Post Two, 2018 (Formerly En Courage)
The beauty of a true friend comes from camaraderie and the confidence in knowing, “You really get me and still like me.” I remember when my husband and I were dating, I would sometimes remark, “Just wait, when you really get to know me you may not like me as much as I can be ‘fiery’ and my passions can get the better of me sometimes.” He’d laugh nervously, and I always wondered if he was re-thinking his undying love. I’m so glad he decided to marry me anyway, and although he knows me well, he even likes me.
To think of God as one who could be my friend wasn’t something I used to consider because, “My end of the friendship wouldn’t satisfy. God may love me but He couldn’t really like me.” Yet God’s Word says so differently. Why’s it so easy to doubt?
As I pondered and prayed over where to begin examining how I could ever be confident as God’s friend, the thought came to me, “Begin at the beginning.”
If I want to know God as friend, I need to discover who he is and why He says friendship is even a possibility. I can’t just take the word of others. Nor can I assume the outcome of my query based upon my own presuppositions or prejudice. I need to take the time to find out by sitting and listening to God and by spending time with Him. If I fail to do so, I will misunderstand Him and possibly assume things about Him that aren’t true.
Do I really want to know God, or do I only care about others’ opinions of Him?
There have been times I’ve said, “I’ll never be that person’s friend because…….?” Yet later discovered all I presupposed was wrong and we became the best of friends. In the same way, I’m learning to know God as ‘friend,’ I need to spend time getting to know Him. The only way I can do this is by reading what He says about Himself and by communicating with Him about myself. God speaks to mankind first through his Word, the Bible. We communicate to Him through prayer.
So then, what is the first thing God says about Himself?
Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning, God….”
When we’re first introduced to someone, we often begin by mentioning something important about ourselves, something unique to us. No one but God could ever open an introduction with, “Nothing else existed before me.” If anyone other than God said such things, we’d be calling the police and moving away s.l.o.w.l.y. So this statement obviously sets God apart. But why did God choose this statement to introduce Himself, of all the things He could say?
Genesis 1:1 is God’s introduction to mankind.
Since God was in the beginning, before anything else existed, He’s set apart from everything else as supreme. That’s an important thing to know about God. There’s nothing above, or even near Him in rank. I imagine for some, this causes red flags! We know plenty of people who think they’re better than us, and they don’t mind letting us know in not too pleasant a fashion. But, let’s give God’s intro a chance and see what comes next.
God goes on to say:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth….
The second thing God wants us to know about Himself is that He used His supremacy to give the gift of life! And when He finished, He was so pleased with the beauty, grandeur, and masterful craftsmanship of His creation, He declared, “It is good!” If you want to read the entire account–found in the first two chapters of the Bible, you can find it here in a modern language. (You may also be interested in reading a post about it here.)
God fashioned everything meticulously, in an order that would sustain and produce life with mathematical precision. And after thoughtfully creating all else, at the very last, He tenderly scooped up clay from the ground and with great tenderness formed man ‘into His own image and likeness.’ Then God-breathed, filling Adam with life.’ Within a short time, God, with the same care, put Adam to sleep, removed a rib, and beautifully sculpted a similar but unique form suited well to Adam and gave her life. None other of His creation was made with such intimate care. Why?
While God’s Son Jesus walked this earth, he often beckoned those around him to friendship. In the book of Revelation (the last book of the Bible) the Apostle John heard Jesus say:
Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. Revelation 3:20 nlt
When you look at the thought of becoming God’s friend, what holds you back? Would you be willing to comment or email your reasons? I’d love to discuss some of the reasons (without names of course) in future posts. Also, would anyone be interested in a closed FB page for further discussion with like-minded people? Let me know what you think.
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