"This life therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed." --Martin Luther

Thursday, July 22, 2010

friend of god?

We sang this song in church last week. During rehearsal we talked about this a bit. Theologically we base the song on God calling Abraham his friend in the Old Testament, and in John 15:15 Jesus says, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
Our worship pastor pointed out that never in the bible though, does it say anybody called God friend. He likened it to the Office of President (not the person per se!). What would you do if the President asked you to be his friend, his confidant? To you, he would still be “Mr. President,” wouldn’t he? There is a respect for the Office and the responsibility of it. If he told you he wanted to confide in you, to tell you what he know, the secrets, the personal challenges…we’d consider it a privilege wouldn’t we? But really, I ask-would you really want it?
God wants us to be His friend-He wants to show us what He sees, tell us things He knows, what He says. Jesus says they were His friends because He made known to them the master’s business.
You know what my first thought was? Considering where I am right now and where I have been, if this is being God’s friend, and if knowing what He knows (and wants me to know) hurts like this-I don’t want it.
Do I really want to know (and feel) what He does? The love, sure. The sorrows, the hurts…definitely not so much. Think of the weight of the knowledge and power the Office of the US President alone holds. The lives at stake and the ramifications of all your decisions, the pressures. Would you really want to be a part of that? Would you WANT to take that on yourself? Our pride probably says sure, but really? Think about it.
Now multiply that times infinity and that’s what God wants us to feel. He wants us to feel the love He has for the hurting, the oppressed, the needy, the not-so-needy. That’s the weight off the world on Jesus’ shoulders. I think He also wants us to feel the insults, the losses, the pain, the suffering. God wants us to be more like Christ, and guess what? Christ hurt. He hurt for you and me. Never will we feel the extent of what Jesus went through (PTL!), but we can and will know just a hint of His pain, His suffering…His love.
Now, if we knew that this is what we were getting into, why would we want to be God’s friend? If feeling (just a small touch of) that pain was part of it, when just a touch can be so overwhelming, why would we do that?
But we do. Why? Because He created us that way. He created us for a relationship with Him. Our earthly relationships aren’t even a tinge of what our Father wants with us. In David Platt’s new book, Radical, he states, “We do have to love him in a way that makes our closest relationships in this world look like hate.” (pp12-13)
Once we do know what being His friend involves, we still stay His friend. What the? Why? What draws us, what makes us want to be in the constant friendship with God? HE does. It’s nothing we do on our own. We can’t will it ourselves-believe me, I have tried. My best intentions, they ALWAYS fall way short.
And what do we do with the Father’s business, what do we do with those feelings? Do they break our hearts the way the Father’s is broken over us and drive us to action? Or do they hurt and hurt, but cause us to become apathetic because the pain and the suffering can be so deep? What can I, as one person do?
What is the responsibility that comes with this friendship to God? The God who calls me friend, the God whom I am to reverently call God.

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