Can God Be Your BFF?
Author : Tom Graneau
If you have a good friend, my hope is that you appreciate the strong interpersonal bond that comes together to create the friendship. I also hope that you place a premium value on the relationship because it’s important. These days, it is not easy to build and maintain solid relationships, considering the speed in which we move through life. The process requires time, commitment, trust, loyalty, and responsibility, things that are lacking in many of us in varying degrees.
Yet, even the best human friendship has its limits: We are known to be unreliable from time to time; we can only attempt to pacify the physical and emotional needs of each other; and we are helpless in satisfying the spiritual needs of one another. Despite the disadvantages, however, human friendships are absolutely necessary for people’s general well-being.
A friendship with God, on the other hand, is an all-encompassing experience.
Friendship with God
As a Christian, one of your top priorities should include the desire to attain friendship status with God, which is absolutely doable and necessary. This goal should exceed the mere ambition to be saved and reside in heaven after death. The intent is to achieve a special connection with him in this life that transcends the value of all the wealth and human connection that you can possibly amass. When you get this close to God, things like houses, cars, money, etc. that appear to have meaning in this existence will automatically assume a secondary position. They will become less significant in the presence of a spiritual consciousness that will elevate you from this realm into a new dimension of peace and self-assurance that cannot be experienced in any other way.
During his ministry, Jesus underscored an attitude of friendship in connection with his followers: “You are my friends if you do whatever I command you. 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” (John 15:14-15). The first verse indicates that if we meet a certain condition, we earn the right to friendship with God; the other specifies that by virtue of knowing part of God’s plan is a privilege that puts us in the same favored category.
As special as this connection may be, it comes by default, something that most Christian automatically acquire by being in fellowship with God. What I’m referring to is a friendship that is forged out of a deep human desire to get closer to God. Seemingly, as we express our spiritual longing to draw near to God, he also draws nearer to us (James 4:8), forming an intertwining connection that elevates the human soul to a higher spiritual level. David and many others had this type of friendship with God, and anyone who follows Christ today has access to it as well. All it takes is a simple commitment to put him FIRST and ABOVE everything in this life.
A deep friendship with God is uniquely different from any type of human-to-human connection. He connects with us on a soul level, which is the innermost part of our being or the God-like material within us. He knows our intimate desires; he knows what we need, when we need it, and how to supply it; and when he provides something, it is usually timely and highly personal.
Consider some of the following ways he can affect your life on earth:
- He will comfort you from the inside. In the event of emotional pain as a result of a deceased loved one or other family tragedies (divorce, separation, loss of employment, etc.), no one will be closer to you than him. Though he will allow you to grieve for your loss, he will be there to guide and support you all the way to the next phase of your life. All you need to do is trust in his direction, which may involve a period of waiting for your sake.
- He will provide for you in your greatest hour of need. When you stay consistently connected with God, he will manipulate human events in your favor: “God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things…” (2 Corinthians 9:8). He will carve a way of employment for you in difficult situations; he will lead you to the right mate if that’s a concern in your life; he will mitigate despondency in the most adverse conditions; and he will send you messengers (people that may know nothing about your situation) to confirm his involvement in your circumstances.
Unlike human companionship, God can be trusted without any risk of disappointment:
- He is absolutely reliable. “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” he uttered in various ways in the Bible to those who depended on him (Hebrews 13:5). Men like Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, David, and many others have attested to his unfailing promises. David, for example, echoed a familiar passage: “I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging for bread” (Psalm 37:25). What a confession of confidence! I and many others who have trusted God over the years and can positively say the same thing.
- He is always available. Since God maintains a ubiquitous presence in the universe, there is nowhere you can be that he cannot come. David puts it this way: “Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend into heaven, you are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, you are there” (Psalm 139:7-8). For the wrong-doer, this situation presents a problem, but for a friend of God, the thought is positively reassuring. This means that you can call upon him from anywhere, including the bottom of the ocean, and he will hear your plea. Your call can be an audible sound or a simple whisper. He will here you. Furthermore, he never sleeps; time zones have no effect on his being; and climate change cannot interrupt his presence or communication. Isn’t this wonderful to know?
In the great classical hymn What a Friend We Have in Jesus by Joseph M. Scriven, the beginning says: “What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer….” The real revelation of this song is truly understood by those who draw nearer to him.
It is my belief that God loves everyone, both saved and unsaved people. But like loving parents who become more sensitive to offspring that reciprocate more affection, he is more responsive to the needs of those who are closest to him in friendship.
How to strengthen your friendship with God
How can you strengthen your friendship with God—an invisible being who seems distant and unapproachable? The Bible tells us plainly that we should make the effort to draw near to God. In doing so, he will reciprocate in a similar fashion (James 4:8). The text seems to indicate that we must initiate the process. This is so because he has done everything possible to reach out to us. Now he simply waits for our voluntary action of love and affection.
Assuming that you are a Christian, you have undoubtedly taken the first step in the process by repenting of your sins and accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. In addition to your regular devotional activities (Bible reading, prayer, church attendance, etc.), I recommend reading the entire Old Testament, at least twice.
During the first run, take your time to digest the content as you read. When you get to the book of Malachi, go back to the book of Genesis and start the process over. By this time, everything will seem new and fresh again. God will then reveal things that you missed during the first reading.
The purpose of this reading to get know and understand the God of the universe—your Lord and Savior and potential friend. While reading these books, observed the following:
- God’s character—his personhood.
- God’s mannerisms and disposition—his attitude.
- God’s knowledge about human beings—men, women, and children.
- God’s conditional requirements for human fellowship—an uncompromising posture.
- God’s love and mercy—unbelievable emotions beyond human comprehension.
- God’s justice—a compelling attribute that forces him to take certain actions, even when the situation may be emotionally troubling to him.
As you explore the word of God this way, he will reveal additional surprises to you. I recommend that you keep an open mind and trust what you read. My belief is that you will be spiritually enriched by the experience, and God will get closer to you as you get closer to him.
What are your thoughts on the matter?
Do you believe that there are various levels of fellowship in God? How would you explain the highs and lows in your spiritual life? What are some of things that you have done to get closer to God? How would you encourage others to improve their friendship with him?
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