God Is My Friend
Do I know how close I am to God?
15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. 16 You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.
–John 15:15-16 NLT
I’m not just a slave–tied to a bunch of “to do’s” or “not to do’s.” I’m officially Jesus’ friend: to love, to hold, to be with, to hug! 🙂 He loves and wants to be with me! Jesus is my new Best Friend!
…but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
–Proverbs 18:24 AMPC
I will never be alone! Hallelujah! 🙂
There’s a difference in just following orders faithfully and being a friend: friends have conversations together.
That’s what my evenings can be about now: building friendship! I’m going to spend time with my favorite Friend each day for the rest of my life! When we get to that point, we can say goodbye to things of the world which hinder our walks (and experiences of intimacy) with God.
He chose to be our friend! 🙂 We don’t have to impress or jump through hoops. He just took you and me, just as we were, and loved us. We are accepted in the Beloved!
5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. 6 So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. 7 He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our si
–Ephesians 1:5-7 NLT
God “appointed” (John 15:16) us to bear fruit! We have purpose and a reason for being (Jeremiah 29:11). It’s not about doing (creating dead works apart from God [Psalm 127:1; 1 Cor. 3:13]), but being with God and following after His instructions. It takes a lot less stress, and God doesn’t have to clean up our messes (Genesis 15-16) which cost us time, energy, resources, and often times good health (Proverbs 4:20-22).
“Doing” apart from God is the enemy’s plan. It keeps us from “being with and responding to” God which sets us free! It’s always the relationship with God that delivers: nothing else (not works, not being “perfect” [Galatians 3]).
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
–Matthew 7:21-23 NIV
5 I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.
–John 15:5 AMPC
The Role of Our Relationships to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
In a Father-child relationship–which may be friendly, the communication is different. With the Father, we honor His position, so certain things we don’t do with Him: we’re not “buddies.” On the other hand, with Jesus, we are buds, friends, siblings, and though we honor His position (as “Firstborn” and authority [Col. 1:15]), the interaction is very different: we can “hang out,” and He may even give us tips on how to live and how to engage with the Father who He knows personally! I may bring trivial matters to “the Son” (my Brother/Kin), but I bring heavy matters to God the Father. The Holy Spirit administrates (orders, communicates) the whole thing. That’s a personal relationship with God through the Holy Spirit in Jesus Christ. Amen!
We’re Accepted in Him
I’m accepted; Jesus loves me. Even when I mess up, He “bends” down (John 8:1-11) and lifts me up with complete love in His voice. The only problem is if I keep on sinning–Jesus said I shouldn’t. It puts a great deal of distance experientially and sometimes spatially–like the prodigal son. Only the pure in heart can see Him!
Is there anything on the planet–any disobedience–worth disrupting that relationship?
Disobedience Hurts God
Distance (with us) is painful to God. How many of us miss those we love when they’re not around? God does! His action or discipline in our lives is not to condemn, but to restore the break in our relationship with Him so we can reconnect. God, like we should be, is restorative!
Restorative definition: the break in the relationship is the consequence (from the IIRP); we seek to repair it. It’s about wanting the relationship more than to punish. Praise God 🙂