How to Be God’s Friend
How would you like God to place a plaque on your wall that declares you His friend? Not everybody gets that honor. No higher honor can be bestowed on any man—far greater than any honor you could ever receive from men; far greater than what your boss could give you; what your business could give you; what your nation could give you. It is an honor worth living for and dying for.
Abraham received this high honor. God recorded it in Scripture; placed it on a wall like a plaque, for all to see. You can read the plaque in Isaiah 41:8. “But you are my servant Israel, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the descendant of Abraham, my dear friend. (GWT)
How did Abraham get that title? Comedian Yakov Smirnoff says when he first came to the United States from Russia, he was not prepared for the incredible variety of instant products available in American grocery stores. He says, “On my first shopping trip, I saw powdered milk–you just add water, and you get milk. Then I saw powdered orange juice–you just add water, and you get orange juice. And then I saw baby powder, and I thought to my self, “What a country!”
Wouldn’t it be nice if we just met Jesus, added water and we instantly had a close, intimate relationship with Him? But it does not work that way. Becoming His friend begins with a choice and requires time and effort on our part.
Look at your own life. You have known thousands of people in your life time, but how many of them can call you their friend? You’ve had many acquaintances, some of them you knew quite well, but I would guess that you could count on one hand the number of close friends you’ve had. In an article written by Henry Adams, he said, “to have one friend in life is much, two are rare, three are hardly possible.”
So how did Abraham become God’s friend? James 2:23 answers the question in a nutshell. It says, “Abraham believed God.” It all began when Abraham made the decision that he would believe what God said to him, no matter how impossible it appeared to his senses. (See Genesis 15:1-6 and Romans 4:18-21.)
Now, believing God is more than intellectually acknowledging God’s existence and mentally assenting to His truthfulness and power. James points out that the demons do that and they certainly are no friends of God. James says that type of faith is dead—meaning it is not really faith at all. A so-called faith that does not motivate us to love and want to obey is not real faith.
We see this clearly in Abraham’s response to God in Genesis 12 and again in Genesis 22. In both instances we see how Abraham’s faith in God moved him to surrender to God’s will and submit to God’s Word. God will consider any man who believes in His goodness and His power enough to act on His Word a friend.
If you want to become God’s friend, do what Abraham did. Believe God! Now, you may not do this perfectly at first and may make some mistakes along the way, but remember that God has promised to be merciful to our failures and to give us grace to help in time of need. And don’t let the enemy condemn you when you falter along the way. Remember, Abraham didn’t start off with a perfect faith either. He faltered many times as he was growing in his faith. Remember Genesis 12 (Lot); Genesis 12 (lied); Genesis 16 (Hagar); Genesis 17 (laughed); Genesis 20 (lied). But God did not give up on Abraham and Abraham did not give up on God. Friends do not give up on each other.
God is your friend. Make the decision to be His.