Dr. Allen Domelle
“Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:” Daniel 1:6
We often hear the warning about having bad friends, but how to look for the right friends is rarely discussed. In the verse above, there were four men who became close friends. The Scriptures do not tell us if these men grew up together, but one thing we know is that these four men became close friends. They didn't become close friends because they sought each other out, but they discovered each other as they did right.
Godly friends are never sought out, but they are discovered. As I look through my life, I see that those who became my friends were discovered as I served the LORD. While I served the LORD, I looked around me at those who were serving with me, and they became by friends. Whenever you seek out friendship, you can be guaranteed to find the wrong friends. Godly friends are always discovered as you serve the LORD. There were five qualities about the men in the verse above that you should look for in every person whom you choose to make a friend.
First, they had purpose. The very first thing said about these men was that they purposed not to eat the king’s meat. Don’t yoke up in friendship with those who don't have purpose in life or a purpose to serve the LORD. This doesn't mean that you should be rude to those who don't have purpose; it is only a quality you should look for in those with whom you choose to associate. Purpose will ultimately lead to destination; so, you had better be sure that your friends have the right purpose.
Second, they were proven. These men were proven as they all stood to say they would not eat the king’s meat. I wonder if this is not when they discovered each other. Don't get close to those who have not proven they will stand and do right through tough times. Those who have proven they will do right when others won’t are the types of friend you should desire.
Third, they had the presence of God in their life. These men had God’s presence because they spent time with Him in prayer and in the Scriptures. Every close friend should be a person who has a regular walk with God. When you have friends who continually walk in the presence of God, then you have friends who will not tempt you to do wrong. You will know if a person walks in God’s presence because they will talk about God speaking to their heart in sermons or their personal walk with God.
Fourth, they were men who praised God. These men were more apt to praise God than man. Godly friends will not lift up men, but the praise of God will continually come from their lips. People who continually praise men have their eyes on man and not God. I encourage you to be sure your friends are people who talk about God and praise Him continually.
Fifth, they were positioned men. All of these men did not change their positions when facing persecution. Your friends should be people who stand when no one else stands. Your friends should be people who are positioned in the principles of God’s Word. They should not base their beliefs upon what you or anyone else will do, but they should be based upon the Word of God.
Two questions I have for you. First, are these five qualities in you? If you don't have these five qualities in your life, then you should immediately implement them into your life. Second, do your friends have these five qualities? These five qualities are imperative to the direction someone is going. You will find when you have these five qualities in your life that discovering others with these same qualities will not be difficult for they will be serving the LORD with you. Make these five qualities a key to close friendships.
“Give me 100 preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God; such alone will shake the gates of hell.” -John Wesley