Chapter Three - Seeing God In Our Friendships

Tommy Barnett, Joy’s son, has pastored one of the largest churches in the nation for 23 years, and he recently celebrated his 50th year in ministry. Reflecting on the success of his ministry he said, “God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called.”

How does He do this? Jesus did not transform the men who were to become the spiritual fathers of the New Testament in one dramatic episode. Jesus mentored His disciples through friendship. When the student is ready, the teacher appears and we learn in recovery. When I am ready and willing, God’s Word becomes rhema. Haven’t you ever noticed you can read the same scripture a dozen times and one day it becomes rhema? It just jumps out at you and becomes alive in your soul. Rhema means “to become alive.” It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life (Jo 6:63). The Holy Spirit reveals God’s Word to us in our mind and through our senses. He enables others to comfort, counsel, help, and strengthen us. I know when God has used someone to help me in answer to prayer. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you (Jo 14:26).

George was a well-known pastor, loved and respected in his community. God called George, qualifying him through Spirit-inspired revelation and insight. He felt he had friends who cared, and he even considered some as mentored friendships. Although he had what he thought was a strong support system, a growing depression was beginning to take its toll on his marriage, ministry, and family. When he turned to some of these friends, he felt let down.

“Men relate differently than women,” reflected George. “I would not look at my life and see an individual that fit the role as a mentor, but there have been three or four men over the years who have been key in course correction. I sought for a year and even tried to find a way of

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