Summary: What type of relationship does God want to have with you? God desires you to become His friend.
Last week… One of the most important questions that we can consider in our lives is that of what kind of relationship we are having with God. If our lives are part of something intended… then nothing matters more than considering our relationship to the great Intender. .. that which transcends our material and time bound experience.
Yet as we consider that question we can realize that there is an even more fundamental question: What type of relationship does God want to have with you?
This may be the most important question we could even dare to ask. Because the relationship you end up having with God will not simply be a matter of what you desire… but of what God desires.
> Here is the remarkable news: God desires you to become His friend.
You may recall from last week…
James 2:23 (GW)
Abraham is the one who God first calls out … calls out from all the religious worship… and makes himself known to. And because Abraham chose to trust God … he is the first to be called a friend of God. And God said that through the lineage of Abraham… God would bring forth a suffering servant to redeem all. Jesus comes in the fulfillment of that divine promise… and declares that God’s reign / kingdom is now at hand… breaking in. And as he shares the love and leadership of God… shortly before he is crucified… he explains to his followers…
John 15:15 (MSG)
“I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father.”
The creator of the universe is eternal… all powerful… and desires us to be His friends.
God wants you to be His friend. It is a desire that lies in the eternal personal creator of all things. It is an unchanging desire.
In fact…God loves us in the same way that God loves God. The measure of the Father’s love (affection) for Jesus is the measure of His love for us. This is the ultimate statement of our worth.
John 15:9 (ESV)
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.”
John 17:23 (ESV)
Jesus prays to God the Father… “…that the world may know that you … loved them even as you loved me.”
So why don’t we naturally develop that relationship?
Lots of reasons. I don’t want to simplify all that may be involved with what we face and feel in developing a relationship with God. But I do want to help us find some direction… and I think it begins with recognizing a little twist in disposition.
The Original Garden
Who was in control? > God
Who did they enjoy ‘walking in the cool of the day’ with? > God… they had companionship.
> They sought to be like God
"… you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
Trying to be more than human they became less than human… alienated from the very source of their humanity.
They quickly seek to hide from God.
> They sought control… and lost connection….companionship.
I want to clarify the nature of the control being referred to. There’s nothing wrong with wanting some control over things…. if it is relative to the greater control which we entrust in companionship to God. But ever since the Garden, we have not operated as caretakers in relationship to God. We’ve no longer been the entrusted friends… but chosen autonomy.
It’s the difference between true response-ability and false control. The Scriptures don’t undermine ambition… but rather SELFISH AMBITION. The truth is that God is ambitious… and looking for radical world-changing revolutionaries…. Warriors of His love… BUT NOT KINGS.
There are no job openings in the Trinity. Creation offers no openings for the role of God. Rather God is looking for friends.
Our most fundamental longings have been corrupted… and become confused
We grasp at control… at the expense of connection… companionship
This is why Jesus says ‘look at the animals’… ‘look at the children.’ ? They reflect a trusting relationship. In contrast, as humans we reflect that which seeks to control instead of relate.
Illustration – Those who become the most consumed by control… are those who whose humanity seems most distorted… History reveals this … from Adolph Hitler to Howard Hughes. Those who were most seduced into god-like sense of independent control… deteriorated into a distorted and detached line of isolation.
- Notably they are generally men
It is our great deception that we can substitute control for connection / companionship
Consider this tendency amidst human culture. We have developed weopans that can destroy our entire planet… for the sake of power and control. We are consumed by the things we can create…. Buying what we don’t really need beyond what actually is satisfying us. And our pursuit of knowledge is driven with an illusion of control itself. Coupled with our culture of technology we live with the “false illusion that it is possible to control ourselves, others, other nations, and even creation itself. The illusion of our culture is the ability to be God, to know and explain everything. When we presume control through our knowledge… our scientific culture defines reality, everything that cannot be measured, understood or controlled is dismissed, and God cannot be measured, understood, or controlled.”