Friends

 John 15:14-17 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that ye love one another.”

Some are easy to form. Others form over a conflict — some through a joint effort. The making of friends began at childhood and continues throughout our lives. Each of us are so diverse and varied in our depth, strength, and length of our friendships that there are only principles to share when it comes to the “how to” of making friends.

Proverbs tells us:

Proverbs 18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”

We may often hear, “To have friends, you must first be one.”

The core of our learning comes from what we experience in our families. If that hasn’t formed properly, it will be more complicated outside of the family dynamic. 

As I read our text this morning, there was so much that flooded my mind about my friendship with my God. At its core, God met my three most basic needs. 

To be loved.

To be accepted.

To be secure.

He has met all those needs at salvation with the promises I found in the Word of God. We build on these three with the ability not only to receive love, but to give love; to be accepting of others, and to provide for someone else’s needs to be secure. When we reach out and begin to do that for others, our love, acceptance, and security deepen.

Interestingly enough, God says that friendship with Him comes through obedience.

John 15:14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.”

I have found that in the work of obedience, I can have the sweetest fellowship, a greater depth of love, and a covering of protection that quite literally dispels all fear. Simple, humble listening and obeying is hard when we want to control the outcome of each of our relationships. 

Some try to control the situation and circumstances for fear that they may one day be hurt or wounded deeply. Often, we apply human traits to God that He does not possess.

We are fickle in our love and friendship. Our feelings change with the wind and so do our loyalties to those we call friends. We think God is conditional in His love like we are. We may see things we don’t like and want to distance ourselves for the work it might take to rectify the relationship. 

We may realize that there was so much we did not know about another, that when it was revealed to us, we were repelled by the revelation. Love and friendships are tested when their lives get closer. Faults and idiosyncrasies often cause us to re-evaluate our initial desire to get close to someone. 

But why would we apply such human thinking when it comes to our Heavenly Father?

He is perfect in every way. His love is perfect, everlasting, and unconditional. His justice is impeccably perfect. His forgiveness complete, and His mercy and grace will never run out. To obey Him should be simple, unhindered, and immediate.

We run His commands through our filter that asks the question: 

“What’s in it for me?”

Once we find the abundance of blessing and the fulfillment of promises given, the obedience becomes easier. Our enemy, Satan, tests our obedience when we do not understand the outcome, or when things didn’t entirely turn out as we had planned. 

As you begin your week, trust God with your simple obedience to whatever it is He asks you to do. What you may find is the greatest friendship man has ever known.

Happy Monday!

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