Monday, October 22, 2012

Friendship with God

Author:  Susan L. Prince

These are just "outloud ponderings" of something I read this morning in Robertson McQuilkin's book, Life in the Spirit.  It may or may not make sense.  I'm formulating some of it while I type.   McQuilkin mentioned that God wants to be our best friend.  He pointed out that "best friends have to know one another and like what they know.  They take every chance to get together and they work hard at doing what the other one likes."  That got me thinking about my relationship with God and if I put as much effort into getting to know Him and doing what He likes as I do in my relationship with my best friends.  

I do a lot of thinking, and just because something like this causes me to ruminate, it doesn't always mean that I conclude the negative.  It doesn't always mean that if I question it in myself, I must be reaching the conclusion that I fall short.  I simply ask myself these honest questions.  I ask them often.  If ever I do discover a deficiency, I hope to be quick to change a practice, a habit, or whatever I need to do to correct the situation.  

That being said, I've been thinking on this question recently.  Does my relationship with God reflect a "best friendship?" I thought about those I am closest to.  I thought about those couple of people I have allowed to know me more intimately than anybody else, about those I trust implicitly.  I thought about the effort I put into those friendships.  I do invest in my friends.  I have always invested deeply into those I believe God put into my life.  I consider my friends a blessing beyond anything I can explain.  I treasure the relationships that I have and care for them the best I know how.  I thank God for my friends on a daily basis and pray for them.  I do arrange things in my life in order that I may have time with my friends.  My friends pour into me, so it only makes sense that I would want to spend time with them.  I pray that God can use me to pour into them as well.  I think when God gives a friendship, it is somehow mutually satisfying and is sustained in a special godly love; we mutually exhort one another and this allows us to strengthen each other in the faith, and also, because there is trust and we understand that Christian love is the basis of all we share, we can speak into one another's life when a rebuke is needed.

Now, as I thought about my investment in my friendships, I started to consider what time and effort I put into my relationship with God, my Father, my Lord, my friend.  I have to admit that I at times recoil at saying, "I am a friend of God...He calls me 'friend.'"  It seems so small, and (I really HATE the I am a Friend of God song, but I digress.)  I live alone, therefore I have less distraction when I am home.  I can go to bed when I want and spend time with the Lord in quiet.  Nobody is here to ask me to get them something or listen to what they need to talk about. Do I take advantage of that?  You bet I do! :)

I spend so much time thanking God for my blessings that if God ever needed encouragement for a job well done, He would do well to get that from me!  I am mindful of the Spirit all day, every day.  Sure, there are moments in which I push Him aside when my worldly self takes over and I become selfish, but I usually come to my senses within minutes, and/or after a short ranting time (lol - to one of my best friends!). I believe that if I share my heart with God, even, and maybe especially, when it is not right, He alone can help me get it right.  He is totally aware of my bad attitude, so it is not like I'm telling Him anything He didn't already know. ;)  This is me spending time with God.  

I'm serious about Sabbath rest.  God commanded it and it was made for man. I do take one day a week, almost without fail, to just rest in His love.  I break from work, I break from tasks, and I just set out to enjoy my time.  It may be spending time with a friend, it may be time at the lake thinking about Him and enjoying creation as I walk through the woods or just sit and ponder, it may be going and doing something I enjoy (movies, carpool, drinking coffee at the Frog or Sbux, etc.), and possibly spending time in His Word...but, God gave me the day!  Of course I want to embrace it!  I have liberty in Him and try to enjoy it to its fullest!  Like a friend who gives me a gift, I open it up and enjoy it. :)

There is no awkward silence with a friend, instead, it is often comforting.  There is no awkward silence with God.

Here's something kind of whacked...I absolutely LOVE getting to know my friends.  I LOVE going through old pictures, scrapbooks, asking about their past and if I am so blessed, visiting the places that mean so much to them.  I learn about their passions seeing what they spend their time and effort doing.  With God, I have thousands of years of history to read about to learn about Him! I LOVE His Word and seeing all that He has done and learning about His passion for His people!  I've concluded that in many ways, I enjoy a special friendship with God.  

I do put the time and effort into knowing Him as much as I can. This is not to say that I am perfect about making the time, or saying and doing the right things, as either of my closest friends would attest to, but it is a friendship nonetheless.  I am an imperfect friend with a perfect God.  It may be onesided at times, but that is what makes friendship work.  Forgiveness, mercy, grace and love exists in my relationship with God, and He makes that evident to me on a daily basis.  Why the heck would I not want to be friends with Him? 

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