John 15:15 – No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.
Genesis 18:17 – Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing? (2nd Chron. 20:7, Abraham Your friend forever).
Exodus 33:11 – So The Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle.
If you read these passages and the surrounding verses, or if you are somewhat familiar with the stories of the disciples, Abaraham, or Moses (or Joshua), you know that these individuals were not perfect. Far from it, we see many of them committing some pretty gnarly sins, and even walking away from, or denying God, a few times here and there. Nevertheless, God is committed to His relationship with them, and likewise to us. So much so that He calls us His friends.
This is a powerful revelation if we’d start to walk in it. Imagine, you are friends with the God of the universe. The one who spoke and suddenly light came forth from nothing, and formed stars and planets, and animals and people. You don’t really have to imagine this, because God has already set the record straight: We’re His Friends!
So what does this mean, exactly? God isn’t really looking for mindless robots who are guilted in to following Him, or somehow being controlled, or forced into relationship with Him. Rather, He is looking for friends to engage with Him to carry out His kingdom. Of course this comes through spending time with Him (notice a theme here?) but it also comes in engaging in dialogue with Him.
Briefly, I want to remind you that God has set things up so that we have influence in how He interacts with the world. Without getting too deep into this just look at the story surrounding Genesis 18:17 (verses 16-33). God approaches Abaraham because He wants to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Before He just soverignly chooses to wipe this city off of the earth (which He could do and be justified — He’s God), He chooses to engage with Abraham and talk with Him about it. God even let’s Abaraham change His mind! This is a great example (one of many throughout scripture) of how we can interact with God. Ultimately we can partner with what He wants to do in the earth. Once you begin sharing the Gospel with others and ministering out of the place of resting in God, and having cultivated a personal relationship with Him, you realize that God’s heart is for people to come to know Him, and you are partnering with Him to make that a reality.
It truly is the greatest joy to give our lives to God and to promote His Kingdom.
– David Willis