Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends,~John 15:13.
You are my friends if you do what I command,~Jesus (John 15:14).
There are several people in the Bible who were considered friends of God. They walked with God. Moses, Abraham, Enoch, Mary-gave birth to Jesus, Mary/Martha/Lazarus (friends of Jesus), and more.
There’s an invitation God sends out to humanity, “Come and know Me. Come be loved. Come be known and valued. Come be honored and respected. You and Me, let’s be close friends.”
It’s a shame salvation is seen, at times, as a ticket into heaven instead of an invitation into the closest and best relationship ever. Friendship with God is eternal. Covenant with God is eternal if we repent, believe, and place our faith in the Son of God.
So why then is friendship with God sometimes placed at the bottom of the priority list?
The Creator of the Universe wants to have deep, close fellowship with humanity. I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I look at humanity, I am wondering, “Really God? You want to connect with us? Did you read this news this morning? We are all sorts of messed up!”
What I’ve learned and am learning about God is this:
- God knows the depravity of humanity.
- God knows He is the only cure.
- God sees who He created.
- God can see past the brokenness, sin, and issues.
- God is love.
- Love is not simply what God does; it’s who He is.
- We are not transformed by our self effort.
- We are transformed through relationship with God (abiding and intimacy).
- We are not God’s fixer upper projects; we are objects of His affection.
I’ve been pursuing friendship with God for a long time. I wanted Him to be able to say, “She’s one of My very best friends. I trust her. We can talk about anything. She keeps My secrets. She seeks to do My will. She spends time with Me just because of who I am.”
God is glorious. He’s lavish in love. He leaves me awe. Sometimes I have no words (yes, it’s true). He gives good gifts.
As I grow to know more and more about God, I find I just love who He is. He doesn’t need to do anything. He’s my best friend.
Over the years He’s shown me He’s more than the One to go to in crisis. He’s more than a song we sing about on the weekend. He’s more than what we do for Him. God is more than the things He does for us.
God is worthy of reciprocated love and genuine friendship.
Have you ever had “friends” you only heard from when they were in crisis? They only called or texted you when they bored or needed something? They were never there for you, but were angry if you missed being at their immediate disposal? They invested nothing and expected you to do everything? They rattled off for you their lists of prayer needs and went on their way? They spent time with you to feel good, then you didn’t see them again until they felt bad? They were there to take. They felt no matter how badly they treated you, if you loved them, you better be there?
I have known and do know people who fit the paragraph above. If you ask them, they will tell you that we are great friends. I have more people calling me their best friend than are actually someone I would call a friend.
Do we treat God like a best friend? Are we His friend? Do we love Him for who He is, not simply what He does for us or how He makes us feel? If there was no heaven, would we worship God? Do we do what He asks? Are we learning more about Him? Do we spend time just being with Him, not just asking for things?
How do we grow in friendship with God?
Friendship with God starts with salvation.
1. Salvation (Come on into the Kingdom of God! We are family.).
See the link at the top of this webpage if you don’t know Jesus. The post talks about how to know Jesus. No one comes to the Father except through the Son (John 14:6).
2. Seek God for who He is.
I started praying, “God show me who You truly are. I want to know You. I want to be a best friend to You.”
I set aside date days or times with God. God and I would have nature days, to explore nature together. We’d have worship dance parties. We’d have listening times, He talked and I listen or vice versa. We’d have study the Bible times. I asked Holy Spirit to teach me the Word of God. We’d laugh. We’d write music. Well, I wrote music. I’d ask Him what made Him happy, brought Him joy. I’d ask Him how I could love Him.
You don’t have to do what I did. Each person has their own walk and relationship with God. Yet I encourage seeking God for who He is.
3. Do what God says. Become a person of integrity and trustworthiness.
God’s love for us is unconditional. The level of trust He imparts to us is not unconditional. Say what? Jesus grew in favor with God and man (Luke 2:52). The trustworthiness, obedience, faith, integrity, and love of Jesus was tested. He was obedient even into death (Phillipians 2:8). We too are tested (1 Peter 1:7). If we are faithful over little, more is given (Luke 16:10).
What about us who are still growing in faith, love, and integrity?
You and I are operating under the glorious umbrella of grace. Those who are in Christ operate out of what God has already done through Jesus.
God tells us to believe, receive, abide, submit, and there will be good fruit. Just like earthly friendships, they grow and flourish over time and proximity/intimacy. Trust also develops over time.
God is kind. If He continues to pour out truth we refuse to obey, we are held accountable for what we know. God also values people. For Him to entrust people to us or their brokenness or secrets means He wants that stewarded with love.
We are not to use things God gave us to pray about to slander people. I rarely ever use people’s real names in sharing testimonies (I ask if I can share), and I don’t seek tell things given in confidence nor do I seek to manipulate people.
People’s personal business is not mine to disclose. I’m also prayerful about what God shares with me. His secrets are safe with me.
As we seek God for who He is and desire friendship with God we will enjoy one of the greatest gifts; God. He’s worth knowing. It’s a journey and process. I’m still learning. Each day I’m learning new things about God. I hope you are too! We will have eternity to know Him; that’s exciting.