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You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. (John 15:14-15).
“[B]ut I have called you friends….” Jesus said to his disciples that he calls them friends rather than servants. But there was also a qualifier included, “if you do what I command you.” So then Jesus’ disciples did what he commanded them and all that Jesus heard from his Father he made known to his disciples. What an amazing privilege for Jesus to disclose all that he heard from his Father to his disciples because they did what he commanded and therefore were now his friends rather than servants.
Is it easy or hard to do what is commanded of you if you love someone? Probably the answer would be easy. Because when you love someone, your desire is to please them. So if someone you love asks you to do something, you naturally want to do what they ask or command. Not begrudgingly — but willingly — out of a heart of obedience.
Just like you love your spouse or children, when they ask you to do something for them, you want to do that for them because you love them. But if your love has grown cold, you do it more out of a duty because you’re suppose to. And eventually you also become less likely to want to do something for someone because you don’t love them. It becomes something to check off your list rather than happily obeying.
But with the help of the Holy Spirit, you can cultivate the love for the Father that wants to do what’s pleasing in His sight. And when you do what He commands with the kind of love that’s from a pure heart, a beautiful friendship develops. And your love for God intensifies and grows.
Who Can Have a Friendship With God?
In How the Gift of Prophecy is Relevant for Today, I talk about how the gift of prophecy is having the kind of friendship with God where He tells you secrets. But does this mean that if you don’t the gift of prophecy, you can’t have a friendship with God? No, absolutely not.
All of God’s children can have an intimate friendship with Him. God desires this friendship with all His children and He speaks to them no matter what gift they have received from the Holy Spirit. When you have this close friendship with God, He speaks with His children personally. He does this through the Bible, by bringing spontaneous thoughts to mind, through other people, etc. And He speaks in many ways to His children to encourage, build up, console and so forth.
Jesus is a friend of sinners. He didn’t come to save the righteous, but the unrighteous (Luke 5:32). And friendship with God is available to all believers, regardless of the gifts that God bestows upon you. Do you want that kind of friendship with God?
Personal Revival Can Help Bring a Closer Friendship
Any relationship is something you develop over time. It should become richer and deeper as the years go by. This kind of friendship is where you speak with God naturally throughout the day. He’s the first person you desire to speak with and to seek wisdom and direction in a situation. This is what any close friendship looks like commonly, you want this friend’s advice and spend time with them.
And in any relationship there are ebbs and flows. But there are certain times where a rushing river comes upon that relationship, and that relationship takes a new depth quickly. This rushing river should change the relationship for the better.
Personal revival can come in unexpected ways. I’ve had my own a couple of different times where it’s brought me into a deeper relationship with God. A personal revival doesn’t leave you unchanged. It should not only bring you closer to the Lord, but your heart should be changed as well. Each revival that God brings into your life does a work on your heart such as exposing and purging you of certain sins — and this may also include bestowing additional spiritual gifts.
Therefore, these changes usually involve some surgery on your heart that involves chipping away at the stoney portions. God wants you to more and more reflect Christ’s image and some things need to be gone. Therefore, revival never leaves a person unchanged because when the Spirit comes upon you so powerfully, the effects leave you a different person.
And not only does He want you to reflect Christ’s image, He also wants you to have a reverence and awe of him, along with a deeper friendship with Him. A revival has a way of doing all of these things.
Seeking God’s Friendship
Sinners, who Jesus came to save, can have an intimate friendship with God. You’re no longer an outcast, and separated from God because of your sin. And a more deeper friendship wih God includes Him revealing what is on His heart for you. He not only reveals His feelings toward you through the Bible, but spontaneously brings to your mind reminders of how He feels toward you. How wonderful is that when you need to hear from your Father, He speaks. He brings truth to bear to mind.
“And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3).
When you desire a friendship with someone, you want to know them deeply. When you want a friendship with God, you want to know Him more. Not to just know about Him, but to truly hunger and thirst to know the one true God intimately and Christ who was sent by Him. A more intimate friendship can come through personal revival, but also these 4 ways, which may also begin a revival:
(1) WALK WITH GOD DAILY:
Don’t neglect your relationship with God. You need to keep in touch. Friendships aren’t strengthened with neglect and distance. Keep the relationship a priority and read the Word of God everyday to hear from the Father. Change comes from hearing the Word. You also need to walk that out by doing the Word of God. He wants the love you have for Him to be seen and manifested.
(2) SPEAK WITH GOD:
Is your first instinct to speak with God in order to seek His counsel first before anyone else? He wants to be involved in every detail of your life and He is the one who is ultimately in control of it. God can provide wisdom and direction in different ways so be seeking His counsel. He also communicates with verses that He spontaneously brings to mind so it’s important to know His Word.
(3) BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT:
The Holy Spirit is also God. He gives you the ability to walk out this Christian life. You need to filled with the Spirit continuously to walk in power and strength provided by Him in order to do what God is calling you to do. This includes the ability to love God and love others that you’re not able to do in your own strength.
(4) PRAY FOR MORE LOVE FOR GOD:
God sees where you’re at. He doesn’t want your heart to be cold towards Him. Friendship doesn’t work when you have no love for a person. Continuously pray to love God with all of your heart, with all of your soul and with all of your mind (Matt. 22:37). You’re not alone, my heart is prone to wander and is fickle. But God answers this prayer to love Him more, which is straight from His word.
So continue to seek God’s friendship and grow in a love for Him that does what He commands with an obedient heart.
What are some other ways that I haven’t mentioned that you can seek a friendship with God? Thanks!