(Part 6–Your Relationship with God)
Did you know that God loves to be a friend with you? Even though you might first not believe it, it is true. Jesus called His disciples friends because He shared with them whatever God the Father taught Him. And He expected them to do whatever He said to them. So the true test of our friendship with God is our obedience to His commands.
Abraham was God’s friend. So also God talked with Moses face to face as a man speaks with his friend. They obeyed God in all that He commanded them to do. And therefore they enjoyed very special friendship with God. Likewise you too can enjoy special friendship with God.
Just as it takes time in a human relationship to develop friendship so also it takes long years to develop friendship with God. It requires effort from our part. We need to spend time with God each day. You need to talk to Him. It does not need any formality to do so. Because we are given the freedom to approach God any time we want to by the precious blood of Jesus shed on the cross of Calvary.
You can share with Him all things concerning yourself. Nothing is hidden from Him. So you can be honest with Him regarding even things that you find it difficult to share with your closest friends. With God you need not fear that He will gossip about you to someone else!
But there are other threats to this friendship with God. The Bible calls this friendship with the world. What is this all about? When you place your trust in Jesus, God through His Holy Spirit plants a new life within you. As a result you will have new desires within you. These desires are put within you by God Himself. To put it simply, all these desires are about pleasing God.
At the same time, there remains within you your old nature. It will start fighting because you have changed your team. Instead of playing for your old desires, you are now playing for God. This change of loyalty starts a war within you that will last till your dying day. But since you have a great desire to please God, your old nature cannot prevent you from obeying God. At least that is what happens at the beginning of your friendship with God.
But then, as with all human relationships, there comes testing times when your loyalty to God is tested. After the initial thrill of friendship with God, you start to drift back to your old ways of life. This is nothing strange but common to all who have chosen to have a friendship with God. This drifting back happens when we get more attracted by the things of the world and the lifestyles followed by people who do not know God.
Worldly-minded friends start to influence you with their attractive words. You find it difficult to resist because they were your good friends. And suddenly, just because you began a friendship with God, you do not want to lose them. This thinking is also natural.
But then there comes a time when you have to choose. You have to decide to whom you will give priority. Will it be God? Or will it be your friends and their worldly lifestyles? The Bible tells us that friendship with the world is hatred toward God. And those who choose to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
That means you have to jealously guard your friendship with God in order not to lose it. Sometimes it is wrong thoughts and attitudes, sometimes it is wrong speech or action from our part that destroys our friendship with God. Often some wrong habits that we love too much and cannot give up is what corrupts our friendship with God.
More often it is the seemingly innocent things that spoils our friendship with God. The time that we spent before television can steal time that we should spent with God. When we choose to go visit friends when we should attend worship steals our time of intimacy with God. Spending too much money on gadgets shows us that we love worldly things much. Reading story books or even good spiritual books during the time you have allotted to Bible reading also takes away your chance to listen to God each day.
The lessons here are simple. To be God’s friend, you need to say “No” to the world. Also you need to spend much time with God to develop intimacy in your friendship with God.