Cultivating Friendship With God

You can wake up each morning knowing that God wants to be a friend to you that sticks closer than a brother. He sent Jesus to die for you so that you could be His friend. Sad to say, you can have a relationship with somebody and not be their friend. The reason this is true is that it takes time, effort, desire, and sacrifice to cultivate such friendship.

Too many people don’t have or don’t take the time to seek God in a proper way. They’re always in a hurry doing this and that. They don’t seem to realize that if you’re too busy for God, you’re too busy. People need to sacrifice whatever it is they’re doing and seek God like never before. They need to know Him and Who He is. Moses and David both had a desire to know God in a close and personal way. Abraham was willing to offer up his son Isaac because he wasn't going to let anything interfere with his friendship with God.

To “seek God” means to have a face to face relationship with Him. This means God has your individual attention and you have His. Hebrews 11:6 says that God “is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” What does He reward you with? A good life.

Too many people know about God but don’t “know” God. Why? Because they don’t seek, crave, and pursue Him with all their heart and soul. God must be sought after to be found. Meeting somebody doesn't mean you “know” them. It takes a face to face relationship to get intimate with somebody and fellowship is the key to really getting to know someone.

When you “know” somebody in a close, personal way you will stick to them like glue. You become one with them and an intimate relationship is the result thereof. Before long your lives will mingle with one another. When you know God you’ll start conceiving things down in your spirit. You’ll get pregnant with a vision that God wants you to live a good life.

A miracle is inside of you and it will be confirmed with signs following. Jesus prayed in John 17:3, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You sent.” Eternal life is a good life and comes when your life is intertwined with God’s. It is interesting to note that when you mingle with God, the devil can’t tear you apart. You’ll look like God, talk like God, act like God, think, love, forgive, walk, and have dominion like God. This is all part of God’s plan to give you a good life and fellowship is the key that will cause this to become a reality in your life.

There are four decisions you can make that will help you cultivate a strong, binding friendship with God. The first decision you can make is to become a worshiper of God. Paul told the church at Rome, brothers and sisters who were friends with one another, to “greet one another with a holy kiss” (Romans 16:16). To become friends with God we must do the same thing to Him. How does one “kiss” God? Through praise and worship.

Jesus said in John 4:23, “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9 says, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.” If you are a friend of God He will show Himself strong on your behalf and this will cause you to live a good life. Tell the Lord to search no more. Tell Him you’re ready, able, and willing to become His friend.

God is searching for those who will be loyal to Him and become His friend. What do you think will happen when God finds such a person? He’ll “buddy” up to you. He’ll “pal around” with you night and day. God inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3). The word “inhabit” means ‘to settle, sit down, dwell.’ When you praise God and become His friend He’ll sit down and dwell with you.

Let’s face it, everybody likes praise. People like praise, cats and dogs like praise, and God likes praise. When a person compliments you something rises up on the inside of you causing you to respond back to that person in a positive way. You just naturally want to bless them back and this is how God is. So praise God continually because He wants to do something good to you. During times of trouble, back off from the situation and praise God.

You don’t have to memorize and quote every verse in the Bible concerning the trial you’re going through. No, just praise God for Who He is. When you do God will show up and sit down and dwell with you. God is forever looking to give something to somebody somewhere so if you decide to be a worshipper you’ll be right in the center of whatever it is God is doing. It will put you in the secret place of the Most High, a place that promotes and gives to those who dwell there a good life.

The second decision you must make to become a friend of God is to be determined to always live by faith. Let’s face it, we can’t please Him without it (Hebrews 11:6a). When you choose to live by faith you’ve made the decision to please God. Revelation 4:11 tells us that all things have been created for His pleasure, “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, and by Your will (for Thy pleasure) they exist and were created.”

Why do you think you were born in the first place? You were created to give God pleasure and your friendship with Him is what He values most. Never forget, you were created to be God’s friend and nothing pleases Him more than when His friends live by faith. You have faith (Romans 12:3) and you need to have faith in your faith. Your faith got you born again and that’s the greatest miracle of all. If your faith can do that it can get you anything else. Begin to actively engage yourself in the lifestyle of faith. Everything you do should be by faith. Never take a vacation from your faith but use and apply your faith to everything you do.
Faith is the confidence of “knowing that you know”, a firm conviction based on hearing the Word of God spoken out your mouth. If you don’t have confidence in whatever it is you are doing then you are not in faith and neither are you pleasing God. Faith is a lifestyle, so live totally and completely by faith all the time. The just shall live by faith and it is a constant expression that we believe God and what He says.

When you believe God with all you've got then your friendship with Him will surely blossom. Faith isn't hard. God is dedicated to faith and He doesn't ask us to do anything that He doesn't do Himself. God lives by faith and when you do what He does you’ll become His friend. How does God walk by faith? He “calls those things which do not exist as though they did.”

The AMP Bible says God “speaks of non-existent things that He has foretold and promised as though they already existed” (Romans 4:17). That’s faith! Verse 18 says this about Abraham, “who, contrary to hope, in hope believed so that he became the father of many nations.” Verses 20, 21 says, “he did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.” Abraham was a man of faith. In fact, he is called “the father of our faith.” Is it any wonder that God called him His friend?

The third thing you can do to cultivate a friendship with God is to make the decision to obey Him at all costs. Jesus set the example in the Garden of Gethsemane when He said to the Father, “Nevertheless, not My will but Your will be done.” God called Abraham His friend because he walked by faith and was willing to obey God even to the point of offering up his own son as a sacrifice (see James 2:17-23).

Walking by faith requires actions of obedience. When God told Abraham to sacrifice his son he got up early the next morning. That’s faith. When he reached the place where the sacrifice was to take place he told his servants, “Wait here and we’ll return.” That’s faith. Isaac asked, “Where is the sacrifice?” and Abraham said the Lord would provide one. That’s faith. Abraham obeyed God because he believed that God would raise Isaac from the dead. His actions of obedience proved that his friendship with God meant more to him than the relationship he had with his wife and son. To become God’s friend we must obey Him at all costs because obedience is the only proof we have that we believe God.

The story of King Saul in 1 Samuel tells the tragic tale of a man who did not obey God with all his heart. He listened to the voice of the people more than the voice of God and thought he could make up for his disobedience by offering up a burnt offering to God. Samuel confronted him and said, “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice.” Obedience means something to God and you can never make up with sacrifice what you lose with disobedience. Saul’s authority as king was stripped from him and he later committed suicide on the field of battle. He learned the hard way that no matter what the cost one must obey God rather than man. And when you do what God tells you to do, you then are in line to be considered God’s friend.

Consider what Jesus said in John 15:10, “If you keep My commandments you will abide in my love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” Jesus maintained obedience at all costs and had a close relationship with the Father. Let all of us follow His example and do the same.

The fourth thing we can do to cultivate a close friendship with God is make the decision to become a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7 says, “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” The Message Bible says, “God loves it when the giver delights in his giving. God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you’re ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done.”

By becoming a cheerful giver you enter into the realm of God’s love. The word “friend” means ‘to have affection for’ and scripture shows clearly that God showed affection to His friend Abraham. God loves everybody, saints and sinners alike, but His affection is manifested toward His friends. God poured out His affection on Abraham because he was a cheerful giver who was willing to give up his only son in obedience to the Lord’s command.

The Amplified translation of 2 Corinthians 9:7 says this, “Let each one give as he’s made up his own mind (not pressured to give) and purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully, or under compulsion, for God loves, that is, He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon a cheerful, joyous, prompt to do it giver whose heart is in his giving.”

Truly, these verses describe Abraham and if we would follow his example we, too, can be called “the friends of God”. When you make the decision to become a cheerful giver God will prize you above other things. He’ll never abandon you and will be unwilling to do without you. You’ll reach a point where you’ll be abiding in His love so much that you’ll reach a point where God can begin to pour out His affection on you. Why would God do this? Because you’re involving yourself in the fundamental motivator of God’s life.

We all know John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son...” God is always giving. That’s His nature. That’s Who He is. That’s what He does. When you become a cheerful giver you involve yourself in what He has actively been engaged in since eternity past. When you involve yourself in something He’s interested in, in something He likes to do, He’ll begin to “pal around” with you. He’ll hang out with you. He’ll be your friend and you’ll be His.

Percentage wise, there are not a lot of people who make giving a lifestyle. Thus, very few people enter into a personal friendship with God. But when you become a cheerful giver you put yourself in a very valuable position where God is concerned. Now He can use you as a channel through which He can bless others.

The good news is that you can never out-give God. Your resources are limited and His are not. And when you become His friend by making the decision to become a worshiper of God, to live by faith, to obey Him at all costs, and to become a cheerful giver, God will dwell with you and pour out His affection on you. You have to put yourself in the position to receive in abundance the unlimited favors of God. That is the good life.

*** Written By Randall J. Brewer ***

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