As a man speaks with his friend, so God spoke to Moses face to face (see Exodus 34:11). If one man was given this privilege, certainly God offers it to all who calls on his name. Some of us will think that Moses was a great leader. True. But God never said that his friendship is only for the select few.
In one sense, we will never know God like how Moses talked with God. But by sending the Holy Spirit to dwell in our hearts, God has thrown open the possibility of knowing God in terms of great friendship.
Again, Jesus told his disciples, “I have called you friends” (John 15:15). Let us remember that Jesus said this during his farewell address after having spent 3 ½ years with his disciples and when he was telling them not to let their hearts be troubled. It would have poured comfort into their hearts.
What are the steps we can take to be friends with God? The first step definitely is a longing to know God more and more. It is sad to note that many believers are too busy to spend time with God in prayer or reading and meditating on the Word of God. They find time for other priorities in life; but somehow postpone prayer and reading the Bible.
If you look at Moses, we find that even after having God speak with him face to face he was asking God, “If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favour with you” (Exodus 33:13 NIV) [emphasis added]. His longing was to know God. Oh, how little we know of this God who is “majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders!” How little we know of his wisdom and power!
This longing to know God was again supremely desired for by Paul. He said, “I want to know Christ” (Philippians 3:10). He was a man who was given great revelations which he was not permitted to tell. He performed many miracles and preached great sermons and brought many people to the Lord. Yet his desire was to know Christ!
Now let us look at another step that is important in being friends with God.When King Jehoshaphat prayed on occasion, he reminded God saying that the land was given to “Abraham your friend (2 Chronicles 20:7).” Again, in a powerful appeal to the nation of Israel, God tells them that they were “descendants of Abraham my friend” (Isaiah 41:8). One more time, James refers to the fact that “Abraham was called God’s friend” (James 2:23).
Why was Abraham called God’s friend?It was because he believed God and trusted God’s promise and also because he obeyed God without asking questions. He left for an unknown place when God asked him to go and he was ready to sacrifice his son at God’s command. He simply obeyed God. No explanation why God was asking him to do something was ever asked.
Jesus too linked friendship with God to ready obedience (John 15:14). Along with the longing to know God, let us also strive to obey God. Then each one of us can truly be God’s friend.