Hello! Good morning! Rise and shine! Are you still here? Covid didn’t take you out yet, despite your fear? Isn’t God good? Now that I have your attention and you’re wondering why I’m being so nice😊 I have a great question for you. How do we become friends of God? The answer is quite simple really, and may surprise you. It’s not by fasting and praying, it’s not by tithing, it’s not by attending services or serving in the sanctuary, it’s not even by witnessing to others about Him. If you’re standing you may want to find a place to sit, don’t want the shock of the answer to make you pass out. Are you ready for it? Brace yourself. Ready? Oh man, this is so awesome!! I can’t believe how simple it is 🤦♀️ok here goes.....BELIEVING! Have you regained your composure? Close your mouth. 😲 I know right. You can’t believe it.
How can something so simple, be so difficult? Because we have ceased having the wonder of a child. Children don’t necessarily have to see to believe, their hearts are as big as their imagination. Their trust as innocent as their souls. Believing God and His Word opens the door to endless possibilities- To a life filled with His continuous presence. Believing Him makes us His friends. After all, you wouldn’t place your trust in someone you didn’t have reasons to believe would you? We aren’t called believers by accident, it’s not a nickname for Christians, it’s what makes us authentic. There shouldn’t ever be any wavering in our belief that God is believable and His promises trustworthy. Double mindedness robs us of friendship with God.
In Genesis chapter 3 we encounter the sadness and loss caused by unbelief. In Genesis chapter 6 we see believing faith restored through Noah, and in Genesis 12 -22 we watch as an encounter blossomed into friendship. A friendship spurred by a simple decision to BELIEVE. Lets read together. Note: I won’t be able to write out all the scriptures so please take the time to read on your own.
“The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’” “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too.
So the Lord God banished them from the Garden of Eden, and He sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made.”
Genesis 3:1-6, 23 NLT
The first family had unbroken fellowship and friendship with God. They enjoyed His presence and unlimited supply of everything they needed. Their obedience set them up to have dominion over everything God created. They only had one responsibility: Believing God’s Word. The enemy knows that all it takes to destroy friendships whether with God or man, is broken trust. Satan got them to believe that God was holding something back from them, they chose to believe the lie and lost their friendship and fellowship.
We all believe something or someone. Both requires faith. But only One delivers on His promises fully and completely. And requires that we believe that He is who He says He is.(Hebrews 11:6) Believing faith has eyes to see what the natural eyes cannot. Hebrews 11 is jam packed with believers-Believers who risked everything because of their friendship with God. We sing “I’m a friend of God,” but that title is reserved for those who are willing to walk by faith and not by sight.
In Genesis 6 we find such a person. Noah. During Noah’s time there had never been rainfall of the magnitude that was about to take place. So when God announced that there’d be a flood and instructed Noah to build an Ark, its possible that he was mocked for building a huge boat on dry land. But Noah’s friendship with God was both unique and admirable. He didn’t question the absurdity of the request but rather fully embraced it and set about to do exactly what trust in a relationship does, BELIEVE. He took God at His Word, that if He said it would rain, then it would. For one hundred years Noah set out to be obedient in building the ark. There wasn’t even a drizzle. But when you believe, the invisible becomes sight.
“But Noah found favor with the Lord. This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God.
So God said to Noah, “I have decided to destroy all living creatures, for they have filled the earth with violence. Yes, I will wipe them all out along with the earth! “Build a large boat from cypress wood and waterproof it with tar, inside and out. Then construct decks and stalls throughout its interior. Make the boat 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. Leave an 18-inch opening below the roof all the way around the boat. Put the door on the side, and build three decks inside the boat—lower, middle, and upper. “Look! I am about to cover the earth with a flood that will destroy every living thing that breathes. Everything on earth will die. But I will confirm my covenant with you. So enter the boat—you and your wife and your sons and their wives.” So Noah did everything exactly as God had commanded him.
Genesis 6:8-9, 13-18, 22 NLT
Our entire Christian walk being successful is dependent on our unwavering belief in what God has said. We don’t see by believing, we believe and see. This reality is built upon childlike faith. Has God asked you lately to step out in believing faith? Have you done what He has asked, whether it makes sense to you or not, like Noah did? Hesitant? Then you haven’t discovered the joy of friendship. Let’s look at one more passage of scripture.
“The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you.
So Abram departed as the Lord had instructed, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran.”
Genesis 12:1, 4 NLT
“Then the Lord said to him, “No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own who will be your heir.” Then the Lord took Abram outside and said to him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!” And Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord counted him as righteous because of his faith. Then the Lord told him, “I Am the Lord who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land as your possession.” But Abram replied, “O Sovereign Lord, how can I be sure that I will actually possess it?””
Genesis 15:4-8 NLT
I’ve preselected a few verses for emphasis, but please read the entire chapters. I specifically chose the verse where Abram asked how will he be sure that all the unbelievable promises would come to pass. This was not showing a lack of faith, but curiosity on Abram’s part. I’ve had instances where God instructed me to do something and I’ve asked for clarity before moving forward. This is godly wisdom. We always want to be certain we’re hearing from the Lord. In Abram’s case, what God was promising wasn’t impossible or improbable, it was mind blowing. God assured him by taking him on a journey into the future. Verse 12-15. Notice God did not rebuke him as was the case with Zechariah and Gabriel see (Luke 1) This wasn’t unbelief or doubting, this was a wow moment. Verse 6 proves the point.
Friendship with God is worth pursuing. I believe it is the pinnacle of our faith walk. I shared a few months ago that, He shares His secrets with His friends. Jesus said it (John 15:15) and the Father proves it. We’re never in the dark when we are friends with God. No matter how far out His promises may be to us, we choose to believe. Every word will come to pass. It did for Abram. So much so that it required his name to be changed to Abraham to facilitate the enormity of the promise. His old identity could not handle the promise. So it is with us. We had to become new creations, in order to embrace and live this wonderful life. Friendship with God is huge!
“You have given me no descendants of my own, so one of my servants will be my heir.” Then the Lord said to him, “No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own who will be your heir.”
Genesis 15:3-4 NLT
“When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.’ Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life. I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to give you countless descendants.”
Then God said to Abraham, “Regarding Sarai, your wife—her name will no longer be Sarai. From now on her name will be Sarah. And I will bless her and give you a son from her! Yes, I will bless her richly, and she will become the mother of many nations. Kings of nations will be among her descendants.” Then Abraham bowed down to the ground, but he laughed to himself in disbelief. “How could I become a father at the age of 100?” he thought. “And how can Sarah have a baby when she is ninety years old?”
But God replied, “No—Sarah, your wife, will give birth to a son for you. You will name him Isaac, and I will confirm my covenant with him and his descendants as an everlasting covenant.”
Genesis 17:1-2, 15-17, 19 NLT
This was twenty-four years from Genesis 15. No doubt Abraham had settled into fatherhood with Ishmael. But God’s promises to friends never waivers. We may forget, but He doesn’t. Chapter 18 brings the promise back to life. This time Abraham wasn’t the only one hearing it, Sarah did too. Believing faith must be built in every willing participant’s heart in God’s promises. What you see in the natural may cause you to laugh at the promises God makes you, but still believe like faithful Abraham and you’ll see even in the waiting period that He gives you laughter in the end.
“Where is Sarah, your wife?” the visitors asked. “She’s inside the tent,” Abraham replied. Then one of them said, “I will return to you about this time next year, and your wife, Sarah, will have a son!” Sarah was listening to this conversation from the tent. Abraham and Sarah were both very old by this time, and Sarah was long past the age of having children.”
Genesis 18:9-11 NLT
I particularly like that it’s stated that Sarah was long past the age of having children. That’s a politically correct way of saying she was old. It shows that friends keep their word no matter how long it takes for the fulfillment. Have you received a word from the Lord? Have you received a “this time next year” word? Hold to it if you’re His friend. He knows that what He’s saying to us is bigger than our ability to grasp. He didn’t get angry at Abraham and Sarah, He’s not angry with you. They laughed at the human impossibility of it, but deep down the friend of God knew from past experiences that God is faithful. In verse 17-19 we read:
“Should I hide my plan from Abraham?” the Lord asked. “For Abraham will certainly become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him. I have singled him out so that he will direct his sons and their families to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just. Then I will do for Abraham all that I have promised.”
“For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.””
Romans 4:3 NLT
“It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world, and he received the righteousness that comes by faith. It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith—for he was like a foreigner, living in tents. And so did Isaac and Jacob, who inherited the same promise. Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God. It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed that God would keep his promise. And so a whole nation came from this one man who was as good as dead—a nation with so many people that, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore, there is no way to count them.”
Hebrews 11:7-12 NLT
So you want to be called a friend of God? The answer is simple. BELIEVE. You may need to pray like the man whose son was being tormented by demons, “Lord I believe, help my unbelief, but it’s a step in the right direction. Mark 9:23-25.
“Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?”
Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?”
John 11:26, 40 NLT
Written by permission of the Holy Spirit