Connected

UnAfraid_Web

Q: What do you consider the most important quality in a good friend and why is that quality important to you?

At the end of David’s life, when he was about to die, he had a chance to reflect back on his life. One of the key things he reflected on was the group of amazing men who had made him who he was.  Their list of exploits reads like one of those over-the-top Hollywood action movies!  Each in a unique way had each won a battle for Israel.

 READ 2 Samuel 23:8-12

The passage describes 3 men each with an incredible story…

I think the first one, Josheb-Basshebeth the Tahkemonite was the scary one (even his name sounds scary). He had killed 800 guys single handedly in one encounter! I don’t know how he did it; it defies even imagination!

The next one, Eleazar, was with David mocking the Philistines. After they provoked the Philistines and ran, they got to a place of safety and someone asked, ‘umm..who’s seen Eleazar’? By the time they timidly went to check on him, he was basically done!’ He  had fought so hard his fingers were stuck to his sword!

I think the third one, Shammah, was a big guy full of muscles. One day he was with the team defending the army’s food supply – a field of lentils . A Philistine army stumbled on them and all the guards ran off. But Shammah was like, ‘Nobody messes with our food!’ The Philistines didn’t even know what hit them next! Suffice it to say that when the army returned, the lentils were still there but the Philistines were not!

Because of their exploits, these 3 generals had become legendary – you can imagine the kind of respect everyone in the army gave them! They were simply called ‘The Three’. The rest of the chapter that we didn’t read tells us they were not alone; there was another elite unit called ‘The Thirty’ that included Abishai, whose exploits we read about last week. The rest of the passage we read tells us about an incidence when 3 of these generals risked their lives simply to encourage David when he was depressed!

Do you think David considered these friends to be loyal? Trustworthy? Dependable? People who had his back? Friends who would stick with him through thick and thin? Absolutely! The fact is that David would never have achieved his God-purpose and become king if he had not surrounded himself with such men. David may be famous as the courageous warrior who led Israel. But one of the greatest secrets of his successes was that he was surrounded by other mighty warriors who were even more courageous than himself! The lesson that jumps out from our text is that

True courage never walks alone.

Who are your mighty men/women? I suspect that’s a difficult question for many of us to answer. We live today in an incredibly busy world. As a result, it’s easy to wake up and realize you’re surrounded by a bunch of strangers: Colleagues who you spend most of your day with but who don’t know much about your life, except the professional slice. We’re surrounded by people but we’re alone in a crowd. That’s setting ourselves up for failure! Remember, 

True courage never walks alone!

 How do we go about finding the mighty warriors who will help us courageously achieve our vision?

To answer that, let’s go back to the first time when these mighty warriors assembled, in 1Sam.22.1-2. It says… ‘David left Gath and escaped (from Saul) to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and his father’s household heard about it, they went down to him there. All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their commander. About 400 men were with him.’

When he fled from Saul, the people who God gathered around him were not that impressive! They were either in distress (probably in trouble with the law), in debt (unable to pay their bills) or discontented (dissatisfied with their lot in life). Some had grown up with David but many were from a completely different background. The only thing they had in common was that they all had serious issues! They were not socially acceptable or respectable people… No one believed they would ever amount to much!

But fast-forward several years later and they were back in the same cave. Still hiding from Saul and now from the Philistines as well. They had been through tough times together and on one occasion even wanted to lynch their leader (1Sam.30:6)! But over the years, their time together in the wilderness had done something to them. They had united around a common mission to make David king, and in the process, they had been forged together into a fearless army of mighty warriors! As each one of them did great valiant acts, the whole group was strengthened. No longer a band of needy, discontented people coming for help, now they were each serving courageously and adding value to each other! That’s the way it’s meant to be.

True courage never walks alone!

The reality is that along the journey of purpose, each of us will encounter great challenges along the way. The Christian life as you’ve probably realized is not easy! In tough times, we will find ourselves either angry or bitter or tempted or discouraged. At that time, the one thing that will greatly increase your courage to overcome your situation is a courageous group of companions walking the same journey. And so allow me to ask you again; who are your mighty warriors?

True courage never walks alone!

Perhaps you’ve been waiting to find a group of people who are like you: People who are going places and who have their act together; who are in a similar life stage. There are two problems with this approach. Firstly, it can lead to shallow relationships. If you came together because each one looked so perfect, what happens when one of you starts to encounter problems? They’ll need to pretend in order to fit in! But secondly, it can lead to complacency. Such comfortable groups easily become about meeting our needs as opposed to challenging each other towards God’s purpose. You see, every group of mighty men or women need a mission that is bigger than themselves!

People who are different from you who can bring perspective that you’d never get anywhere else! In addition, those further along the road than the others begin to realize that helping other people with their issues can help you discover and deal with your own issues. As this group of ordinary people with issues comes together to live out the same mission and values, God is able to transform them together from misfits into mighty men and women. As each member discovers and starts to activate their purpose, the rest come closer to their own purpose.

We must stop seeing people as they are – and begin to see them as they could be with God’s help! Remember,

True courage never walks alone!

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10 Responses to “Connected”

  1. i agree totally and am thankful to God for the mighty men and women called HOGS(my life group) who are a second family to me.l encourage all those who are not in life groups to join because TRUE COURAGE NEVER WALK ALONE.God bless Mavuno

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  2. willis werimo Says:

    Profound message

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  3. Reblogged this on marge muthura and commented:
    My three mighty men

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  4. How does this apply if (currently) you’re fresh out of friends?

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  5. It was powerful message God bless you. Only the pride in my heart has made me never see the need of walking with others.

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  6. Dont i like these sermons? Yes i do!!!they are powerful and encouraging. character is something we all need in ourselves and those we choose to associate with. However, its also true that we could be seeing ourselves as people of character but in real sense we are walking in the opposite direction. Sometimes we do things without thinking twice about them, putting ourselves in harms way while raising eyebrows about our real character. All this while, we just dont realize it. So we need friends to correct and counsel us. But it’s also true that good friends are hard to find. So there is this one-fits-all solution; draw near to God and you will never get it wrong. He walks right beside you showing the right path to follow and places where you can find such friends. You wake up every morning with a sense of satisfaction, sometimes yearning for Him and other times just happy to know that you belong to the most high. So when faced with situations, you handle them with an heavenly touch coz God’s hand is upon you, not to mention the joy of knowing that u can pray about anything, you can speak to Him about anything and He is always with you..this is tried and tested by me. for ever thankful

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  7. Thank you for your Sunday message. Realizing that being introverted is sometimes an excuse to shut people out of your life…comfortably. I guess I better ask the Almighty to shower me with these friend’s like David’s – and also that I can be that friend to someone else in the same capacity. Thanks.

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  8. I guess if you look at it that way, it makes sense. “I’m never alone, God is always with me.” Thanks CG.

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  9. I think one of the things I love most about these bunch of friends is that they came together coz they all had issues, it’s such a powerful message as sometimes we ignore those who come to us because they have issues, and maybe that is God’s way of ushering them into our lives, I am re-examining my relationships in light of this, thanks Pst M for sharing this powerful word.

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  10. Powerful sermon. As i began to read, i could see each of my friends and how God is continuing to transform us. What a blessing it is to hear what God’s plan is for us.. Amen. amen, amen!!!

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