Summary: Based on Chapter 12 of "A Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren, Part 1 of a 2-part study of how we can become intimate friends with God.
My Best Friend—Part 1
Additional References: The Bible Knowledge Commentary
The Purpose Driven Life, Chapt. 11, Rick Warren
a. If someone were to ask you to describe your best friend, how would you do it? Not describing the person, rather describing the qualities that make them your best friend.
b. Certainly your friendship could not be described like this.
Two men were out hunting in the northern U.S. Suddenly one yelled and the other looked up to see a grizzly charging them. The first started to frantically put on his tennis shoes and his friend anxiously asked, "What are you doing? Don’t you know you can’t outrun a grizzly bear?" "I don’t have to outrun a grizzly. I just have to outrun you!" (Author unknown)
c. Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines a friend as: (1) one attached to another by affection or esteem, (2) a companion, and (3) a favored companion.
d. Bits and Pieces, in the July 1991 issue wrote this:
A British publication once offered a prize for the best definition of a friend. Among the thousands of answers received were the following:
"One who multiplies joys, divides grief, and whose honesty is inviolable."
"One who understands our silence."
"A volume of sympathy bound in cloth."
"A watch that beats true for all time and never runs down."
The winning definition read: "A friend is the one who comes in when the whole world has gone out."
e. There is one who wants to be your best friend, but it takes effort on your part to establish that relationship.
f. God wants to be your best friend.
2. In the Beginning
a. In Eden the ideal friendship existed.
(1) Adam and Eve experienced and intimate friendship with God.
(2) No rituals, ceremonies, or religion—only a simple loving relationship between God and the people he created.
(3) They didn’t have to seek Him, He came to visit and talk with them.
b. Other Old Testament Friends
(1) Noah, Moses, and Abraham were called friends of God.
(a) Noah, because of his love for God and his value of their friendship, spent 120 years building a ship in the middle of the desert because he believed what God told him.
(b) Moses took on the mighty Pharaoh and led his people out of Egyptian captivity because of the value he placed on his friendship with God.
(c) Abraham became the father of many nations for the same reason.
(2) David was called “a man after God’s own heart.”
(3) Job and Enoch also had intimate friendships with God, all because of the loving relationship they had with him.
c. Unlike these mighty predecessors of ours, we don’t have to spend hours preparing to meet Him. We can approach Him in our time and on our terms.
Read Romans 5:11—Now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God—all because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us in making us friends of God. (NLT)
(1) Our wonderful new friendship is possible only because of His grace and because of what His son, Jesus Christ did for us.
Read 2 Corinthians 5:18—All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.
(2) We sing the great old hymn What a Friend We Have in Jesus, but God invites us to be friends with more than just His son. He invites us to be friends with the entire trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Read John 15:15—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 have learned from my Father I have made known to you.
(a) The word translated friend in this verse does not mean a casual acquaintance. It means a close, trusted relationship.
(b) The same word is used to refer to the best man at a wedding and a king’s inner circle of intimate, trusted friends.
d. Surprising as it may be, God deeply desires that we know him intimately.
(1) He planned the universe and coordinated history, including the details of our lives, so we could become His friends.
Read Acts 17:26-27—He made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark, but actually find him. (MSG)
(2) The privilege is ours and the pleasure is His—knowing and loving God.
e. What does it mean when God wants me as a friend? By looking closely at the lives of God’s friends in the Bible, six secrets of friendship with Him are revealed.