Progress on Purpose: Faith-Filled Friends!

by Rick

Today we continue our series, “Progress On Purpose.”  I told you that God wants us to walk in “NEW LEVELS IN 2021!”  But if we are going to do so, we must be intentional about our progress.  With that in mind, as we lay the foundation for the year, I told you that I would discuss  “Leveling Up” in five areas: 

1.  Spiritually

2.  Financially

3.  Physically 

4.  Internally

5.  Externally

In the last area, I am addressing leveling up your external relationships.  I will cover the following topics in this section:

1.  The three people you need in your life (the roles you need filled)

2.  Discerning when to let people go

3.  The importance of choosing the right friends

4.  Surrounding yourself with people of like-precious-faith 

Setting the stage:

We have been looking at the story of the Virgin Mary for a few days now.  I will continue to flow in this same vein.  I will close out the week with a message about “why we need faith-filled friends.”  

We have been looking at Luke 1:39-45.  Today I want us to read all the way down to verse 56.

(Luke 1:39-56 ERV)

39 Mary got up and went quickly to a town in the hill country of Judea. 

40 She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. 

41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the unborn baby inside her jumped, and she was filled with the Holy Spirit.

42 In a loud voice she said to Mary, “God has blessed you more than any other woman. And God has blessed the baby you will have. 

43 You are the mother of my Lord, and you have come to me! Why has something so good happened to me? 

44 When I heard your voice, the baby inside me jumped with joy. 

45 Great blessings are yours because you believed what the Lord said to you! You believed this would happen.”

46  Then Mary said, “I praise the Lord with all my heart.

47  I am very happy because God is my Savior.

48  I am not important, but he has shown his care for me, his lowly servant.  From now until the end of time, people will remember how much God blessed me.

49  Yes, the Powerful One has done great things for me.  His name is very holy.

50  He always gives mercy to those who worship him.

51  He reached out his arm and showed his power.  He scattered those who are proud and think great things about themselves.

52  He brought down rulers from their thrones and raised up the humble people.

53  He filled the hungry with good things, but he sent the rich away with nothing.

54  God has helped Israel—the people he chose to serve him.  He did not forget his promise to give us his mercy.

55  He has done what he promised to our ancestors, to Abraham and his children forever.”

56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then went home.

So what does this mean for you today?  A few things.

1.  Elizabeth confirmed the fact that Mary was pregnant.

(Luke 1:42)

In a loud voice she said to Mary, “God has blessed you more than any other woman. And God has blessed the baby you will have. 

— Mary believed she was pregnant, but she was not showing yet and she could not feel the baby.  The importance of the external confirmation she received from Elizabeth cannot be overstated.

— When you have friends who are filled with the Holy Spirit, and who have the audacity to say whatever the Holy Spirit leads them to say, there will be times when they speak to you, under the unction of the Holy Spirit, and their words will confirm what you are believing in your heart.  They will speak words that confirm things that you did not share with them.  It may even be something you have not shared with anyone else.  When they speak those words, you will know immediately that it is God.  Their spirit will bear witness with your spirit and the confirmation will reinforce your faith.

— It is important to surround yourself with friends who are living the life of faith, the way you are.  If you have faith-filled friends, you will hear what you need to hear to keep going!

2.  Elizabeth confirmed WHO Mary was pregnant with.

(Luke 1:43)

You are the mother of my Lord, and you have come to me! Why has something so good happened to me? 

— It’s one thing to receive a word of confirmation about something you are believing God for.  But when God uses someone to be very specific, like Elizabeth was with mary, it further solidifies your faith.

— Elizabeth did not just confirm the fact that Mary was pregnant (that would be been good enough).  But Elizabeth got specific.  She told her cousin that she was pregnant with our LORD!  

— When you get a word of confirmation it is good.  But when the confirmation comes with details, details you have not shared with anyone, details you have deep in your heart, then you know the encounter is a God-encounter.

— When you have faith-filled friends, they don’t have to be anointed to be a prophet to operate in the prophetic.  God can give them a word of knowledge (something God revealed about you that is specific), a word of wisdom (a divine revelation that you can apply to your situation), or a word of prophecy (revealing the future), all by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Once again, your friends don’t have to be prophets to be prophetic.  If they are led by the Holy Spirit, God can use them to speak what you need to hear, when you need to hear it, simply because they are sensitive to the Spirit’s leading.

— You should surround yourself with friends like this.

3.  Elizabeth confirmed the fact that Mary would not have become pregnant if she did not believe God.

(Luke 1:45)

Great blessings are yours because you believed what the Lord said to you! You believed this would happen.”

— Elizabeth made it clear to Mary, and to us, that Mary would not have become pregnant if she did not believe God.  This is a major point.

— While God made plans for you before the world began by grace (unearned, unmerited, and undeserved), there is a reason why the Bible commands us to walk and live by faith.  Faith believes and receives what God has already provided.  If you don’t provide the faith, you can MISS OUT on what God planned for you.

— God will never force you to become the man/woman He called you to be.  Faith is an act of submission to His will.

— If you reject what God is saying to you, you may make it to heaven, only to realize that you missed out on a major part of your destiny.

— One of the reasons why you need to surround yourself with people of faith, is because their stories, their testimonies, and their witness (spoken and unspoken), will motivate you to believe and receive everything God is saying you to.  We all need this type of motivation from time to time.  Without it, we may allow fear, doubt, and unbelief to overtake our hearts!

— Faith-filled friends are important!

4.  Elizabeth provided Mary a safe place for her baby and her faith to grow.

(Luke 1:56)

Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then went home.

— When you are in a place where your God-given baby (what God promised you), is growing, you don’t want to leave.

— Your friends should provide a safe place for your dreams to grow.

— When you have faith-filled friends, you are free to share what God is revealing in your heart because you know they will fuel your faith and help starve your doubts.  You can’t do this with everyone, but you know you can with your faith-filled friends.

LEVEL UP your relationships in 2021!

That’s enough for today.

Declaration of Faith

Father, I thank You for revealing Your plans to me.  I am pregnant with Your purpose.  I am carrying around precious cargo in my heart.  I now realize how important it is to surround myself with people of like precious faith.  From now on, I connect with people of faith, I share my dreams with them in faith, they support me and I support them.  Living this way, I will LEVEL UP in every area of my life.  A key part of this is LEVELING UP my relationships.  I declare that I do!  GREATER IS COMING FOR ME!  I declare this by faith!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

This is Today’s Word.  Apply it and prosper!

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