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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

On Being God's Friend

I've felt lonely a good bit lately.  Reading Lee Spitzer's Making Friends, Making Disciples: Growing Your Church through Authentic Relationships (review to come) and reading Genesis have reminded me of Abraham.  Abraham strikes me as a pretty lonely guy.  He left his father's household in Haran and then his nephew Lot left him, and that probably eliminated most or all of his closest relationships.  (It's hard telling how good of friends he and his wife Sarah were.)  And yet, Abraham was God's friend (2 Chr. 20:7Isa. 41:8; Jas. 2:23).  Like friends, they had real conversations with each other, even face to face.  Astonishingly, it really was a bilateral relationship, even with God being God.

I'm wondering if real challenges for me in this season of my journey with God are to treat him as my Friend and to count myself as one of his.  Some might think that seeing God as one's Friend or even one's Father is warm and fuzzy and comfortable and easy and that seeing God as one's King, Lord, and Master is hard.  Not for me.  I've actually gotten pretty comfortable with God as the High and Mighty One who gives me orders to execute.  God helping me, I can do that the rest of my life.  God as my Friend is definitely more unsettling.  Because if God is my Friend, then I have to be vulnerable with him; I have to reveal my insides voluntarily.  I also have to reveal myself regularly.  It's easier to do the "time with God in the morning" thing as something in the field manual to be checked off than it is as genuine conversation.  I can blow over the former, but the latter takes time and intentionality.  And prayer is easier for me as, "O You who are in the heavens, please do this and that, amen" than it is as, "OK, God, we need to talk, and I'd like to hear what you have to say."

But the thing is, I think that this is what God saved me for.  He did want a servant and a son, but he wanted a friend too.  This is what reconciliation is all about (2 Cor. 5:18-21).  It's not just for my good but also for his purpose.  Why would I hold back?

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