Friday, July 3, 2015

His Best Friend

                Over the years I have had friends, but I have also had acquaintances. To me, a friend means that you are faithful to them and they are faithful to you. You support one another, you lift one another up, you help one another, and you are there for one another. You are genuine and sincere in love and support of those you call friends. An Acquaintance is someone who comes into your life now and then. You know them, and they know you, and from occasionally you may spend some quality time with them, but eventually they go their way and you go yours. You are friendly towards them and them towards you, but you are not going to share with them the deep desires of your heart; that you save for your true friends, your best friend. I am sure we all know what the difference is between a friend and an acquaintance, and what it means to have earthly friends. But what does it mean to have a friend in God? What does it mean to have friendship with God?
                “and the scripture was fulfilled that says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness- and he was called a friend of God.’”
James 2:23 ESV
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    I wonder what James meant when he referred to Abraham as a friend of God? Am I a friend of God? In Exodus 33:11 we read that God spoke to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend. Moses’ relationship with the Lord was more than just a man and his God; it was an intimate friendship that took place face to face. There was an intimacy shared between the two of them was shared with no one else on this earth. We have all had that sort of friend before; that one friend who we can be ourselves with. We can laugh, cry, and bear our deepest darkest secrets to them without fear or judgment. There is a connection, an intimacy with them so deep that you can finish each other’s sentences. You know what the one is thinking before they even get the words out. This same intimacy with our earthly friend is the same intimacy the Lord God desires to have with every single one of us.
                I think sometimes, however, that I tend to put God in the acquaintance zone more often that I should. Instead of allowing Him to be in the friend zone, I shove Him into the acquaintance zone. I don’t pray, I don’t read His word; I don’t seek to spend any quality time with Him. I just pull Him out when I need Him.  Jesus tells us in John 15:13 that “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (ESV) Would you lay down your life for your best friend? If your best friend needed a new heart and yours was the only heart that would save them, would you die so that they could live? Would you lay down your life for their salvation? Our God did exactly that. His desire to be our Best Friend is so great and so grand that no love on this earth can or ever will compare to it.
                God is our greatest friend. He is our eternal friend. He is faithful to us, even when we are unfaithful to Him. Over the years I have lost contact with some of my friends. At the time we were together, they were my best friends and knew everything about me. But, life happened, we grew up and we grew apart. But then, there are those few friends, who, no matter how long we have gone without speaking, we can just pick up the phone and pick right back up where we left off.  It is like we were never apart at all. We can lose contact with our God as well, yet, the second we call out to Him He is right by our side, ready and able to do abundantly above and beyond all that we ask or think. When I think of how great of a Best Friend I have in Jesus, I am humbled because I realize He is my best friend, but I am not always His.
                I can go days without calling on Him, or spending any time with Him. Our earthly friends call and we make time for them. We meet them for coffee to talk about our lives, and to find comfort and support in their words to us. Yet, when our God calls us to come and spend some time with Him, we make excuses, or find something else that is more important. We put Him in the acquaintance zone instead of the friend zone. He wants to be that friend that we run to when we need love and support. His ears are bent towards you right now, just waiting to hear what is on your heart today. He died to be your friend; will we not take the time to be His?
                God our Father, through our Lord Jesus Christ is the greatest and most faithful friend we will ever have. Yet over and over again we put Him in the acquaintance zone instead of the friend zone. Over and over again I take for granted the fact that He promises to never leave me nor forsake me. Jesus tells us that we are His friends if we do what He commands us. (John 15:14) What does He command us to do? We are to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, all our souls, all our minds and all our strength. Then we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. If we do this then we are His friends, and even if we fail to do them every day of our lives, He will still be our friend, because He died for the privilege to be so.
                I also think it is important to point out that when James tells us that Abraham was called the friend of God, it was because of Abraham’s faith in God which was seen by his works. (If you have some extra time go and read James 2:14-23)  We can say we are friends with God, but do we do what He says? We can say we are friends with God, but do we treat Him as a friend, or do we keep Him in the acquaintance zone and just pull Him out when we need Him?

                Our God desires not only our friendship, but He longs for an intimacy with us; a face to face, day to day relationship with us. He wants to be the One we laugh with, cry with and share our deepest desires and secrets with. Jesus paid the ultimate price for us. He laid down His life so that you and I could have complete and open access to our God, who desires nothing more than to be your Best Friend. You are beloved by Him. You are dear to Him. You are His closest friend, are you His?

                Father God, may our hearts be open to hear Your words to us today. Oh Lord, forgive us for taking your friendship for granted, for putting you in the acquaintance zone over and over again. Father, renew our hearts to seek You and to know You face to face. Let our day be filled with the knowledge that You alone are the best friend we will ever have, now and forever, in Jesus name may You be glorified, amen and amen.