There are a few people in the Bible who, like Abraham, are called a ‘friend’ of God, or whom we recognise as ‘friends’ of God: for instance Enoch, David, Moses, and Peter. As Christians we delight in being ‘children’ of God, which is a right we’ve been given through Jesus (John 1:12). But what makes us a ‘friend’ of God?
The first characteristic is obedience. When God called Abram, there was no discussion, he simply obeyed. And Jesus calls His disciples ‘friends’ on the condition that they do what He says (John 15). So we express our love and faith in God by stepping out in obedience.
As soon as Abram gets into the Promised Land, he builds an altar to God (Genesis 12:7). He worships God. King David is also a worshipper of God. He expresses his longing and devotion to God and says he desires to be in God’s house all the days of his life, ‘gazing upon the beauty of the Lord’ (Psalm 27:4-8).
As we journey on with the Lord, trust and faith are being built. Abram refuses to receive the wealth of the king of Sodom. He knows the King of heaven and earth is his provider (Genesis 14:21-24). And when we read through the great ‘hall of faith’ in Hebrews 11, we come across this advice to anyone seeking to be a ‘friend’ of God, ‘Without faith it is impossible to please Him.’ So it’s as a result of our obedience and trust that we receive a revelation of God’s character.
How often do we think that God won’t go through with His promises for us when we mess up? And yet, it’s quite the opposite. When these ‘friends’ of God sinned, trying to do things in their own strength, God showed them where they’d gone wrong, and, after they’d repented, God restored them, and continued in His faithfulness towards them. Reading their stories makes me realise how much God is concerned about keeping His Covenant with us.
After a revelation of who God is, our relationship with Him grows in intimacy and confidence. We can even have a confidence, like Abraham, that God will raise the dead to demonstrate His faithfulness. We can have an intimacy that will approach Him with boldness, yet with reverence, out of a heart of worship. We can be ‘friends’ of God.
Prayer: Father, give me the courage to step out in obedience, faith and trust. I desire to not only be Your child, but to become Your friend, someone who walks with You and knows You ever more intimately. Like David, I’m choosing to seek Your face, for there’s no one and nothing in this world that can compare with You. Amen.
Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship. Provided full acknowledgement is made to Seeds of the Kingdom as the source, you are also welcome to use it in a non-commercial way and reproduce it in magazines or other Christian websites. The copyright for any commercial use of the material remains with Ellel Ministries International.