90 Days of Prayer – Day Twenty-Three
Faith and Friendship with God
“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.”
Here was an astounding development in the relationship between Jesus and His disciples. Continuing with his teaching on fellowship, remaining in his presence, and answered prayer; He now tells his disciples they’re more than servants, they are his friends. Friendship brings their relationship to a whole new level, yet this was God’s original intention for His relationship with people all along since we’re all made in His image and His likeness (Genesis 1:26).
Friendship With People
In this matter of friendship with God we cannot read through the Bible without noticing two things; first, God is always forming relationships with people. Second, God is always ready and willing to hear and answer prayer. The friendship between God and man was always His idea. He walked with Adam and Eve in Eden. His friendship with Enoch is well documented, after 300 years of friendship, God was so pleased with His relationship with Enoch, He took him home before he died (Genesis 5:22-24, Hebrews 11:5). It’s also well known that God considered Abraham His friend (2 Chronicles 20:7, Isaiah 41:8, James 2:23).
God’s character draws people to Him and inspires those who are acquainted with Him to want to know Him better. God loves to be with His people, In Exodus 25:8 He instructs Moses to erect a sanctuary so He may dwell among His people (see also Exodus 29:45, 1 Kings 6:13, Zechariah 2:10, 2 Corinthians 6:16, Revelation 21:3).
Knowing Him Better Changes Everything
The Scriptures are replete with references to the family when describing our relationship with God. This is precisely what we were redeemed for! Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 tells the Church that we have all been reconciled with God and placed in a relationship of right standing with Him! A growing relationship with God causes a high degree of confidence to form within our heart. Over time we will naturally desire to know Him better. Paul prays this very thing for the Church at Ephesus writing; “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better” Ephesians 1:17.
“I Have Called You Friends”
Jesus calling his followers friends really wasn’t a new idea with God. Consider that friends would know the owner of the house more intimately than servants or slaves would. The homeowner wouldn’t confer with household servants about his own business or future plans, much less the desires within his heart. A slave would know only what he’s learned from observation, he would never be privy to what his master is thinking.
The good news is, we already have this deep relationship with Jesus. He said that what He hears from the Father he tells his friends, and our friendship with him is further demonstrated by our cooperation with him (see John 15:14-16). Keep in mind that it’s Jesus who chose us for this relationship and by his Spirit helps us to maintain it. We were also invited into this fellowship, Paul writes; “God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” 1 Corinthians 1:9. This gives us the confidence to approach God as our Father with anything, and that’s what makes our prayers so effective.
Three Things We Must Believe
In his classic work “The Prayer life” Andrew Murray writes: “Our whole relationship to the Lord Jesus must be a new thing. I must believe in His infinite love, which really longs to have communion with me every moment and to keep me in the enjoyment of His fellowship. I must believe in His divine power, which has conquered sin and will truly keep me from it. I must believe in Him who, as the great Intercessor, through the Spirit, will inspire each member of His body with joy and power for communion with God in prayer. My prayer life must be brought entirely under the control of Christ and His love.”*
Remember it’s God’s desire and His working within you that will assist in your growing intimacy with Him. Believe in His friendship with you, trust Him to help you, Be much alone with Him, and Be Encouraged! – JSP
* Andrew Murray “The Prayer Life” (Moody Press, Chicago 1989) Pg 37