How would you like to be a friend of God? Seriously, this isn’t a joke, this is for real and it’s a concept found only in the Bible and not in any other religion.
Why would God want to be my friend?
Of course, most of us react to this idea immediately with thoughts of guilt and unworthiness: “Why would God want to be my friend?” “If he knew my thoughts and secret sins he wouldn’t want to come anywhere near me, let alone talk to me!”
In fact, it’s far easier for many of us to conceive of ourselves as enemies of God and indeed the Bible does describe us that way initially:
Romans 5:10 “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.”
The good news of reconciliation
However, there is good news: God doesn’t want to remain our enemy, he wants to be our friend. Not only that, he demonstrated his desire for friendship and reconciliation by sending his own son to lay down his life for us!
John 15:13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.”
Who are the friends of Jesus?
Have a look at this Jesus. Who are his friends? Who surrounds him? Is it the rich, the famous and powerful, the religious, or the talented? No, its prostitutes, sinners and outcasts! He is even euphemistically called the friend of sinners!
Luke 7:34 “The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!”
Look at his disciples. Are they the most talented, wealthy or intelligent? No, they are ordinary and very human. Like some of our friends, they break their promises and fail to stick with us through trouble and hard times. The good news is, that Jesus is the best friend that you can ever have – he will never let you down.
Proverbs 18:25 “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”
Abraham the friend of God
Even in the Old Testament scriptures, we don’t get the impression that God wants to remain distant. No, even on the early pages of the first book of the Bible, it’s clear that God wants to be involved, to be the friend of man. I mean, what possesses the Almighty God to even want to be the friend of a pagan moon-worshiper like Abraham? Of all the people on the planet, why pick Abraham as a friend? What could God possibly learn, benefit or enjoy being Abraham’s friend?
James 2:23 “And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.”
The basis of friendship is trust
God loves to be trusted. He loves faith. Trust is the basis of the friendship between them. When God says to Abraham: “go and sacrifice your only son”, Abraham is prepared to obey even if he doesn’t understand. Therefore, because Abraham is his trusted friend, God shares his intimate secrets with him. Wow that’s vulnerability on God’s part!
Genesis 18:17 “And the LORD said, shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;”
Similarly, we see Moses relating to God as friend, talking openly and face to face. This isn’t a servant to his master.
Exodus 33:11 “And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.”
In Deuteronomy 5 however, we see a very sad thing: the people who Moses has called to lead: the children of Israel, would rather relate to God through Moses as their mediator. They choose distance, they would rather relate to God through Moses and a set of rules called the Law!
You can be a friend of God
However, for us today, the truth is that we have been restored to intimacy, relationship and friendship with God by the completed work of Jesus Christ at the cross. God doesn’t want just servants (although we are that), he wants us to be his friends. Now it is possible, for us to have a level of relationship with God that even exceeds Abraham or Moses. In fact, you can have whatever level of relationship you want!
John 15:15 “Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.”
God can’t make you his friend but you can choose to be his friend.
It’s your freewill choice to spend time with God, trust him, talk to him and enjoy his company. So, when we come to him in prayer with our petitions, let’s come on the basis of friendship rather than servanthood, as Jesus illustrates in the following scripture:
Luke 11:5 “Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity[a] he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.”
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