Summary: Talk about how Friendship with God sometimes is difficult, but it’s worth it.

Friendship with God

The Realites

Blizzard. gb. 2/18/06

(Clip from Bruce Almighty- “Give me a Sign...smite me o mighty smiter”)

This morning we’re going to be talking about the realities of friendship with God. Some of you made the most important decision of your life last night when you decided to allow God to be your friend, and some of you made that decision at some other point in your life, and some of the stuff I share today may be something you’ve experienced. The truth about friendship with God is that it’s a lot like some of our other friendships. It takes a lot of work, and sometimes it’s no walk in the park. It can get pretty hairy, and downright hard to be God’s friend. The reality is that it’s not going to be easy.

God may allow you to go through a rough time. Your parents may get divorced, and you’re going to think it’s the end of the world as you know it. Your dad or your mom may lose their job, and all of a sudden you don’t have the nice things that you used to have. Your grandparents may die, and you wonder why? Your cousin that you looked up to during your childhood may hold up a 7-eleven and go to prison for 8 years. Your brother may go through routine surgery, but almost die because the doctor made a mistake, and you wonder why would God allow him to go through that? Some pretty rough things may happen, and believe me they could…because all of this stuff happened to me. I became God’s friend when I was 8 years old, but I never really lived like a Christian. I thought God was this Cosmic Santa Clause that wanted to bless me when I was a good little boy. But sometimes I thought God was a big kid with a magnifying glass and I was the ant hill he was trying to destroy. As I grew up, I realized that God really did care, and He really was going to be my best friend. Yeah, my grandparents died, but they’re in a better place now…they’re with God. Yeah, my cousin did go to prison, but his family still loves him and visited him every week. He gets released this fall, and you better believe he learned some very valuable lessons. Yeah, my brother did have jaw surgery and almost choked to death on some gauze that was left in his throat, but he lived to tell about it. Yeah, my dad lost his job and went into a state of depression. We had several cars repossessed by the bank, and I didn’t have the awesome truck that he had bought me, but I got a job and got my own car, I learned responsibility and trust. Yeah, my parent’s got divorced, and they’re both still not very happy, but I got to see my parents together for 26 years, and I learned what worked in their marriage, and I try to learn from what didn’t. Psalm 139:16 say, “all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Once I realized that God knew everything that was going to happen in my life, and that He didn’t intervene in certain situations, I understood what He was doing. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” That word workmanship in the greek is poiema (poyama) and it means a product, a thing that is made, a work of art. You see, I understood that God was at work on me, and that those experiences in my life were helping to shape me into the work of art that He was and is still creating.

You see, as God’s friends, sometimes it’s not going to be easy. Sometimes we’ll want to scream at Him and say Why? Why are you doing this? Why is this happening? But if we take the time to invest in our friendship with God, to truly get to know God, we’ll know what he’s doing. Phil. 1:6 says, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work on you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” God began a work in you the moment you believed in Him, whether that was 1 day ago, or several years ago, God started a work in you to make you more and more like Him, and the things that you experience help in shaping and completing that work in you.

Once we understand the reality that friendship with God isn’t easy, we can look at the other side of the friendship. It’s this: friendship with God isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. I saw a skit a while back that perplexed and challenged me at the same time. There were two guys. One guy was God, and the other was just like you or me. The guy like you or me had just said a prayer, “God, help me to be more like you. Mold me and make me.” And just then, God, like he’s creating a sculpture starts massaging and smoothing out the rough edges. Then he takes a hammer and chisel and starts chiseling away at the guys shoulder. “owww…what are you doing? That hurts!!” And God says, “you wanted me to make you more like me, didn’t you?” “well, yes, but I didn’t know it would hurt!” The truth is that sometimes it will hurt, but it’s worth it. When I saw that skit, I was in the process of changing some things in my life, and I realized that I was undergoing some chiseling myself. God has been doing an extreme makeover on me over the past several months, and a lot of it has been painful, but it’s been worth it.

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