God never imposes anything on us. Friendship is a choice. Through the Word, God shows us the rewards or consequences of our choices that is, what lies ahead of the path we choose, good or bad, life or death. His instructions are life and wisdom to all who follow them. This week we have seen lots of Biblical examples of Toxic Friendships. Today let’s delve into breaking the yoke and walking in freedom from their holds.
Bible Study: Deuteronomy 7
SIX Ways To Break The Yoke of Toxic Friendships:
1.Living in obedience to the Word: All of God’s commands have blessings attached to them. In Deuteronomy 7, the scripture shows us how detailed God is and how so mindful He is of us. He is Jealous over His people.
Read all of Chapter 7 of Deuteronomy. Highlight signposts that speak to your heart in this chapter. Why did the Lord instruct the children not to intermarry or associate with the locals found in the Land?
God is omniscience and knows more than our human minds can comprehend. He knows associating closely with those that do not believe comes with one powerful word, “influence“. And influence can swing either way.
2. Take captive of your thoughts. Our thoughts attract certain people, situations into our lives.
We are not far from what we think, say or do. And what we say and actions we carry out start in our minds.
Look at our previous study again. We see Amnon putting a voice to his wicked intentions and his so called friend helped him create the master plan. The same goes for Haman. Let your thoughts always be pure and glorify God.
Do you struggle with your thoughts?
Are you in a constant mind battle between good and evil?
Philippians 4:8 and 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 will help you. Speak life through the power of the Word and put your thoughts under the control of the Holy Spirit.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, fill my mind through the power in the name of Jesus cleanse and purify my heart. Lord, I surrender my heart space and my thought life to you. Lord uproot every negative plantation that has taking hold of my life in Jesus name. Set me free from every evil thought, every fear and every negativity in Jesus name.
Here are few categories of people we are advised to avoid
-A company of fools. A fool is someone who doesn’t believe in God (Psalm 14:1). One who does not acknowledge His existence or sovereignty. You should not keep friends who scoff at who and what you believe, Jesus Christ.
-An angry man. Who knew that anger was such a dread? But it is clearly stated in the scripture. Anger is dangerous weapon that can destroy even the very people we love. Proverbs 22:24
-Fellow Believers who continue to walk sin.
Recommended: Read commentaries on biblehub.com for 1 Corinthians 5:9-13
Paul wrote this as a stern warning in 1 Corinthians 5: 9-13. If a believer continues to walk in the way of the world without truly repenting and is reluctant about these sins then dear sister, it is wise to put boundaries.
This scripture mentions not only believers who are fornicators but also those who are covetous or greedy, swindlers, idolaters, slanderers and drunkards should be avoided. Sexual sins can be contagious. Keeping association with friends who enjoy for instance viewing porn, patronizing prostitutes, lesbianism or gay and other sexual sins makes it easy to become enticed and gradually drawn to them. God help us!
-The World. We have discussed this for the umpteenth time and every one of us need to be aware of how The world seriously interferes with our relationship with Christ. James 4:4
4. Take a Stand for the Truth: Did you read Psalm 1:1-2? God is mindful of our conversations. He cares about who you share your conversations with, whose counsel we take. In fact, through these weeks of this Bible study we know God is concerned with our choice and quality of friends.
Compromise hinders us from taking a stand against sin or calling its name for what it is.
Do your friends know you are a believer?
Don’t be ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Now more than ever we ought to stand firmly for the Truth. Hebrews 10:23
5. Keep Godly Friends: The Bible encourages us to continue in fellowship with one another Hebrews 10:25. Iron sharpens iron Proverbs 27:17 You and I need Godly friends to uphold and encourage us. If we want to be wise, then it is time we begin to walk with those that are wise (Proverbs 13:20). Check out 5 Reasons you need Praying Friends
6. Seek Godly Counsel. Sometimes we feel stuck in certain friendships. Sometimes it is because we think we are gooing to be helpless or we going to be alone or we feel threatened and are afraid to leave.
As a person who works with teenagers, I have seen many cases where teens feel trapped in difficult groups or gangs and are bullied to maintain their loyalty.
The Bible says Wisdom is profitable to direct. In special cases as needs be it is wise to seek the help of trusted mature Christian counselors or a safe Christian community when harm is perceived on the victim.
And one more way to break the hold of Toxic Friendships is….
7. Prayerfully break the ties and yokes of dangerous relationships.
David prayed earnestly for God to rid him from the hands of strange children. He prayed for deliverance from these wrong associations. The first place to begin is at the feet of Jesus. Breaking spiritual ties and holds of toxic friends is important as we learnt from Haman in our previous study.
Toxic Friendships: Powerful Verses for Your War Room
Forsaken Job 19:14, Job 19:19, Job 32:3
Deceived Proverbs 17:9, Proverbs 17:17, Proverbs 19:4-7
Flattered and Scorned Job 17:5, Psalm 12:2
Falsehood Psalm 144:11
Betrayed 2 Samuel 16:16-17
Forgiveness and Prayer Job 42:7-10
Rid from strange children Psalm 144:7-11, Proverbs 13:20
Prayer for Your WAR ROOM
Lord, I thank you for your Word. Thank you for the power in the name of Jesus to break satanic yokes and bondage of wrong friendships and relationships according to Isaiah 10:27. In Jesus name, I declare total freedom from the hold of toxic relationships. Father, let the pure water of the Word wash over my soul me and purify me with your Holy Fire in Jesus name as in Titus 3:5 and Hebrews 9: 13-14. In any area I have stepped out of your will, Father bring me back to the center of your will in Jesus name. In any way, I have unknowingly broken the hedge of your protection, Lord be merciful unto my poor soul in Jesus name. Thank you for setting me free indeed. Father, help me to build thriving Godly friendships and from today, I begin to walk in total freedom and victory in my relationships in Jesus name.