He offers His friendship to the godly –Proverbs 3:32
We are as close to God as we choose to be. I am blessed with great friendships, most of which happened simply because I’m awesome, lol… but the depth of the friendship takes communication, sacrifice of time, affection, and caring. It works the same way with God.
I must choose to be honest with God: God does not expect perfection from us. If He did, we will never attain friendship with Him, but He does expect total honesty. We can complain to God, we SHOULD complain to Him. The Message translation of the Bible puts the exchange between God and Moses in Exodus 33: 12-19 in an easy to read form:
“Moses said to God, “Look, you tell me, ‘Lead this people,’ but you don’t let me know whom you’re going to send with me. You tell me, ‘I know you well and you are special to me.’ If I am so special to you, let me in on your plans. That way, I will continue being special to you. Don’t forget, this is your people, your responsibility.” God said, “My presence will go with you. I’ll see the journey to the end.” Moses said, “If your presence doesn’t take the lead here, call this trip off right now. How else will it be known that you’re with me in this, with your people and me? Are you traveling with us or not? How else will we know that we’re special, I and your people, among all other people on this planet Earth?” God said to Moses: “All right. Just as you say; this also I will do, for I know you well and you are special to me. I know you by name.” Moses said, “Please. Let me see your Glory.” God said, “I will make my Goodness pass right in front of you; I’ll call out the name, God, right before you…”
Bitterness is the greatest barrier to friendship with God. We are mad at God for ‘allowing’ some things happen, and we are allowed to feel that way, but we must know that He has the ultimate plan, and everything He does is for our good. In Psalm 142: 2-3, the psalmist says, ‘I pour out my complaints before him and tell him all my troubles. For I am overwhelmed.’ Expressing doubts could be the first step towards intimacy with God.
I must choose to obey God in faith: Trusting and obeying God’s wisdom, especially when we don’t understand it deepens our friendship with God. In John 15:14 Jesus tells us, “you are my friends if you keep my commands.” When we obey God, it shouldn’t be out of duty or fear, but out of love and our will to please Him. In John 15: 9-11, Jesus says, “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” We don’t have to wait for an opportunity to obey God in a ‘grand’ way. There are so many opportunities around us daily: we can offer friendship to a lonely person, share our resources, or offer forgiveness.
I must choose to value what God values: In Psalms 69:9, David says, “Passion for your house burns within me, so those who insult you are also insulting me.” God cares most about the redemption of people. This is what we need to care for with the same amount of passion! Friends of God share God with their friends.
I must desire friendship with God more than anything else: In Psalm 63:3, David praises God: “Your love means more than life to me!” Paul is another example of someone who totally desired intimate friendship with God above all else. Due to this, God used Paul in a great way! In Philippians 3:10, Paul says, “My determined purpose is that I may know Him -that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly, and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection, and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed in spirit into His likeness even to His death.”
C.S Lewis said, ‘pain is God’s megaphone.” When we become lukewarm in the things of God, He could allow us to face pain, not as a punishment, but as a wake-up call to keep re-ignite our passion! God is not mad at us, He’s mad about us, and He will do whatever He can to bring us back to fellowship with Him! Pain is not the only way to ignite passion. We can pray this throughout the day, ‘Jesus, more than anything else, I want to know you intimately. Let your passion burn in my soul!’
In Jeremiah 29: 13-14 contains one of God’s promise I hold so dear to my heart!
“When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed. I’ll turn things around for you. I’ll bring you back from all the countries into which I drove you—bring you home to the place from which I sent you off into exile. You can count on it.”
Food for thought: What practical choices will I make today in order to grow closer to God?