11-26-18 I Am a Friend of God Jn 15:15
Friend. It is a lovely term of intimacy. One of the reasons I call you, my readers, my Friend is because I do share my inner thoughts, insights and emotions with you each week. I hope that, as we learn together, we are growing a deep relationship that goes beyond that of a casual blogger-reader interaction. It is one of the reasons I usually end with “Won’t you join me?” And it is why I encourage you to leave a comment or questions below so we can start a conversation and get to know one another more. Any relationship is meant for exactly that, to grow and walk together on this journey called “Life.” And this is precisely why Jesus calls us His Friends. Listen to His words:
“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” Jn 15:15 NIV
I am His Child. When we first come to Christ as our Savior and Lord, we are newly born again children of God. By His Grace and through our Faith, we have become New Creations in Christ. Who we used to be has died and who we are becoming has begun. Our once dead spirits come to Life as we receive the Holy Spirit Who brings this New Life into us and wipes away our sinful nature. This is an internal mystery that happens within our heart the moment we surrender our lives to Jesus. Deep inside of us, we are regenerated, are imparted with the gift of righteousness and then given the right to be called children of God. Our spiritual life begins and goes on into eternity, forevermore. When we submit to the Father’s Plan, we instantly are His Children.
I am His Servant. As we begin to grow in His Grace, we learn that He has a good plan for our lives, one meant to prosper us in every way. The word “prosper” does not necessarily mean an increase in worldly goods. More importantly, it means being transformed into the image of Christ where we will be in control of ourselves and not allow anyone or anything to affect us in any negative way. And if we are honest, this is the Freedom we all desire. I love it when I get into a difficult situation but the situation does not steal my peace, kill my joy nor destroy my life in any way shape or form. (Jn 10:10) Instead, I keep my cool, connect with my Master, receive His instructions, lean on Him to help me obey them (‘cause you and I know I cannot do it by myself!), then continue on with my life, joy intact. This is what it looks like to be a “servant” of God! It is by far the most freeing way to live our lives. It may sound like an oxymoron but, when I submit to Jesus as my Lord and work with Him to serve His Will and follow His Plan, then I am free indeed to simply enjoy this Abundant Life, no matter what comes my way. When we submit to the Father’s Plan, we grow to become His Servants.
I am His Friend. As we continue to grow in His Grace, we get to the point in our relationship where we, more often than not, seek and desire His Will over our own. This is a tipping point in our connection with God where we go from servant to friend as Jesus says above. Think about our children: when they are first born, they are needy and we have to serve them in most respects. They can do nothing for themselves and we gladly provide for their every need and want. As they grow, they begin to do things for themselves as we teach them such things as how to feed themselves, take care of their personal hygiene and read and write, for instance. We should also be helping our children to be a part of the family, that means making their beds, clearing the table after meals or mowing the lawn. These activities serve the parents and teach the children responsibilities and how to be a blessing to others. But there comes a point in their growth when they become more than just our children, they become our friends. We ask for their opinions. We give them the power to make certain choices. We even let them go into this big world and find their own paths to God. They are no longer just our children, but so much more than that. It is basically the same with our growing relationship with our Heavenly Father. We are first His Child when we become born (again), then His servant as we learn to think and act more like Him, then finally His friend as we have a better handle on what He expects of us and follow His Way. Does this make sense? When we submit to the Father’s Plan, we continue to grow and live as His Friends.
I am a Friend of God. There is a great songs by Philips, Craig and Dean with that very title. The thing is, we can only be His Friend if we continue to grow in His Grace. A child is not given any freedom- he would only harm himself. A servant is not given much freedom- he would only foul up the big plan. A friend is given an increasing amount of freedom because he has become more trustworthy with the big plan. God can trust His Friends to seek His Will, to obey His Will and to fulfill His Will. Even if we do not do it perfectly, we do it obediently, and that is what God is looking for, a wholehearted submission to becoming who He originally designed us to be. I know as I continue to grow in His Grace, life gets more and more stress-free, and who doesn’t want that? Won’t you come and join me on this amazing journey?
Until we meet again, keep lifting your eyes to God, He’s closer than you think!
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<>< Peace, Diane