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. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit — fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. John 15:14-17 NIV
Two Doorways to friendship – There are two great doorways to friendship with God. One is that we can find His friendship. Many believe that God is far too aloof to entertain a personal, communicating, relationship with people. In reality, that friendship is the reason we were created… to walk with him. Jesus made that possible for us. Abraham is the father of our faith is referred to as the friend of God. God referred to David as, “a man after my own heart.” (Acts 13:22)
O our God , did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? 2 Chron 20:7 NIV
23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. James 2:22-24 NIV
The second doorway is simply this: We become the friend of God when we desire it and seek it. Many believers (that will be in heaven) hold themselves aloof from God (actually far below). We say we have a personal relationship, but it’s often more cliché than depth. The good news is that when we do seek a deeper relationship with Jesus, we find it!
Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Isa 55:6
But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul. Deut 4:28-30 NIV
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD Jer 29:13-14 NIV
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Matt 7:7-8 NIV
When Kings find God – There is a remarkable benefit package associated with drawing near to God. He doesn’t separate us from our dreams. He actually clarifies them and puts us in touch with the resources to make them come true. When we seek Him first, many other things (rewards) are added so that we are positioned to bless the nations… riches, honor, wealth, prosperity, joy, pleasure…
I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity. Prov 8:17-18 NIV
You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Ps 16:11 NKJV
…because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Heb 11:6 NIV
But the Heavens are like brass right now – We occasionally go through seasons when God doesn’t “feel” near to us. We don’t always hear his voice on the details. At times God is quiet so that we have to make decisions. His goal isn’t to make all our decisions for us. His real desire is to bring us into his plan and show us the synergism with our own heart’s desires… so that we naturally choose to work with him. He wouldn’t call us “friends” if we were unthinking robots. Kings have the privilege of choosing among several paths to achieve an end… we can even offer God our own creative ideas and help implement the plan. That’s what blesses His heart.
When we are young in the faith we learn obedience to Jesus as Lord and deliverance from our sins through Jesus as savior. But as we mature into Kings that co-labor with Christ our relationship shifts more to friendship. We can still obey the direction of the Holy Spirit. However, obedience doesn’t quite describe the joy of working with God as His friend. Now we’re operating out of our own heart’s desire. There’s nothing else we would rather do than doing what the Father is doing. Our creativity and entrepreneurial spirit is released and we feel the freedom to pursue great things.
If God seems distant, then it just means we should seek him earnestly and whole heartedly until we have a sense of peace (and passion) about our direction. Kings that operate in faith are exposed to significant risk and warfare because they undertake a significant aspect of building the Kingdom. We’re always in the position of needing to communicate with God to find that sense of being on the same page with Jesus. That’s when our hearts are most confident and we are bold as lions. Ordinary people like you and I have great courage after we spend time with the Lord.
The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion. Prov 28:1 NIV
When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13 NIV
Life is an adventure. People are a blessing. God is amazing. We’re winning.