When I call you a friend, I am assuming that there is a level of connection between us that extends beyond association based on proximity in neighbourhoods, community, workplace or family ties. My friend is someone I care about and someone I pay attention to. According to goodtherapy.org, “Friendship is a close association between two people marked by feelings of care, respect, admiration, concern, love, or like.”
I reflect on the concept of friendship today as I am struck by the words in the book of James. James 4:4 highlights the importance of friendship with God.
- Can I truly say I am a friend of God – we all sing the song anyway, so…?
- Do I have a close association with God?
- Do I care for and respect Him – His wishes, desires and needs?
- Do I admire Him?
- Do I show concern about His wishes, desires and needs?
- Without a positive response to all of the above, how can I truly say that I love God?
- Do I even like Him?
I am aware that for some readers, a reference to the Supreme Being with such simple, humanistic terms may seem offensive and belittling. Truth is, God wants to walk with us like He did with Adam and Eve (Genesis 3); God wants to be friends with us!
Check out Abraham. In Genesis 18:16-32, we see the conversation between the Lord God and Abraham over the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah. It reads like a conversation between people who have mutual respect for each other’s opinions. This friendship was confirmed in James 2:23, “And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’ And he was called the friend of God.”
Am I really a friend of God? A better question would be: how can I become God’s friend? How can I have a close association with Him that is marked by feelings of care, respect, admiration, concern, love, or like? I know God is willing so I guess I just need to look to Him and express my interest in getting to know Him more. Could it be that simple? Can I just say hello, and He will answer me?
God has shared His wishes, desires and needs in the Bible, so that would be a great place to start. Read through His word so that you get to know Him more. Ask about Him from others around you. Most importantly, reach out to Him every day; He’s only a prayer away!