Friendship | Part 1

The reality of friendship with God is so grand.  I love that we get to live a life of intimacy with a creator that literally created ME just for Him to direct all of His love and affection towards.  I love that He created me to live a life of purpose and passion, and that before I was even born He purposed His own Son to die for me, so I could live a life of fruitfulness and holiness with Him eternally. 

Saying all of that is exactly what I believe, exactly what I do my very best to live out day to day; but over the past eight weeks, I have really been asking myself, what does Friendship with God really look like?  What does it mean to know that you are living a life of friendship?  How do you know if you moved from being a slave of righteousness to being a friend of God... Maybe I have been asking a lot of questions.. but I once heard that if you're not asking questions, then really, what's the point?  God desires a two way communication- He's excited by the fact we have the questions... OK, OK, that's another post for another day. 

We were once slaves to sin.  I think we can all agree on that.  Before the Lord sent His son for us, we lived in this cyclical life where we were in obedience to another principality, to ourselves, and not living a life that produced fruit.  Romans 6:28 says that when we were slaves to sin, we were free from the control of righteousness, and what benefit did we reap then?  BUT, God is so good... He purposed His Son to come for us, from the beginning of time, He designed an outcome that would produce such incredible fruit, and lead us back into partnership with him!  Because of His great sacrifice, we moved from being enslaved by sin, to being dead to sin! 

Romans 6:1-4:  "What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?  Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life."

Have you ever felt like there are seasons of your life where you feel like you are stuck in sin?  Where you can't propel forward, you can't get past it?!  Well, Good news:  YOU'RE NOT.  You may feel like you are, but that's the thing about feelings; they come and go, but truth always win.  When Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the light"; that word truth means reality.  The reality of who Jesus is to you is more concrete than your feelings.  Jesus shines light in the dark places, He speaks words of truth and reality about who you are, and because He abides in you, He brings you out all through the lens of love.  A little side note:  Something I have learned over the past two years is that the enemy loves to use your feelings against you, and propel you towards insanity (doing the same broken thing over and over again).  I have really learned to question my feelings, and make sure that they are focused on what God is doing, and not what isn't happening. Feelings can be a tool used to lie to us... because the Reality (Truth) of who Jesus is to us and for us is so much bigger than we can even comprehend!

Now that we have become Slaves to Righteousness, what happens?  Romans 6: 23 says that when we used to be slaves to sin, we learned obedience without fruit; but when now that we have become slaves to righteousness, we are now walking in obedience that bears much fruit:  holiness and ever-lasting life!  I believe that being a slave to righteousness its your starting line when you enter the Kingdom.  In this stage, we learn WHAT God is doing.  We are continually obedient, continually seeking the Spirit for every decision.  Now, I am not saying that friendship with God looks like not walking in obedience.. I'll get to that a bit later.  What I am saying is that God loves to see our obedience transition from sin to Him, and He loves to see us discover the "What's" of who He is! 

Andy is my biggest hero when it comes to walking out obedience.  The guy is SO obedient when the Lord speaks.  Being married to him has really challenged me to say Yes, to jump before I understand, before fear can get in the way! 

About two years ago, Andy was in a local Starbucks, and he was reading a book before work began.  This one day, a guy sat on the comfy chairs right next to him.  Of course, before you go to work, you want down time- you don't want to chat, you want to get yourself into the right head space before you have to give away a portion of who you are- especially if you are in Customer Service, like Andy is.  So the guy next to Andy started engaging with him... and because not everyone is open to talking with strangers, Andy reciprocated. As the conversation continued, Andy found out that he was a Pastor among other topics of conversation. One thing lead to another and by the end of the conversation Andy shared some things he felt were prophetically relevant that God may be wanting to encourage him with about his new ventures.  Andy modeled the "What" God was doing.  Two years later, this past Wednesday, we were invited to a Pastors gathering (the exact same venture that Andy had prophesied over two years prior), by the exact same man.  Not only that, but Andy's obedience paved a way for Andy to discover God's heart for the what.  When we walk in obedience, and do WHAT the Lord asks of us, we begin to learn His heart, which is the WHY.  

David is the perfect example of this.  God and Moses designed the temple together, they designed what worship life looked like... and David looked at it, and said, "Nope- it's not good enough for the Lord!"  Moses and the Lord had made it so that ONCE a year, ONE Priest would go into the Holy of Hollies, and worship, sacrifice, and do this whole shebang.  It was so pure that they would have to tie a rope around the priests waist and put bells on them, because there was a history of priests being instantly killed when they walked into the Lord's presence (the Ark of the Covenant).  Now David, a man beyond his time, a real friend of the Lord's, looked at this and decided that this wasn't good enough.  See, he understood the Lord's heart, he understood the WHY of the Lord.  Instead of just obeying, he instead turned the one day, into a 24/7 worship center for the Lord- sending in ALL of the priests to minister to the Lord.  Now, fast forward to the New Testament (Acts 2:25-28), it's David's worship plan, not Moses and God's that is apart of the new covenant.  Being a friend of God allows you to alter history, culture, and change the plans of God!  

Friendship with God begins with abiding in Him, and letting His words Abide in you.

To be continued...