Friendship with God – Is That Even Possible?
Think about the people who are closest to you in your life… that one person you go to right away when you are in trouble. The person you can talk to about anything. Do you have their face in your mind?
Now, think about how you got to be so close to that person. What did you do to develop such a close, trusting relationship with that person? Did you spend time with them? Did you talk with them often? Did you tell them your secrets? Did you trust them? Did they prove to be trustworthy? Did that person help you? Did that person accept you even when you made mistakes? Did that person tell you the truth?
Our friendships with people we know are a lot like our friendship with God.
Yes, God is our savior, our redeemer, our creator and our Father. And God also wants to be our friend…
“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” John 15:15
In Genesis, when God created the heavens and the earth, he also created man and woman, Adam and Eve. And God had a friendship with Adam and Eve. They walked together and they talked together. There was no religion, no ceremony, and no separation. Then sin entered the world. Adam and Eve ate from the tree of Good and Evil, the one thing God had asked them not to do. And from then on, there has been sin in the world as well as a separation between God and men and women.
In the Old Testament in the Bible, there were rituals and ceremonies for relating to God. And even then, only the Priests were able to have access to God, to be in the presence of God and that was only once a year.
When Jesus died on the cross and rose again on the third day, all of the ceremony and rituals were taken away. Access was granted to all believers. We now have the privilege of being able to talk with God whenever we want. And He has given us the Holy Spirit to live inside of us to talk to us, guide us and teach us. He has also granted eternal life in heaven with him, for those who accept him as their Savior.
“Since we were restored to friendship with God by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be delivered from eternal punishment by his life.” Romans 5:10
To me, it seems pretty incredible that the God of the universe, the Creator of all things wants to have a relationship with ME! And he wants to have a relationship with YOU! Isn’t that amazing to you?!
“He is a God who is passionate about his relationship with you.” Exodus 34:14 (NLT)
So, how do we become friends with God?
Well, first off, we must accept Him as our Savior. We must acknowledge that we are a sinner and we are in need of a Savior. We cannot save ourselves. Admit that Jesus is the Savior that we need, and we must believe that he died on the cross for our sins and rose again on the third day to live in heaven with God the Father. And we must accept this free gift of eternal salvation becoming sons and daughters of the King of Kings. We become forgiven and free and we are now adopted into the family of God.
If you are a child of God, saved from your sins, then the question is; how do you develop a closer relationship with Him?
Put in the Time
Just like in the case of your friends… you spend time with Him. Spend time talking with Him in prayer. God wants to be involved in all of your life; even the ordinary, boring stuff. He wants you to include Him in the conversation throughout the day.
“Pray continually.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17
This may seem a little weird at first. Sometimes we think we should reserve prayers for church, or bedtime, or at meals. But God wants you to have a constant conversation with Him.
- When you are working, thank Him that you have work to do.
- When you are taking care of your children, thank Him for giving you children.
- When you are cooking, thank Him for providing your food.
- When you are worrying about something, talk to God about that worry. When you are hurting, tell God all about what hurts you, cry out to Him. Get it all off of your chest… tell God all about it.
And you know what… our prayers don’t have to be very long. They don’t have to use fancy words or verses from the Bible. Our prayers are just for His ears. We don’t pray to impress other people around us. We are praying to only one person – God. And he doesn’t judge us. So, if you think you ‘don’t pray very well’. Please… just pray. Just talk to God. He just wants to hear from you.
You know, God doesn’t expect us to be perfect, but He does expect us to be honest with Him. We can be honest with God. We really can! He can take it. He doesn’t want us to just be polite or to just bring Him the stuff that sounds good. He wants to hear what’s on our mind and in our heart… the real thoughts, worries, and fears. He wants us to tell Him and He wants us to cry out to Him for help, for comfort, for provision, for peace. When we pray like that, we will begin to realize that He is really the only one who can calm those fears and worries. He is the only one who can give us peace that passes all understanding. But we need to tell Him about it and ask for His help.
Sometimes, we are angry with God. Sometimes we don’t understand why God allows things to happen to us. Terrible things. Painful things.
There were several men in the Bible who were considered to be a ‘friend of God’ and they were completely honest with God:
There was Abraham. Abraham negotiated with God over the destruction of the city of Sodom. God wanted to destroy the city because it was so evil. But Abraham challenged God over what it would take to spare the city; negotiating God down from 50 righteous people to only 10.
Job was allowed to vent his bitterness to God. God defended Job for being honest, and rebuked his friends for being inauthentic with God.
God wants an Honest Friendship with Him; even when we don’t understand His ways. When you are feeling like God is unfair, spend some time reading the Psalms. David was called “A man after God’s own heart.” He had a close relationship with God. And David writes in the Psalms many times of feeling abandoned and separated from God. He also writes of his love and worship of God. The Psalms show us that it’s OK to tell God that we don’t understand that we are disappointed, that we are angry and feel like He isn’t there. It’s good to express these feelings to God.
And after we have expressed our true feelings to God, we need to remember what we know about God. The foundation of our relationship with Him. The reason we loved him in the first place. His promises. A writer once said,“Never doubt in the dark what God told you in the light.” (V. Raymond Edman) Click To Tweet
Even though you might be going through a dark season where you don’t feel like God is there, He is. He promises to always be there for you.
“I will never leave you; I will never abandon you.” Hebrews 13:5
When we’re going through hard things in life, it’s easy to let our circumstances or our emotions dictate what we feel about God. To say, “Well, God must not love me because He let this happen to me. If He really loved me, He would have saved me from this.” These are the times when we need to rely on the promises of God to remind us of who He really is; to remind us of the nature of God. We need to spend time in our Bibles re-reading His Words to us.
God is still FOR you… even if you don’t feel it.
These are the times when God is teaching us to trust Him. He is using our troubles to draw us closer to Himself.
Job was going through a time like this when he felt apart from God. Even so, Job held on to God’s Word, he said,
“I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.” (Job 23:12 NIV)
We should also remember the times when God has been faithful to us. When He has provided for us, comforted us, renewed our strength, or showed is His power.
We should remember our Salvation. His sacrifice for us on the cross because of His deep, deep love for us. He has given us the greatest gift we could ever ask for… eternal life and relationship with Him.
That is something to always be thankful for no matter our circumstances.
Close Relationships Take Time
One last thing I want to remind you of; relationships, deep relationships take time. You don’t usually feel close to someone in one day. You don’t usually trust someone immediately. And you don’t usually fully understand someone in the beginning. Spending time with God in prayer and in His Word, over time, is how you build your relationship with Him. The more you know about Him, the more you share yourself with Him, the deeper your relationship will be. The better you will know Him, and the closer you will feel to Him.
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8)
It’s up to you. You are as near to God as you want to be. Are you putting in the time and effort it takes to build a friendship with God? If not, what is getting in your way? He is waiting for you. He loves you and He desperately wants to be your savior and your friend.
Is your life crazy and you don’t always have time to LOOK FOR HOPE?
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