December 3, 2018

Friendship with God

“Abraham was called ‘the Friend of God.’” James 2:23 (NKJV)

Three times in Scripture, Abraham was called “the Friend of God.” One verse refers to Abraham’s relationship with God as “Your friend forever” in 2 Chronicles 20:7 (NIV), while in yet another verse, God calls “Abraham, My friend” Isaiah 41:8 (NIV)  Imagine that for a moment – friendship with God!

In our search for significance, no relationship could measure with the intimate connection of your heart with the heart of God.  Is it possible to be the friend of God?  Was it exclusive with Abraham?  Following Abraham came another man, Moses, with whom God enjoyed intimate friendship such that the Scripture says, 

“The Lord would speak with Moses … just as a man speaks with a friend.”  Exodus 33:11 (GN)

“But these were spiritual heroes of faith,” you say, “and I’m just an ordinary guy.”  Can ordinary people today enjoy such friendship with God?  Is that not the real longing of your heart?  One author put it well.

“In all of our culture’s mad dash toward whatever is next, I believe God is what you and I are actually looking for.   Not just ideas about God, not just the truth about God, but God Himself.  Whether we fully acknowledge it or not, we seek His presence and His power.  We long to see the reality of His life and work available to us.” (Richard Lamb)

Friendship like that involves trust, doesn’t it?  God trusted his friend, Abraham, enough to disclose to him what He was going to do.  The Bible describes God’s friendship with Abraham like this: 

“And the Lord said … I will not hide from Abraham what I am going to do.”  Genesis 18:17 (GN)

Friends keep confidences.  They share confidences.  In fact, usually they are eager to discuss their decisions.  In this unique story, God discusses His plans with Abraham, plans that would impact an entire city.  Abraham responds to God’s decision in such a way that God alters His own plans.  No wonder Abraham was called “the friend of God.”  It’s amazing to consider a dialogue with God like that, isn’t it?

It tells us that, as much as we desire a connection with God that is real and personal, He must desire it even more.  After all, that is why He created us in His image and likeness — to enjoy fellowship, meaningful relationship and dialogue.  “Then, why is heaven so silent for me?” you may wonder?  God speaks in many ways.  Take time today to listen, to watch.  Have you heard His voice only to be so busy that you failed to make the connection that God was speaking to you?  Can you see where He has been at work in your life — protecting, providing, caring, loving and guiding you?  Usually, it is much easier to see that as we look back on our lives than it is in our current circumstances.

So how can you cultivate a friendship with God?

  • Ask God today to make Himself known to you.
  • Realize God Himself initiated the connection you seek with Him.  Jesus came “to seek and to save the lost.”  Luke 19:10 (GN)  Why?  To reconcile to God those who were once enemies, to connect those who were once separated, to make you His friend.

“I do not call you servants any longer, because a servant does not know what his master is doing.  Instead, I call you FRIENDS, because I have told you everything I heard from My Father.”  John 15:15 (GN)

What does God want to tell you?  If He desires a connection with you, then take the time right now to thank Him and invite Him to speak with you.  Discuss your decisions with Him before you finalize them.  Share with Him your heart.  Ask for His direction.  Seek His counsel.  What joy it will bring to His heart to spend that time with you in dialogue.  Begin a journal today.  Life is a journey, and it deserves a journal.  Record the things God is saying to you and your experiences with Him.  This will cultivate your relationship with God and make it dynamic!