And such is life.

Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to visit many churches, and from those visits I always leave with new friends. Then, by the means of social media I am able to stay connected to those that I grew to love in just a very short while. Apostle Paul did not have that privilege. And I do count social media as a wonderful privilege, even though it can also be used as a tool of the Devil. Satan always does his best to take what God receives glory for, and make it evil. And  he’s wildly good at it. But he will never be as good as God with connecting to people; because there is a definite difference between Spirit filled friendships and friendships formed by worldly means which is the biggest tool in Satan’s box of devices. It’s why it’s very dangerous to attract people to a church with worldly ideas. While a coffee bar is sweet! And I’m all about coffee and fellowship, but if they come for the coffee and don’t receive the truth of the gospel, you’re in Satan’ s wheelhouse, not the Lord Jesus’. If you attract young people by loud music and lock-ins,  and at no point during that evening you calm it down and bring their minds into the comforting Spirit of Christ, you’ve missed the mark. But this isn’t a blog post about coffee bars and rock music, it’s about friendship. But just like a good church service, the Spirit of God, and the message of Christ has got to be the foundation of a sustainable friendship.

I have friends in the world who don’t know Christ. And as much as I love them, I do not receive the same encouragement from them, who I may be with in person quite often,  as I receive from my friends in Christ, who I met once, but they continue to encourage my soul just by remembering them, or connecting online.

Philippians 1:27-28 KJV

[27] Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; [28] And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.

Paul wrote to the people of Philippi about his desire to visit, but whether he came in person or not he wanted their relationship to be founded in Christ and rock solid in the wisdom that no matter how many times and ways Satan came against them, they had the power of God through their salvation to withstand it!

Glory! I just wrote myself happy with that remark. Because while I receive encouragement from friends in Christ, the demons of Hell don’t let up.

I got up this morning and asked God to please give me a message. And then I tuned into social media for a couple of hours…. yes, you read that right, and ignored God. Because that’s how fickle I am when something shiny, funny or inquisitive pops up on the screen.

But when I finally settled in to some scripture, immediately my heart was pricked with the word of God and it seeped into my soul. Reminding me that, like Paul, I have friends that I need to encourage.

Satan can come from any avenue he chooses. And the closer it is to the avenues that Jesus walks on, the better he likes it; because he knows all he has to do is get us distracted, scared or bothered and he has our mind ensnared and away from the thoughts of God.

Diva Distractions

I can be such a Diva! I keep telling you guys how shiny things capture my attention, but not just shiny, anything that floats my fleshly boat. A diva is defined as a temperamental woman who’s hard to please. I don’t really consider my self that until I think of myself in the Spirit realm. Remember the earlier comments about the worldly attracts that get people in church, well, worldly distractions keep me out of the word of God. And God will not compete with the world. He already won that battle on the cross. He’s not fighting it again.

He wants His people to desire Him above all else. When “else” is in the picture, we’re distracted. Whew! Can I get an amen! How can I study the word of God when the world has my number on speed dial with bling and things? That’s why Paul told them to “Let their conversations be as it become the the gospel of Christ.” Turn the world off!

Terrifying Threats

Another distraction that Satan loves to use is fear. If he can keep you cowering in fear from speaking boldly for Christ, he’s gotcha. Today’s current trend is to “cancel” anyone who speaks the truth. That’s scary. Especially if you use the social platform for the ministry. Because the very reason you’re there is the very reason that will get you canceled.

Speaking boldly won’t only get you canceled on social media, it will get you canceled by friends. Years and years ago, when I was first saved, a friend was having a party. It wasn’t evil, it was just a little tasteless. Someone who went told me later that when they ask my “friend” why I wasn’t there, she said, “I can’t invite her, she’s all churchy now.” Hmmm…. I was canceled before canceling was cool! I can assure you if you’re bold for Christ, you’re gonna get canceled. But count it an honor that you are too exclusive to be on their list. Only the best will dine with Jesus in Heaven.

While that is scary, it’s not terrifying. Terrifying threats come when your Christianity prevents you from participating in things like getting a job, getting a loan, getting healthcare. That’s what this cancel culture is trying to accomplish.  They want to “retrain the brains” of conservative thinkers by putting us in “retraining camps.” That’s no joke, and I’ve heard it come out of the mouth of more than one popular liberal whose voice will be heard in Washington. This is why we need to speak out in our communities while we have the chance. We need to tell every elected official that we will not tolerate their votes going toward the liberal agenda, and if it does, we need to make sure someone stand against them boldly and loudly the next election.

Apostle Paul did is best to persuade King Agrippa who said in Acts 26:28 “Paul, almost thou persuades me to be a Christian.” Has anyone said that about us lately?

Bothersome Battles

A great distraction from the gospel is anything for arguments sake. Scroll social media and I can almost guarantee at least one of your friends is on a rant about something. Our minds immediately go to that place… then to the comments…. then maybe commenting ourselves. Then back to follow up on those comments! Those bothersome battles can consume our day. I speak from experience. Just bein’ real. If it’s shiny, I’ll look!

Take this challenge today… scroll your own social media posts for one day and count how many are encouraging in Christ, or simply worldly thoughts and notions. If it’s the latter, why? This is not to get on you, it’s to encourage you to keep godly conversations going, not worldly ones. Because your worldly conversations may be the “something shiny” that distracts another brother or sister in Christ. Not that we can’t have normal conversations; but the bulk of our conversations should be used to draw all men to Christ.

Hey, here’s an idea. If this blog encouraged you today, share it! Then you’re one post up on the side of Christ!

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