When lions attack their prey, they cause the herd to panic and scatter. This enables them to safely strike their chosen target, the injured and weak which are now isolated and vulnerable. Scripture tells us to "be alert and of sober mind. "Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8) Satan wants to get you in a place where you are an easy target. One tactic he uses is to get you to separate yourself from other believers, your support system. When you are wounded and need others the most, Satan makes you feel ashamed of your failures, so you hide. He makes you wary and suspicious of those you once trusted because you don't want to get hurt again. He will try to make you resentful of those who don't seem to understand what you are going through. The enemy will try to get you to a place where you turn your back on your walk with God and everything it entails. He wants you to be alone and therefore vulnerable, without help.
Two are Better Than One
God has warned us beforehand "so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his design (2 Corinthians 2:11). In your darkest hour, you may have thoughts and feelings which will try to lead you away from your brother and sisters in Christ. Truth is, this is when we need them the most. As difficult as it might seem at the moment, in our weakest moments we must reach out to God first, but also to the body of believers through whom He works. This is where we will receive prayer, support and godly counsel. No matter what trials you face, you are not meant to go it alone. Solomon explained that "two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up." and "though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)
Before the Battle
When you are lying wounded and bleeding on the battlefield of life, it is probably not the is not the best time to start searching for close companions who will be a lifeline for you. It is far better to develop those relationships over a period of time when you are not in a place of desperation. Trust and understanding begin in the small things and grow stronger and deeper over time.
Souls Knit Toggether
A powerful example of this kind of relationship is found in the book of 1 Samuel: "... the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father's house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt. And David went out and was successful wherever Saul sent him, so that Saul set him over the men of war." Jonathan's support was a major factor in David's success in battle and the advancement of his military career. Such friendships are rare and precious. Pray that God will bring a Jonathan into your life and that you can be a Jonathan to someone else. Developing strong relationships not only takes time, but effort as well. Water, fertilize and occasionally prune your friendship. Make a conscious effort to support them in their endeavors. Encourage and help them to develop their talents. "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." (Proverbs 27:17) You may need to show some "tough love" if your friend's life gets off course. Your friend's wellbeing should be more important to you than having their approval all of the time. Consistently praying for your friend is an unseen, but vital practice. Paul told the church in Colosse, "For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives." Make a regular practice of praying for and with your friends.
Standing Strong Together
Life can get rough, even brutal at times, so never try to go it alone. We need each other. Each of us is a member of the body of Christ with a unique role to play. Take a look at 1 Corinthians 12:12-27. Where you are lacking, another is strong and vice versa. Close friendships are a beautiful thing, but they can also be the means for survival. Lets be victorious together.