Friendship with God

abrahamI have been praying a lot lately about being the friend of God. I long for the day of Jesus’ return. I want to see Him “receive the reward of His suffering,” as the Moravians put it — multitudes of believers being caught up to Him, and then the day when He rules with complete honor upon the earth as the Supreme King of Kings. But in the meantime, I hunger to know Him, as much as I can, as close as I can, for Who He is.

The Bible says that Abraham was “the Friend of God” (James 2:23). I prayed, “Lord, I want to be Your friend, like Abraham was.” But then I backpedaled. Who was I, to ask to be like the great patriarch Abraham, the special friend of the Most High? So, I said, “God, I know I can’t be as close to You as Abraham. I’m not that special, but I still want to be one of Your lesser friends.”

He stopped me there, and showed me how wrong that thinking was. You see, we humans are limited in our love, our time, and our preferences for people. We feel a greater affinity for some than we do for others, and those are the ones we give our time and deepest affection to. However, God is unlimited in His love, time, and preferences for His children.

It is true that Abraham played an extremely pivotal part in history. Most of us would probably feel insignificant by comparison. But God does not base His friendships on people’s accomplishments. He does not invite those who bear seemingly more important roles to have a closer place in His heart. He does not parcel out His affections in pieces or percentages. Each of us can be His dear friend — and there are no lesser levels in His eyes. All it takes is desiring Him, pursuing Him, loving Him with all our heart.

This is hard for me to grasp. We’ve been told repeatedly in the Church, sometimes overtly and sometimes in subtle ways, that God has “haves” and “have-nots” in His family. But that is naturalistic thinking, a holdover from how our fallen world operates. The truth is, if we have not, it is because we ask not (James 4:2). The Lord longs to give every one of us so much more of Himself than we could possibly imagine. We can each be “the Friend of God,” on just as deep a level as Abraham enjoyed.

What does that look like? I suppose it is unique for each one. It definitely involves obedience. Abraham was obedient, in that he did not even withhold his only son from the Lord (Genesis 22:1-18). Jesus said, “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you” (John 15:14). Friends don’t do things which they know are hurtful or hateful to the one they love. Friendship also involves intimate time with Him, where He has our full attention. It means we trust Him, thinking the very best of Him — believing Him to be and do what He says of Himself.

I am so thankful that the Lord is giving me greater revelation of what it means to be His friend. I hope sharing these thoughts will inspire you to pursue friendship with Him, too.

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6 responses to “Friendship with God

  1. I’ve been reading/meditating on Zion today, and what scriptures say about God’s dwelling place. It is a mind-boggling concept to think of the access that we have to God. Your reflections are sweet to the spirit.

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  2. Thank you Lee Ann. I always enjoy your teachings. I cannot wait to go to bed because the first thing I do in the morning is get my coffee and go to my prayer room and spend time with the Lord. That is the most peaceful and joyful time of my day.

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  3. “Friends don’t do things which they know are hurtful or hateful to the one they love. Friendship also involves intimate time with Him, where He has our full attention…” I love this statement in your posting… and I aspire to the exciting prospect of it by all intentions and purposes in my relationship with Christ…but the truth is sometimes I DO or say things that are hurtful to Him. Not because I mean to or intentionally act out, but because I don’t always have His perspective and see life through His eyes and His ways. The glasses I see life through are not always His thoughts or higher ways. Friendship with God, as is friendship with humans- for me is a process of giving and receiving, trusting and forgiving, wanting and relenting, admiration and changing- and woven into it all a sense of ” I really like you and I am so glad that you really like me!” . My relationships with God and my friends are reciprocal in that we both have attributes that we admire and want some of what they have from them. God wants me to freely love Him for Him and I like certain people because I like what I see in them and maybe I can have some of what they are! When I hurt God or my husband or my friends- it is usually because an aspect of “myself” or ” my selfishness” or my perception has overstepped its boundary with that person. When I realize that – I want to fix , apologize and change and not hurt God or that person again the same way. Friendship with God, and others, means to me that : I want a relationship with you because knowing you ( and knowing You God) makes me a better person than if I had never had the chance to know you at all.

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    • I think you have said it beautifully, Kathryn! Each of us is growing in our relationship with the Lord, and coming into the higher understanding of Him is progressive — as is our obedience.

      Blessings, Lee Ann

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