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Today’s Truth

Aaron and Hur held his hands up - one on one side, one on the other - so that his hands remained steady until sunset.

Exodus 17:12b NIV

Friend to Friend

After the Lord had delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt they spent 40 years in the desert. During that time God provided for them both miraculously and practically. One practical way God moved was through His people.

Much like today.

Moses was God’s chosen leader, but many others were used as well. We see this demonstrated in Exodus 17 when a savage, nomadic tribe called the Amalekites attacked the Israelites. The Amalekites lived in in the desert region near the Dead Sea and were quick to destroy anyone who got in their space. I imagine that when they went into battle with the Israelites they had no idea that if they messed with Moses and his traveling companions they were messing with the all-powerful, unstoppable army of the Lord!

Here’s the way it went down…

The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”

            So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. (Exodus 17:8-13)

This enemy was defeated because a group of like-minded believers stuck together and took action. A community of friends and family rallied… grabbing a stone for their friend and hunkering down beside him during the battle. Held his hands up for hours. And didn’t leave his side until the conflict was over.

Most of these Israelites weren’t warriors – they were just like you and me – people of trade, fresh from captivity, and hopeful for a bright future. Normals, not heroes.

They didn’t win this particular battle because of their amazing war skills. They won this battle because they did what God told them to do. They had access to God, they looked to Him for help, and they worked together on behalf of His people.

Like the Israelites, you and I have full access to God and can ask Him for help in times of trouble.

We can also partner with believers to win battles and achieve great things too.

When the enemy attacks hard I need reliable friends who have my back and are willing to do battle on my behalf, like Moses had. I’m thankful to have a handful of girlfriends and a prayer team that hits their knees when I write, travel, dream and struggle. I’ve witnessed their prayers move the hand of God.

Likewise, when my friends or church leaders are in the thick of it, they need others (including me) to join them in the spiritual battles. As an elder’s wife, I’ve felt the strain that church leaders feel constantly and cannot overstate the importance of lifting up our pastors and women’s ministry leaders in prayer.

We get attacked on all fronts: emotionally, relationally, socially, and financially.

Lies assault us, toxic conversations break us down, temptations vie for our honor… the list is endless. Every conflict we face has a spiritual component. And when these attacks come our way (daily) it’s essential that we surround ourselves, and our friends, with prayer.

Taking a cue from Moses, I see an opportunity. Why don’t you and I choose a few friends to do prayer-battle with today?

Let’s move forward with our eyes wide open to the invisible attacks coming our way and partner up with one or a few who will join us in pulling up a stone, holding each others’ hands up, and bending knees low.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, Thank You for giving me access to unending grace and strength through Your Son, Jesus Christ. You are my Refuge, my Help, and my Hope. I am so grateful that when my days are filled with battles that You are right beside me – and that You have given me friends to join me on the front lines. Please open my eyes to see the needs around me and to step up as a friend.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

READ Galatians 6:2, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” What is one practical thing you can do to make this happen today? Tell me your answer as a comment on Instagram or my blog.

More from the Girlfriends

If you want to read and study the Bible this summer, but at your own pace, then this is for you! Girlfriends in God cofounder Gwen Smith has several online Bible Study options that will guide you on a personal journey with the Lord as you read, record, reflect on and respond to His Word.

These studies will help you know what God says about tender topics like forgiveness, healing, fear, depression, relationships and hope.

Each inductive study can be done in the comfort of your home and in a timeframe that fits with your personal schedule. Visit www.GwenSmith.net/BibleStudy to learn more.

PS. YOU’VE GOT A FRIEND IN ME! I created the GRACEOLOGIE with Gwen Smith podcast to hold your hands up! Hang out with my guests and me as you commute to work, go on walks, exercise, fold laundry, eat chips and guacamole, run errands and travel.

3 Responses to “Friends Like This Change Everything”

  1. Alexandria says:

    I love this message! I wonder how many “battles” of any kind would dissolve into peace if took every opportunity to pray together about the hard parts? Jesus says for His believers to be of one mind just like He is of one mind with His father. Prayer is the key because it is like presenting God with an invitation to come into the situation and make a way where there is no way. Thank you for promoting community support and prayer in Gods family.

  2. abby says:

    what if you really have no Christian friends though who you can vent to/to be a good listener to? a loner basically?

  3. Dawn says:

    Hi Abby,
    Boy did your question hit me squarely between the eyes. Even the time you posted has a strong significance to me. I too am in a similar same situation, I am basically a shut in. I have no outside friends nor family outside of my husband and son. The extent of my social media is this daily devotional I read and for which I am very grateful. With all that said, I have learned to vent to God. I tell Him my concerns and problems just like I would a girlfriend He is the Ultimate best friend without judgement and vulnerability. In fact, He pressed upon me to respond to you knowing this is completely out of character for me. To tell you, that you are may feel like a loner, but are not alone. He has answered my prayers to be of help for Him, also letting you know He is aware of your hearts desires. Pray that He will place someone in your life as a confidant and prayer partner. Most likely that person is already on their way into your life through His guiding hand. Even though we may be “loners” we have prayer warriors who may be strangers but they pray daily over these devotionals and all who read them. I know I do and I pray for people just like us in my daily prayers. I am a stranger to them but God knows them and that’s all that matters. Begin by thanking God for the friend He is going to bring into your life. I pray my response is proof He knows and hears you.

    My prayers with you and this day forward,
    Dawn

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