My best friend today is Chantal, my wife. We recently got married almost 3 weeks ago after being in a long-distance relationship for about 4 years. And one of the reasons, among the many, being married to her is amazing is that she is a true friend. As a friend, she listens, understands, and enjoys having fun with me; we also have countless inside jokes that only she and I share.
C.S. Lewis says, “Friendship ... is born at the moment when one man says to another "What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .” (The Four Loves)
Friendship is born out of various circumstances and situations. Friendships are indeed very special. We could say that friendships are a gift from God, that we use to not only survive in this life of ours but to enjoy it and by it experience the beauty of diversity.
The bible speaks about friends countless times through stories, proverbs, and teachings. In the bible and in life, we find that friends are very important for individuals in every aspect of life. Think about it, close your eyes and imagine this last year without any friends. What would be different? Would you have made the same decisions? Would you still have great memories?
An amazing story of friendship is written in Exodus 33:7-11.
It tells of the “Tent of Meeting” which was a tent outside the Israelite camp where God would come and meet with Moses. As Moses would go into the tent the cloud of God’s presence would descend on the tent and God would speak with Moses. Amazing, right?!
Exodus 33:11 – “The Lord would speak to Moses face to face (!), as a man speaks with his friend.”
Isn’t it amazing that God, who created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them, would take time to spend it with His friend, Moses. God and Moses had a very special relationship, one that you and I have with most of our friends today.
As you read this you may feel as I do, a bit envious of Moses and the privilege that he had. But then I am reminded that this is the level of intimacy and friendship that God wants to have with each and every one of us. Because of what Jesus has done on the cross for us, by dying in our place, we can come boldly to God in the same way that Moses would go into the tent of meeting (See Hebrews 4:14-16).
Not only that, but because of Jesus, our relationship longer needs to be one of fear but it can be one of love and friendship. As Jesus spoke to His disciples, He told them that He no longer called them servants for servants don’t know what their master does, but they did know and so they were now called friends (John 15:15). We are called friends today because we know Jesus and He has revealed who God is and what He thinks of us.
He desires to be able to speak to us face to face, that is why in Revelation 21:3 we are told of the closeness that we will have with God – “NOW, the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people and God Himself will be with them and be their God.” The language is undeniably relational, God will be with us and we will be with Him.
My desire is that you take 15 minutes this week to spend alone, undistracted time with God each morning this week. It doesn’t matter where you do it, as long as you do it. In that time, wrestle with God and seek Him with the expectancy of finding Him (Jeremiah 29:13).
In so doing, may you come to know God and be known by Him. May you develop a friendship with Him that exceeds your wildest dreams and imaginations.
For you and I are indeed friends of God!
Sebastian Lopez has been involved with Enspire Productions since 2010. He is currently enrolled in the MDiv. program at the Andrews University Theological Seminary.