When I was 10 years old, I heard a speaker share the gospel. I was very convicted by what he said, so later that evening I went in tears to speak with someone who could explain the gospel to me because I did not think I was really saved. She explained salvation to me and I put my trust in Christ as my Savior and Lord. After that I had an intense desire to read and study God’s Word and get to know Jesus better. The more I studied, the more I realized how amazing Jesus is and that He is not just a God far away, but someone who can be a close friend, even a best friend. He has always been so faithful to show me His mercy and grace and love each day. Jesus has given me so much hope and joy that I never find with anyone else. I have so much peace when I walk closely with Jesus and even in the times when I have drifted away some, He has been faithful drawn my heart back to Him.
One example of a time I started to drift was last summer when I started to become really good friends with someone from my church. We spent a lot of time together and we would talk on the phone and text a lot too. It was a very godly friendship. We would often read our Bibles and pray when we would get together, and on the phone we would talk about church and tell each other what God had been doing in our lives. I was so happy that God had blessed me with such a godly friend.
But over time I noticed something started to happen. I was spending less and less time reading my Bible and in prayer. I did not think about the Lord as much throughout my day and how I could honor Him. I was too preoccupied with this newfound friend who was taking a lot of my time and thought. So I started to drift away from my friendship with Jesus and He was given second place.
As I realized this was happening, I also started to realize a lot of my joy was gone. I was not living in the peace that only God can give because problems started to surface as a result of this friendship. I went from being very happy to not very happy at all. I was had a lot of inner turmoil. It was at this time, that God removed this friend from my life. It was a little difficult at first, but I could see God’s grace through it in so many ways.
I now had so much more time to spend in my personal devotions. It was so wonderful to be able just to focus on Jesus and His Word. I could pray without any distractions. I was not looking forward to being with someone else more than I was with my Savior. I began to experience again the joy that only comes from being close to Jesus and having Him as my best friend.
It is good to have close friendships with other godly people, but when they replace Jesus as your very best and closest friend, they can become a distraction and God, in His love for us, may remove them from our lives or lead us to back away a little. Even though it can be hard sometimes, God always does what He knows is best for us and what He knows will give us the most joy. And He has shown me that nothing or no person can give you more joy than walking closely with Jesus and having Him as your closest friend.