are in your hands or that your needs are in someone else’s hands, is trading your reliance on God with reliance on people. God’s promise is to provide all our needs and He will. He is our God the Provider; He is Jehovah Jireh! He will provide wherever we are and only Him can decide when it is time to change our location in life.
October 17, 2021– Pastor Simbo Odunaiya