The Danger of Isolation vs. the Power of your Real Friends


“A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire;
He rages against all wise judgment.”
(Proverb 18:1)

7 comments

“A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire;
      He rages against all wise judgment.”
      (Proverb 18:1)

            I took that beautiful Friday off from work. Oh, how much we need those mental-health-days sometimes! A good friend, who I have not seen in two years, has been insisting on eating lunch with me for some-time, but I always found an excuse to justify saying “no.” I have been facing many challenges and painful experiences since the last time I saw him on my wedding night; so I did what many people do in cases like that, I isolated myself! As I isolated myself, I become an easy prey; not only for the devil, but also for my own thoughts.

            This article carries a very simple message: Do not be an easy prey by isolating yourself from the people that love you in the Lord. My friend and I ate lunch and fellowshipped with one another for over two hours at an IHOP on Baymeadows Road. At the end of our meal, we walked outside to the parking lot and there; this tall white man and this short black Puerto Rican held hands and began to pray. Within seconds a young African American lady and an older one, who seemed to be her mother, gathered together with us in prayer. I began to feel a renewal in my spirit that I longed for.

            The next morning I receive a long e-mail from my friend Dennis; the one that ate lunch with me the day before at IHOP. It was so long that I copied and pasted the document so that I would be able to read it easier. The first paragraph goes like this…

“Brother, I’ve been thinking and praying about our meeting yesterday.  You realize that I’m an old man, so life is too short to mince words.  First of all, you have incredible insight into your own desires.  Many people haven’t allowed desire to be created in them simply because they don’t know how to discover their destiny in God.  Without a dream or vision or goal for our lives we tend to become complacent and lethargic — we are reduced to existing rather than truly living.  Secondly, you understand that with every dream; there will always be people or obstacles who will try to burst the dream by provoking us severely to make our lives, in this stage of apparent barrenness miserable.  It is at this point in our journey that we must make a decision.  Do we quit or go on?  Do we give up and agree with the negative influences in our lives, or do we let God show us that the provocation of others is necessary in our lives to persuade us to go after whatever it is He has specifically for our future.”

            This e-mail was overflowing with seventeen pages of love, wisdom, encouragement, Bible truth, guidance, humility and even a dose of Godly rebuke. In my short forty one years of life this letter is, without a doubt, the most important personal Word I have ever received from anyone. It did not take long, as I continued reading my friend’s letter, to find myself in tears; yet, not of sadness, for the letter strengthened and encouraged me to continue on believing for a breakthrough and for a miracle; but most of all, a renewed revelation of the power of friendship and the fatal danger of isolation. Proverbs 17:17 tells that: A friend loves at all times…” My brother Dennis made this verse a reality that afternoon.

            Are you facing difficult situations that you are afraid of sharing with others as you fear that they will judge or even reject you? I encourage you to come out of isolation and go to that person that God has already placed in your heart to share. I promise you, that even as the situations you are facing perhaps don’t change right away, you will have in that friend that extra spiritual muscle to carry your burdens with you and most of all; you will never become an easy prey to the devil, to the negative voices of the world and to your own thoughts. I encourage you to test the power of your real friends! Perhaps there are seventeen pages of everything you need, waiting to be released into your soul; to give you the hope and strength that you need in your darkest hour!

7 comments on “The Danger of Isolation vs. the Power of your Real Friends”

  1. this is so true angel…my husband and i have isolated ourselves bcuz of his past sin that brings judgment to our whole family…unfortunately, we have had supposed godly men turn away from us because of that past sin…even noah and i have been shunned and we were not a part of this sin, only a part of the healing and restoration of something my husband had tried to heal from for 5 years before we met…i agree with the scripture, but also know from experience that our own christian brothers are sometimes the first to shoot their own wounded instead of rallying around and trying to help their brother heal and restore his walk with Christ…i am happy to say that my husband, despite all the pitfalls and hatefulness of others, has sought God and has truly become a warrior of the Lord putting his past behind him as much as society will allow…but, we struggle every day with the isolation this past sin has caused and the closet we place ourselves in fearing to share and receive the ridicule of our own family in Christ…pray for us because the isolation is taking its toll on noah and i very much and we will continue to pray for you and your family as well! love you brother!

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  2. Jesus was keenly aware of the need for us to be in community, authentic relationships where people exist for each other! A core value of our faith is that we build healthy relationships. Part of the purpose of the Church is to be a place where we are forced to come together in redemptive ways. Jesus was clear in His message! We are to love one another! “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35 ).

    John, who was known as the disciple Jesus loved, wrote these words: “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. {8} Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:7-8). One of the greatest expressions of love is the opportunity for us to pray for one another. James was keenly aware of the need to use prayer in more than just one-on-one with God. “Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective” (James 5:16). “No matter what ministry a person is involved in, there needs to be a solid foundation for that ministry. That foundation is prayer. Prayer is an indispensable element in a person’s life because without it, nothing in our lives has lasting value. Without it, work in the Lord’s vineyard begins to loose its attraction, and becomes boring and a burden. Prayer gives life to our work, zest to our living, meaning to our lives.

    But prayer is not just a private thing; it is necessary to use prayer in helping to build strong relationships that keep us from becoming delusional, to know what is real. Jesus told His followers, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them” (Matthew 18:20). Community prayer has two major benefits. First, it allows us to bear one another’s burdens. “Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6: 2). The religious people at the time of Jesus were good at putting heavy burdens on people. Jesus does just the opposite. “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11: 28-30).

    Second, community prayer allows us to encourage one another. “Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). We need people around us to keep us from being delusional. People we can meet with to make sure we are living in reality. People to verify and validate whether or not we are growing into the image of Jesus Christ or if we are blocking the presence of the Holy Spirit. We need people to ask of them Godly advice, people who have walked with Jesus for a long period of time and who may have a few more battle scars, a little more info, or even just a different kind of experience.

    When I first came to be a believer at 32, I was brought immediately into a small group accountability group. Small groups provide a setting where community can be experienced and built. For many participants, small groups serve as surrogate families that provide the loving relationships and responsibilities which make living in our society possible. Such groups are Scriptural and designed by God so that we live our lives with one another, to love each other, to bear one another’s burdens and joys, to apply the balm of Gilead to one another’s wounds. The Lord once told me that the reason there are so many Believers seeing psychologists and in counseling is because there is no Cross in the church, where people can come and be open, to let their hair down and repent and lay their sin at the foot of the Cross and then be restored. We may pray for them, but if we don’t hear their repentance and confession of sin, the prayers kind of do some hoeing in the soil around the weed but we don’t allow it to be pulled out. We pour ointment on a splinter instead of pulling it out. My prayer is that you will never isolate yourself from others again.

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  3. Thank you both for such uplifting encouragement…it is still hard…today’s church is not what it is meant to be with real brothers and sisters loving one another and being there for each other to share the burdens…instead they use the sharing to spread gossip and judgment…there are those who are real but they are very hard to find…it is also hard to trust again when you have had several times the trust has been abused and broken…i so wish and pray for revival in our churches…true revival…for people to take their faith to the extreme and really live it and be different…right now, what is the draw for outsiders to come to church when they can get the same responses from people in society…it is sad! It angers me and hurts me to know that things should be different and my prayer is for the change to occur, but i do believe we live in the end times and the change may never come this side of Heaven. Even now Lord, COME…i am so ready for home guys, aren’t you?

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    1. Not many can identified with what you just wrote Jody; but you press on my sister; press on and don’t give up! For now, until the day that we be able to go home… press on!

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  4. Jesus tells us in Luke chapter 18 that we should always pray and not lose heart. We live in a day of crisis situations where many of God’s people have been overwhelmed with discouragement brought on by problems and perplexing situations. Failing to pray in such an hour will only lead to disillusion and inescapable stress. There is a place that can be attained through prayer where deliverance is brought forth and peace is sustained within the heart. God will answer our prayers, but we must be willing to bow our knees and pray. So many believers will do anything and everything under the sun except pray. But fervent heartfelt prayer will carry one over into the realm of God’s miraculous miracle working power.

    As fervent prayer is combined with great grace, we will see results of prayers answered in the most remarkable ways. Press in now. Lean in to God now, with all your heart. Imitate the persistence of the widow woman in the parable of the unjust judge. She had no influence in the natural. She was not rich and did not have an elite social position. But she refused to be denied and was publicly vindicated. God is waiting to hear your petitions – it’s time to pray.

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