Do you have true spiritual friends? You will definitely need them along your journey of faith. Jesus demonstrated the importance of spiritual friendship. He called twelve disciples and told them they were considered His friends (John 15:15). Jesus had three special friends whom He included in exclusive spiritual experiences such as raising a child from the dead, the Transfiguration and even His most powerful time of prayer on the eve of His arrest. The three special friends were Peter, James and John.
The importance of friends is emphasized in the healing of the paralytic in Luke 5:17-22. Jesus was in a home in Capernaum and the spirit of the Lord was present for healing. Crowds of people came into the home and blocked the doors and windows so that one in need of healing was unable to get to Jesus. This man was a paralytic and even coming to the home to ask Jesus for healing was impossible. It was a good thing this man had friends who carried him on a cot to see Jesus. These were hardcore friends because when their journey to Capernaum ended with a roadblock (a house overflowing with people who weren’t going anywhere, blocking their way to Jesus), they put their creative minds together and came up with another plan. They carried their friend up to the roof of the house and broke through the tiles to let their paralytic friend down right in front of Jesus.
Stop and consider: who would carry your cot if you were in such a condition? Do you have friends like that? You can. You never know when you are going to need them, so make sure that you open your heart to spiritual friends that God wants to bring into your life.
I’m always intrigued with Jesus’ response to the actions of the friends. In Luke 5:20 is recorded: “When Jesus saw their faith, he said, Friend, your sins are forgiven.” Whose faith is Jesus talking about? Jesus saw their faith, He responded to the faith of the friends.
Along the spiritual journey we face different kinds of tests, and that is when the faith of our friends becomes so much more important to us. The personal hardships that we come up against might prove too much for us to face alone. We always have God’s presence, but sometimes we need some flesh and blood help too. We might need someone to make a meal, clean a house, run an errand, or just hand us a Kleenex.
Our world crowds out time, focus and energy on spiritual friends. You have to fight against your own schedules and the schedules of your friends, but you truly need them in your life. It is worth the effort you make to have at least three good spiritual friends who can be there for you. You also want to make sure that you are a good spiritual friend as well.
Just because you are spiritual friends doesn’t mean you have to be serious and holy all the time. Spiritual friends have fun together. There is nothing like a good, long belly laugh about something only a true friend would find humorous with you.
If you know you have spiritual friends, why not write them a thank you as soon as you finish this devotion? If you are just now realizing that you need some spiritual friends, ask God to bring them into your life and open your spiritual eyes to see whom He might be sending your way.
Happy Valentine’s Day!