FRIENDSHIP WITH GOD
"I have called you friends." - John 15:15
We can come to know friendship with God, not only through salvation in Jesus Christ, but also in our day-to-day experiences. We must start, of course, by coming to Christ and receiving His salvation, but we can also learn to walk with God in friendship and relationship. This is established when we have both been born again and are also walking with Him.
Jesus had walked with his disciples for three years when one day He said to them, "No longer do I call you servants... but I have called you friends" (John 15:15). The Lord Jesus calls us to walk with Him in that relationship, yet everything in our lives seems to rebel against it.
Above all, there are three primary things at work against the possibility of our having a confident relationship with God:
- The absence of a role model
Many precious people had no one in their formative years to model how a person in a confident relationship with God should live. They've seen authority figures fail. There may have been fathers or pastors who violated their trust, leaving them with a negative rather than a positive role model.
Or possibly there were models, but they weren't close enough for us to really observe their character. When dear ones haven't had that confident walk with God demonstrated to them, they have no framework to respond to life's situations.
A father can stand beside his boy and say, "Son, when you go to the plate, put your feet about this far apart, and scoot your hands down the bat about two or three inches. You'll be able to manage it better when you swing. That's good. Now don't shift your weight too soon. That's it."
That's a coach, a role model, someone who shows you how it's done. When that kid goes to the plate, he is going to feel more confident, because there was someone to model the way he should position himself when playing baseball.
Most of us weren't called to baseball, but we are all called to a vital relationship with God.
- The presence of corruption
More than ever, we are surrounded by the lewd, the corrupt and the foul. Billboards along the street are indecent, obscenity is the norm rather than the exception in popular culture, and profanity often permeates work places and schools.
Everything about life is surrounded by corruption, and it works against your being a person who walks with God. We may feel like Isaiah who said, "I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips" (Isaiah 6:5). The corrupt triggers our sense of unworthiness and inadequacy, and it affects our ability to walk as a friend of God's.
- The consciousness of our own failures
There is not one of us who hasn't sinned. Our sins may have been very private or very public, but we all have shortcomings and failures. The impact of those things, once they lay hold of your mind, is pervasive. We may have repented and received forgiveness, but still find ourselves unable to cleanse our minds of the recollection of those scenes that have riveted themselves into place. Because of that, there is a lack of conviction in our own assurance toward God.
Friendship with God is the starting place. We want to be able to walk in His presence with holy hands. You may say, "you haven't seen what my hands have done. What they have touched. There is nothing holy about my hands." There is good news for each of us, though. We are called to friendship with God by Jesus, who had His arms stretched out and His hands nailed through, in order that our hands might be cleansed by His blood. Everyone of us can put our hands in front of us right now and say, "Because of Jesus, these can be holy hands."
So lift your hands with me and praise the Lord for the confidence of forgiven sin and the assurance that we can walk before the Lord in holiness. Praise God and thank Him for that promise. Hallelujah! Friendship with God is a viable option. It's a possibility we can walk into with real confidence. God wants it. He has ordained it, and Jesus paid the price for it.
BY JACK HAYFORD