I want to talk about how easy it is to be God’s friend. Easy? I think the typical christian’s picture of God is someone with high expectations who only talks to the elite people and prophets and is too holy to want a relationship with you. And as long as we just talk about God without actually getting to know him, that may be the conclusion some of us reach. But when you begin to honestly pursue God without trying to put him in any box or expectations you will find that God is a much different person than that.
God is kind, slow to anger, gentle and forgiving, he loves mercy, is wise and understanding, and he is the God of all comfort who encourages and strengthens us. He answers our prayers and takes care of all of our needs! He is perfect love. He is not boastful or proud, does not keep record of wrongs, endures all things, is patient, etc… Does this person seem like someone who is hard to be friends with?
Throughout the Bible we see a God who works on behalf of people, despite their complaining, jealousy, lying, sin, and mess.
Consider how God gave Rachel children after she was envying Leah’s children and asked Jacob to sleep with her servant in Genesis 30. Consider how God still gave Abraham Isaac after he slept with Hagar to produce Ishmael. Notice that despite Abraham lying to Pharaoh about his wife being his sister God punished Pharaoh for taking her, not Abraham and that happened not just once but twice. In Exodus 15, the Israelites grumbled that the water was bitter even after they had seen God’s provision and deliverance. Yet, God did not crush them or send snakes into their camp, instead he told them how to turn the bitter water sweet. Consider how God made Jacob into Israel after he wrestled with an angel for a blessing. Notice that Jesus was called the friend of sinners and tax collectors (modern day thieves). He showed grace to the needy but resisted the proud. Jesus came from the line of Judah who had slept with his daughter-in-law while she was disguised as a prostitute. Peter denied Jesus three times. Paul persecuted christians.
The Bible is full of examples of people’s mess, sin, jealousy, lies, complaining, etc… yet we see a God who worked in the midst of it all to bless, show grace, and meet the desires of their hearts.
You do however see a difference in how God related to people after the law was given. After Sinai when the Israelites complained God sent them trouble instead of answering them. This was because God was relating to them based on a different covenant of works.
We today however are not under a covenant of works but of faith because of what Jesus did for us and God relates to us as if we were perfectly righteous.
Hosea 2:16 “‘In that day,’ declares the Lord,
‘you will call me “my husband”;
you will no longer call me “my master”.
Under the new covenant we relate to God as a friend and husband instead of as a slave and master. So I want you to realize, that you don’t need to be a super christian who reads their Bible every day and spends an hour in prayer and does all the supposed good christian things to have a fine relationship with God. God will be friends with you as you are and you can develop an intimate relationship with him despite the messes in your life. God welcomes your mess as a way to show off how great he is in every need and situation.
So be honest and vulnerable with God. After all, he knows everything your thinking and everything about you. What can you hide from him? Talk to him as a person and friend, someone who cares deeply for you. He is interested in having a relationship with you and makes it easy to do so.