“The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.” Exodus 33:11
For whatever reason, of late I’ve been exploring the concept of God as friend. I know the concept is Biblically sound. Exodus tells us God spoke to Moses face to face as a man speaks with his friend. In the New Testament book of James we see Abraham called God’s friend. Jesus tells His disciples in John 15 that He no longer calls them servants, but friends making known to them everything He learned from the Father.
The idea of God as friend has been a cipher for me. Do I really want God to be my friend? When I think of a ‘friend’ what does that mean to me? Am I a good friend? And why in the world would God (or anyone for that matter) want to be friends with me?
I feel like a toddler soaking up the things I’m beginning to understand about friendship. In this season of life God has given me the blessing of a few close friends who are mighty women in ministry. These women are not perfect and I’m thankful for that. They are beautiful, weak, still growing and struggling women who are letting God use them in powerful ways to bring healing into other women’s lives. We have this sweet thing going on where we know each other’s stories and know the power of God at work changing each of us. Because of this transparency when we are tempted, or fall into despondency, or are stepping into a battle, or feel inadequate in those frontline places God deploys us we can call out to each other for prayer (usually via text or email) and know that prayers are immediately lifted. This is Kingdom friendship … a gift from God, a partnering in God’s work to free each of us and transform us into all that He has created us to be for His glory, His plans, and His purpose.
As I’ve enjoyed these deepening friendships, I think I’ve caught the scent of what friendship with God is all about. I find myself doing with God the same thing I do with my friends. Instead of stewing about the struggles and challenges before me I pray! I ask God for help and direction and what’s the next step and how can I best partner with You in Kingdom work today? I watch for the answers as we go through the day together. Sometimes He speaks through His Word, sometimes through a thought or picture, sometimes through an event or comment from a friend or stranger, and sometimes through a clear nudge toward a certain person or situation. I sense God’s pleasure when I obey and His nudge when I’m uncertain or afraid. I sense His delight when I take joy in the gifts He has given. I even felt Him gently laugh at my vanity one day … a sweet amusement that set me free from the need to look or act a certain way. There is purpose, joy, growth and intimacy in this best of all friendships.
In a few days I’ll be sixty years old. I surrendered my life to the Lord when I was seventeen and I’ve known of Him since my youngest days. But there is so much more to know and I feel like I’m just beginning to grasp how to hear His voice, how to know He is speaking to me, how to be in a face-to-face conversation with this amazing God who calls me His friend!
“Now then, my sons, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways. Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not ignore it. Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doorway. For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord.” Proverbs 8:32-25