Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Friendship (04/04/05)
TITLE: Flickering Flame
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And Amos her husband, well, he was always busy on the computer and didnâ€™t like to do anything much outside of that. â€œI sure miss my Mom,â€ she said aloud to herself with a tear streaming down her face as she began dinner. She and mom hated each other growing up. They couldnâ€™t even look at each other without one or the other tearing into each other. But when Philia discovered the love of Jesus Christ, and something inside and out changed, her family and old friends took notice. No more drinking, smoking, swearing, carousing, and acting tough. Mom and she were best friends now and her heart longed for a hug.
â€œAnd God is gonna fill that loneliness and the wounds of the past will be completely gone.â€ She was remembering the word from the prophet that had come for a visit recently. Margaret came to her afterwards asking Philia if she was still feeling lonely and how could that be with her building friendships and doing things in the church.
Philia had given her all to Abba. He was her â€˜all in allâ€™. After her divorce seven years ago, all the lies, the doubts, and deception the enemy had placed in her friends back home in church, the fire, the zeal of her precious Lord, had gone out. There was still a flicker there, but very faintly was it lit. Friends returned and said how sorry they were to believe the lies, knowing the truth, and all were forgiven. She never held anything against any of them for she knew where it came from, but the hurt and the wounds were deep.
She left her hometown, her family, and friends for a life change. It was a difficult journey and because of thinking she was a failure to all, the very things she hated she returned to, like a dog returning to his own vomit.
But God wasnâ€™t through with her yet! He did not lose one sheep and He was NOT going to lose Philia. His hand was steady upon her and no matter what she did He still loved upon her. She would continually ask why and the only answer He would give her was this: â€œBecause I love you! I will never leave you, nor forsake you!â€
She would go to churches, seeking for Him, praying forgiveness, asking for Him to reveal Himself like He did before, and help her for she was a hypocrite! â€œHow could you love me? Look at me! She would walk in a church with Amos and then he would tell her she was to dance. She refused at the first but she remembered when she first was learning by Spirit how to pray, she would say to Lord something like, â€œHave Pastor Sam play that song again and I will dance, no matter what anyone else thinks.â€ So, she repeated it again, almost challenging God. And that worship leader did! So she got out and danced, and revival fell on that church and other churches too each time she was obedient. It was easy to leave the â€œold manâ€ back in the grave, permanently, she hoped!
But the emptiness and loneliness still invaded her every day. Philia and Amos found a like church and she could easily get lost in the Lord in worship, prayer, and song. She even started preaching again. She was on one of the worship teams, was on the ministry prayer teams, ministered at the food pantry and had lots of friends.
Then a preacher came through and said names are very important and to study your own. She went to the Strongâ€™s Concordance and found that her name was in there! She discovered that her name was actually a Greek word and the English interpretation was FRIENDSHIP! She remembered in John 15:15 Jesus called her His friend! Father God told her, â€œA friend loves at all times!â€ And that flickering spark has become a burning, fiery flame of love for herself and others!
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