Ever since the beginning, God had a close friendship with Adam. The Lord really enjoyed this communion with him during the daily walks they enjoyed in the garden.
This friendship with man is something that God likes a lot. But… the saddest day in history arrived and God lost His intimacy with His friend — Adam chose Eve over God — a friend who was made in His image. “Adam, where are you?”1 This question, even though it is rhetorical, is a deeply sad one. God was looking for His friend.
In Proverbs 18:24 it says that a man who has friends has to show himself friendly. Jesus is very friendly. We can see this all over the Gospels — children feel comfortable with Him2, He was “accused” of being friends with traitors and sinners3, and the same night that Judas betrayed Him, Jesus called him “friend”.4
I want to be a servant of God. I want to know His will and to seek to be more like Him. But all of this is just a part of a larger goal; I want to be a friend of God.
However, if I want to be His friend — and this is what I want the most in the whole world — I have to show myself friendly. To do that I have to spend time with Him, not to fulfill an obligation or a commitment, but to develop this friendship. I have to listen to Him speak through His Spirit and His Word. Friends listen to each other, they share their lives with each other.
So I am going to take care of and cultivate this friendship and make sure that nothing muddies it up. This means that I will have to quit being friends with the world.5 And you know, it is not that big of a sacrifice because my Friend deserves that and more. As I become more and more a friend of God, the world loses its allure.
I voluntarily lay my life down for my friend. This gets easier and easier to do because my friend tells me “Fear not; I will help you.”6 He also says, “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”7
Another thing that makes everything much easier now that I am a friend of God is repentance. I offend God much too often and, personally, it is easier for me to ask forgiveness of a friend that I want to please than to ask it of an indignant deity. It is also easier to receive forgiveness from a friend and really feel forgiven.
A great verse is John 15:15, “Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant does not know what his lord does: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” I am not interested in merely following His advice, I want to know what my Friend is doing and do it with Him!
I gave my life to the Lord 38 years ago and what I really want is more clear to me now than ever. I have followed Him and I have served Him, but now what I really want is to be His friend.
Proverbs 17:17 says that a friend loves at all times. God loves me at all times and I, because I am His friend, want to do the same for Him. The transition from servant to friend changes everything. A servant obeys orders. A friend wants to please the friend whom he loves.
He is my friend and I really love Him.
1- Genesis 3:9 2- Mark 10:14 3- Matthew 11:19 4- Matthew 26:50 5- James 4:4 6- Isaiah 41:13 7- John 15:13