As it is known, the urge in the life of every Christian is to come closer to God and become His friend. It is not an easy task and it doesn’t happen just like that. You don’t just wake up one morning as His friend. So how do we come to a point when we can firmly say we know Him, walk with Him and have become His friend? And is it possible at all for a mortal to become a friend of God?
The Word of God says that God had friends. God called the patriarch of faith Abraham His friend. And Enoch was a friend of God and walked hand in hand with him. The Prophet Elijah was so close to God that He didn’t allow him to die as all other people do. He took His friend on a fiery chariot. Apostles of Jesus Christ – Peter, Paul and others, also walked with God and were His friends.
Notice that all those people were normal people like you and me. And as they could become God’s friends, we also can. We know that life is predictable, and it means that if someone could reach certain goals and heights, then we can learn from him/her and reach the same things.
To become a friend of God you will have to work hard and pay a high price, as it is a process not an accident.
Let us see how we work and what price we pay by looking at the examples of biblical heroes.
Remember the story about Abraham when he pled to God for Sodom and Gomorra. In Genesis 18: 22-23 it reads: “And the men turned their faces away from there, and went toward Sodom. But Abraham still stood before Jehovah. And Abraham drew near and said, Will You also destroy the righteous with the wicked?“
First of all, notice that Abraham is a simple, mortal human being that came to such an extent of cooperation, walking and relationship with God that he could have a dialog, set certain conditions and actually negotiate with Him as to the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorra. Obviously, such a conversation could be only a result of a close, trusting relationship between friends. What helped Abraham to take this position before Him?
Let’s study the qualities of the character peculiar to him and the process of development.
Love for God’s presence
“And the men turned their faces away from there, and went toward Sodom. But Abraham still stood before Jehovah.” (Genesis 18:22)
A standing truth is revealed to us in this Scripture, after the conversation with angels, though they had left, Abraham understood he was in the presence of God and made the only right decision – not to hurry, not bustle, not to run to do something. It is written that Abraham still stood, i.e. he was not in a hurry to leave, but stayed in the presence of God because he appreciated and valued it. Pay attention, only the one, who learns to stand in God’s presence and love it, will become great before God.
Be patient and don’t miss the oppertunity to stay in God’s presence
“And Abraham drew near and said, Will You also destroy the righteous with the wicked?” (Genesis 18:23)
Abraham learned to stand in and love God’s presence and that allowed him to draw near to God. In other words, he got a special access to God, after he had learned to stay in God’s presence not for couple of minutes but for a longer time. Moses and Joshua learned to do. They could stay with God for 40 days, because they loved His presence and loved to draw near to Him.
Learn to sacrifice
The life of Abraham shows that if we want to make friends with God we will have to sacrifice. The same as Moses sacrificed everything to stay in God’s presence for 40 days.
“…And Moses was in the mountain forty days and forty nights.” (Exodus 24:13-18)
Jesus Christ also would leave everything and everyone, to stay patiently in the presence of the Father (Matthew 4:1-4). It was Jesus’ lifestyle to spend time with God.
“…He went out into a mountain to pray, and He was spending the night in prayer to God.” (Luke 6:12)
Jesus loved to be in the presence of God, used time for it and sacrificed Himself. The same qualities we see in the life of Elijah (1Kings 18:41-46).
Learn to trust God
“And it happened after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, Abraham! And he said, Behold me. And He said, Take now your son, your only one, Isaac, whom you love. And go into the land of Moriah, and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will name to you. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son. And he split the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up and went to the place of which God had told him. “ (Genesis 22:1-3)
God asked Abraham to sacrifice the most precious thing to him; his only and long awaited son. And Abraham was ready to do it because he trusted God and knew that He would not wish anything bad for him, for He is the Author of life. Abraham proved the highest degree of trust by what he did.
Be obedient to God
“You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master does. But I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:14-15)
Without obedience it is impossible to learn to walk with God, make friends with Him. Jesus is the example of obedience, and He calls us to be obedient to God.
Have the fear of God
“What man is he who fears Jehovah? He shall teach him in the way that he shall choose. His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth. The secret of Jehovah is with those who fear Him; and He will show them His covenant.” (Psalm 25:12-14)
To fear God is be reverent before Him and honor Him. This kind of people He honors in a special way. The fear of God brings us to specially close relationship with God. I pray that we follow the example of the great men of God and pay the whole price to become friends of God and walk with Him, manifesting His glory on this earth.