But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. (Isaiah 41:8 KJV)
God does not only have children or servants. He also has friends. God’s best-known friend in scripture is Abraham, as Isaiah prophesied in Isaiah 41:8. In this devotional, you will learn what the New Testament teaches about God’s friends and how you can also become a friend of God.
God’s most cherished relationship with us is the Father-child relationship. However, scripture describes God’s dealings with us in other ways, such as husband-bride or master-servant. Amongst these subordinate relationships, we find friendship, a divine relationship barely mentioned in the New Testament. Besides, as expected, God has no friends outside of His children. Furthermore, God calls us friends, not the reverse.
However, there is a lesson for us to learn about God’s friends in the New Testament.
A friend is someone you know well and regard with affection and trust. Friendship often implies intimacy and closeness. In the New Testament, Jesus further clarifies the aspect of trust in friendship:
“Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” (John 15:15 KJV)
Jesus, therefore, clarifies that God’s friends are those who know God’s secrets, just as we expect from a normal friendship. We confide our secrets to our faithful friends; they know our plans, and we trust them. When the Lord had purposed to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, He said about Abraham, His friend:
“And the Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;” (Genesis 18:17 KJV)
When God reveals His heart to us and tells us the things that displease or please Him and what He is doing and about to do, that is His signal that He calls us His friends. He confides His secrets to us. Please remember that God’s deepest secrets have already been revealed to His children in the New Testament. One of God’s closest friends in the New Testament, not mentioned explicitly but implied by divine dealings, is the Apostle Paul. God poured out His secrets to this man!
How can I become God’s friend? Interestingly, Jesus taught us in the New Testament that friendship with God is an open invitation. Anyone of His children can be His friend, including you. And this is how:
“Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” (John 15:14 KJV).
Doing what God tells us to do makes us God’s friends. Often many believers will read this and wait for God to tell them to do some enormous tasks like go on a mission trip in a remote area, fast for many days, quit their job to become full-time pastors, etc. He sometimes will, like he did for Abraham when he told him to sacrifice Isaac, but that is not always the case. For some of you, God is asking you to forgive that person, read your Bible, always rejoice, stop that immoral relationship, be anxious for nothing, etc. Whether the command is major or minor, the pivotal element is the attitude of obeying and doing what God commands us to do. Never allow your heart to disobey God’s Word and yet continue to worship, pray or live as if nothing has happened—that is a dangerous place called a hardened heart!
So, you can be God’s friend if you are that child who does what the Father tells them to. And if you do, He will trust you with His secrets!
Are you God’s friend?
Apply the Word
Jesus’ words indicate that He wants you to be His friend. Friendship is not our identity; instead, it is a way we relate with God as His children. Be a doer of the Word. Be Jesus’ friend.
Ask the Father to help you become His friend.