This article comes from our CEO and Founder Vishal Jetnarayan in his book 'Designed to Hear God.' Download your digital copy when you subscribe.
Everyone needs a friend—someone with whom we share affection and esteem, someone we are interested in and desire goodwill towards, someone we favor and who we can be cheerful, comforting, and amicable towards. But while most of us seek friendships with others, we are not always naturally inclined to desire a friendship with God, and this is for various reasons. To begin with, we don’t necessarily seek His ways. If we did, then the world around us would be a much more pleasant environment. At other times, we approach God the same way we approach some relationships in our lives— using control, manipulation, or self-interests. We attempt to exploit God, while lacking understanding of His affection for us. Nevertheless, it has always been the intent of our heavenly Father to be our friend.
Many people relate to God from fear of being punished or struck dead rather than loving and worshiping Him as a friend. Fortunately, there were men in the days of old who were able to go beyond the law and who became known as friends of God.
Before there was the law, Abraham was visited by God, and he had a relationship with God. The Bible says that God did not hide what He was doing from Abraham (see Gen. 18:17), but communicated His thoughts to him. The driving force behind Abraham’s relationship with God was that he was obedient to the Father and followed His voice (see Rom. 4; Gal. 3; James 2:23). But you, Israel, are My servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the descendants of Abraham My friend (Isaiah 41:8). Moses, another great leader, was able to establish a friendship with God that would change God’s heart from destroying the nation of Israel (see Exod. 32:10-15). So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend (Exodus 33:11a). And then, there was the king who was known as a man after God’s own heart. David had a very special relationship with the Lord (see 1 Sam. 13:14). During most days, before he would finally be placed on the throne, he was on the run for his life from his jealous father-in-law, King Saul; and it was during these times that he grew much closer to the Lord. Throughout the Psalms, we read about his experiences and of his friendship with God.
WE ARE IMPORTANT TO GOD
What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet (Psalm 8:4-6). In this Scripture, we learn that God is “mindful”of man. In other words, He remembers us; He mentions us; He thinks of us. We are important to Him. He considers us, remembers us, and calls on us to come to this everlasting friendship that He will not walk away from. He is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (see Prov. 18:24).
In all of mankind, no matter who you are, there is that innate response to want to have a relationship with a “being”higher than man. But indeed, we are no longer on a search for Him because He has come in the flesh (see 1 Tim. 3:16), and His name is Jesus Christ. We don’t have to labor to have a relationship with Him, for His friendship is freely offered to us. He confirmed this friendship when He declared: No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you (John 15:15). We are considered His friends, people who He is fond of, who are dear to His heart.
His friendship is not demanding but is a matter of mutual affection. I long for Him and He longs for me. As we desire to take on His characteristics, vision, and purpose, His friendship with us will lovingly convict, correct, instruct, and change our lives.
BE AN INSPIRATION
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