"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 2:23
What does it mean to be a friend of God's? It’s like a child who becomes an adult and begins to relate to their dad or mom like a friend, but they still treat them with honor and respect. So it is with your heavenly Father—in the infant stages of faith you cannot fathom friendship until you mature through the elementary applications of: submission to God, trust in God, obedience to God, fear of God, and love of God and people.
Once we relate to our heavenly Father in holy surrender, dependence, and belief we are in a position to appreciate engaging Him as a friend. But this friend relationship cannot bypass His Lordship in our lives. Candidates for friendship with God have to first travel down the path of perseverance, brokenness and character development. Friendship comes with a history of faithful service to Jesus; not with a flippant attitude but one of awe.
“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” (John 15:15). Jesus extends friendship to His faithful disciples.
Do you enjoy this level of intimacy with Jesus? Is your friendship with Him a healthy mixture of laughter and joy, weeping and grief, encouragement and accountability and confession and forgiveness? Friendship with Jesus means access to grace and truth that’s revealed in His word. Your qualification for friendship has the benefit of His blessing.
When you are known as a friend of God you can be assured you will be labeled as an enemy of evil. FOG’s cannot be friends with both the world and heaven. There is a fidelity to faith and following the Lord that comes with friendship. It is an honor and privilege not to be taken lightly—indeed; it gives us credibility in our Christian life.
“You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God” (James 4:4).
Happy and content are those who can genuinely say they are a friend of God. Has your faith grown to this level of intimacy and friendship? Your heavenly friendship is best nurtured by humble submission to God. It grows as you relax in His presence and really learn to enjoy being with Him, listening to His heart and learning what it means to be a loving friend. Friends of God look forward to being with and blessed by their best friend.
“Oh, for the days when I was in my prime, when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house…” (Job 29:4).
Prayer: Am I intentional in pursing a friendship with my heavenly Father?
Related Readings: Exodus 33:11; 2 Chronicles 20:7; Luke 5:20, 34; 12:4-5
Post/Tweet today: When you are known as a friend of God, you’ll be labeled an enemy of evil. #friendofGod
© 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.