The Friend Of GodHandbook 1: Article 64 - A More Excellent Way

"Abraham was called the friend of God."

James 2: 23

Remember the picture of Jesus carrying the little lamb in His arms? And the one of Him walking on the water, reaching out His hand to Peter who is sinking in the waves? These works of art inspire us to sing, "What a friend we have in Jesus." And we praise and thank God because He is our comforter, helper, defender, etc.

In the beginning of our walk with God, He relates to us in a way that we can understand. In fact, He usually holds up both ends of the relationship. When we cry to Him, He hears and comforts; when we ask, He gives; when we knock, He opens. He is truly our "papa" God.

But is this to be the relationship between God and man in its total capacity? Consider our little children! We do not wish to forever carry them in our arms -- to have them be only interested in us because we are caregivers. We want them to mature and grow. We hope that someday they will open their childish eyes and see us as we really are -- apart from our parental roles. We desire to move beyond the parent-child pattern and be friends.

For a long time now, God has been my friend. Within me grows an increasing desire to be His friend. I want to know Him as He really is -- not as I hope He is or as I need Him to be. (More and more I come to Him just to be in His presence, to listen while He tells me about Himself.) I want to walk His way even if I find that path difficult and scary. I want to know Him in the full measure of His personality even if that knowledge makes me insecure and uneasy.

What am I trying to say? I want to grow up in my spiritual life and in my relationship with God. Someday soon I hope that He will be able to call me His friend. I want Him to count on me when He has a task to be done. I want to be loyal to Him whatever the cost. I want Him to know that He can confide in me His plans and ways and be confident that I won't pervert their meaning. I want to be so open to Him that He will be able to express Himself to me any way He wishes. Surely this is a more excellent way.

"God meets him who rejoices in doing righteousness,
Who remembers God and His Ways."

Isaiah 6: 4, 5

MC

Did you know that God has emotions?

DELIGHT (Deuteronomy 10: 15)
LOVE (John 3: 16)
ANGER (Psalm 7: 11)
JEALOUSY (Exodus 20: 5)
JOY (Zephaniah 3: 17, 18)
HATRED (Proverbs 6: 16)
COMPASSION (Psalm 86: 15)

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