You’ve experienced this, and so have I! You reach to someone in friendship, but there’s no reach back. Most of the time, that’s OK. But sometimes, when your heart is more deeply invested in a person, it’s painful when they don’t want to be a friend back. You just have to accept it. I think there are practical take-aways from this scenario as we consider our relationship with God.
So, let’s just take a moment to reflect:
- Who are a couple of your closest friends?
- Why do you connect well with them?
- What do you like about the reciprocation of your friendship?
- Is there a person in your life you wish you could have connected with, but it didn’t work out?
- Why do you suspect some friendships never develop?
- What happens in your heart as you accept the sad reality – it isn’t happening?
Factors Of A Friend
Have you considered critical factors involved to be a friend back to someone? Let’s start a list, and you can add your own:
- This person is authentically themselves . . . comfortable in their own skin.
- Your friend is unique and loves being so.
- They care about you genuinely – asking about you, checking-in with you, want to hear from you.
- Your friend wants to hear from your heart – your feelings, thoughts, and ideas.
- You enjoy the creative way(s) this person interacts with you.
- They care about things that really matter – to you, personally, and broadly in the world.
- This person works hard to be the best person they can be, and they admit when they are wrong or need to grow.
Those are things you appreciate in another person and how they interact with you. Now – a question for you. Are you investing in this manner in your special relationships? Are you working diligently to be a friend back?
Be A Friend Back To God
It’s reasonably possible to contemplate relationships with other people. But it’s harder to pensively explore relationship with God. Generally, most people know what God has said, promises He’s made, as well as commands and principles He’s put into place.
But what about the somewhat mysterious nature of deep, rich connection between God and you? Do you ever think about that? Additionally, have you pondered what kind of person you want/need to be as a friend to God?
I suppose the first place to begin is this. God has sincerely invited you to be His friend. He authentically, yet quite simply, declares His desire in Jn. 15:15. “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
This verse deserves some exploration!
I Have Called You Friends
Did you know this is God’s intention between you and Him? Do you believe God wants to be your friend? And even more critical to answer – do you want to be a friend back to God?
We are all servants of God. Scripture makes that clear in many places. But Jesus adds an incredible element to the relationship between God and man. Friendship. And He calls you His treasured child. No longer does He call you a servant. He desires to share His heart with you! He also wants to share His plans and methods with you! And even more incredible – He wants to share His very life with you – forever!
So, What Do You Say In Return?
Have you wrestled with this reality? Have you honestly considered being a friend back to God? And if so, have you also considered how that should impact your thoughts, words, attitudes, actions – your very life?
Scripture names several of God’s dear friends. If you’ve spent time in His Word, you’ve read about these folks. An example of a friend of God was in a recent article – “Accomplish Your Purpose: Helpful Steps.” Enoch walked with God in friendship.
Another example is Abraham. Jas. 2:23 says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.” God’s friend! That is so awesome! Wouldn’t you love that to be true of your life? Well, it can be. That’s where we’re headed in this content.
How To Be A Friend Back To God
Ps. 105: 3-5 is one of my favorite instructional passages. I’ve committed it to memory and received much guidance in my attempts to be a friend back to God. Let me share it with you.
“Glory in His Holy Name. Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and His strength. Seek His face always. Remember the wonders He has done – His miracles, and the judgments He pronounced.”
Phrase By Phrase
Now we need to weigh-in on each phrase of this passage. It’s exciting! I’ll use questions and observations to dig into each:
1. Glory in His Holy Name.
As you start each day, do you glory in God’s Holy Name? Literally: “wallow in it?” Is there reverence in your heart as you approach daily challenges, work in your career, and interact with family and friends? Do you “park in God’s glory” with eager expectation?
2. Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Did you know by choosing to rejoice in the Lord proves you mean business about seeking Him? How often Scripture commands to – give thanks, rejoice, be grateful. This condition of your heart is necessary if you are going to pursue God back. Have you remembered that He first pursued you?
3. Look to the Lord and His strength.
You surely must have days like me! You feel tired. Worn-out. Sometimes beaten down. Just plain-old “done!” Yes, this is the human experience over time in our fallen, broken world. AND – this is exactly when to look directly to the Lord! PLUS, look directly to His strength. Ask Him for more of Him and more of His strength wherever you are in life. He invites you.
4. Seek His face always.
This phrase has been a favorite for decades! It underscores God deeply wants relationship with you. Rich, intimate friendship. Why seek “the face?” Well, when you are in safe company – a treasured relationship – you easily, unashamedly, confidently look into that person’s face. That’s how to approach God – after you’ve confessed wrongs, repented, and made your heart right with God through the blood of Jesus. Remember – He’s still God!
5. Remember the wonders He has done – His miracles, and the judgments He pronounced.
And this is part of His “God-ness” that clues-you-in to His power. As you reflect on who God is – and how He (unthinkably) offers friendship to you – remember His miracles! Amazing things God has done through all history. Then remember the judgments He pronounced. A person survives the holiness of God because of His mercy and grace, culminating at the cross of Christ. So – remember BOTH His miracles and judgments.
More “Friend” Pointers
There’s another Scripture that gives essential guidance to be a friend back to God. “The friendship of God is for those who fear Him.” (Ps. 25:14) And Prov. 9:10 announces, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” These two verses bring into proper perspective our amazing opportunity to be a friend back to God. He is still God! That requires a kind of “sculpted” approach back to Him.
The fact that He has honored you to be His child is outdone only by His unfathomable offer of friendship. But, He is still God! And that means it is you (and me) who must change, carve away, revamp, alter, and re-think how we live and respond back to Him.
So, the sculpting approach to God takes place in this:
- To be a friend back to God means to fear Him. Properly defined, “the fear of the Lord” is a very positive and safe choice. I again refer you to “Accomplish Your Purpose: Helpful Steps,” which gives an in-depth and accurate look at the term – “the fear of the Lord.” It’s really a precious gift from God to you. (Ps. 25:14 verse above)
- If you want a successful life and to function with wisdom – it all starts by responding back to God in “the fear of the Lord.” (Prov. 9:10 verse also above)
Application Thoughts And Questions
- How badly do you want God’s friendship?
- Are you committed to serve Him and love Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength? (Mk. 12:30; Lk. 10:27)
- What should you change to be a friend back to God?
- Is your love for God divided? What affections/pleasures/priorities do you need to “lose” to put God central in your life?
- Are you joyfully living in “the fear of the Lord?” Or does that idea push you away from Him?
- As you relate to God in friendship and as His child, do you always do so in the context that He is still God?
I strongly encourage you to read “Accomplish Your Purpose” for rich concepts and practical action steps!
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