Friendship With God
We can come to know friendship with God, not only through salvation in Jesus Christ, but in our day-by-day experience. We must start, of course, by coming to Christ and receiving His salvation. But we can also learn to walk with God in friendship, in relationship. This is established not only on the basis that you've been born again, but because you've come to walk with Him. Jesus had walked with his disciples for three years when one day He said to them, "No longer do I call you servants... but I have called you friends" (John 15:15). The Lord Jesus calls us to walk with Him in that relationship, but everything in us—everything about our lives—rebels against it. Three primary things work against the possibility of our having a confident relationship with God:
1) The absence of a role model.
Many who read this have had no one in their formative years to model how a person in a confident relationship with God should live. Many authority figures have failed. Fathers or pastors who violated their trust left many with a negative impact rather than a positive role model.
Or possibly there were models but you weren't close enough with them to really observe their character. We haven't had that confident walk with God demonstrated to us; thus we don't know how to respond to life's situations from within that framework. A boy's dad can stand beside him and say, "Son, when you go to the plate, put your feet about this far apart, and scoot your hands down the bat about two or three inches. You'll be able to manage it better when you swing. That's good. Now don't shift your weight too soon. That's it." That's a coach, a role model. Someone who shows you how it's done. When that kid goes to the plate, he is going to feel more confident because there was someone to model the way he should position himself when playing baseball.
Most of us weren't called to baseball, but to a vital relationship with God. But few of us have had good role models.
2) The presence of corruption.
Our work places vary from sophisticated to crude, but either way we can be surrounded by the lewd, the corrupt, and the foul. The pornographic, the obscene, and the suggestive permeate the work place. The air is blue with profanity, and the innuendo is ever present. The rest room walls are scrawled with filth.
Everything about life is surrounded by corruption, and it works against your being a person who walks with God. You feel like Isaiah who said, "I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips" (Isaiah 6:5). You feel that sense of unworthiness and inadequacy, and it effects your ability to walk with God.
3) The consciousness of our own failures.
There is not one of us who has not sinned. Our sins may have been very private or very public, but shortcomings and failures have crawled into our flesh. The impact of those things—once they lay hold of your mind—is so telling, so pervasive. You may have repented and received forgiveness, but you find that you still can't cleanse your mind of the recollection of those scenes that have riveted themselves into place. And because of that, there is a lack of conviction in your own assurance toward God.
Friendship with God is the starting place. You want to be able to walk into his presence with holy hands. You may say, "you haven't seen what my hands have done; what they have touched. There is nothing holy about my hands." But there is good news for each of us. We are called to friendship with God by the One who Himself had His arms stretched out and His hands nailed through in order that our hands might be cleansed by His blood. And there is not one of us who can't put our hands in front of us right now and say, "Because of Jesus, these can be holy hands."
So lift your hands with me and praise the Lord for the confidence of forgiven sin and the assurance that we can walk before the Lord in holiness. Praise God and thank Him for that promise. Hallelujah! Friendship with God is a viable option. A possibility we can walk into with real confidence. God wants it. He has ordained it and Jesus paid the price for it.