The Secrets of Friendship with the Lord:
“Friendship with the Lord is reserved for those who fear him; with them he shares the secrets of his covenant.” (Psalm 25:14; NLT).
Do you want to develop a closer, more intimate relationship with the Lord? That has been my heart’s cry and desire for as long as I’ve been a Christian. Like the Apostle Paul, “my determined purpose is that I may know Him, that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him…” (Phil. 3:10, Amplified Bible). But how can we as finite and sinful creatures ever hope to have a close and intimate friendship with an infinite and holy God? The most logical answer of course is to come to Him on HIS terms, as He has outlined them in the Holy Scriptures. Today I want to share with you a few things that I have learned about the secrets of friendship with the Lord.
1. THE FOUNDATION – FEAR OF THE LORD:
“Friendship with the Lord is reserved for those who fear him…” (Psalm 25:14).
The first and most important ingredient in a relationship with God is a healthy fear of the Lord. By fear I don’t mean to say that we are scared of God, but rather that we have a respect for who He is. God isn’t my buddy or my best friend – He is the Lord God Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth. We need to remember that He is the Creator, and we are His creation; He is the Shepherd, and we are the sheep; He is the Father, and we are the children. When we keep that in the right perspective, it will help us to have a close friendship with God.
2. OVERCOMING ROADBLOCKS TO FRIENDSHIP WITH THE LORD:
“Adulterers and adulteresses. Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God…But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” (James 4:4-10).
If we want to have a close friendship with God, we need to be aware of certain roadblocks that will keep us from getting close to Him. Friendship with the world. Pride. Rebellion against God. Sin. All of these things must be overcome if we want to maintain a healthy friendship with God. We need to humble ourselves, submit to God, resist the devil (and his temptations to sin), and then actively draw near to God, and He will draw near to us. We need to cleanse our hands and purify our hearts
3. PRACTICAL HELPS TO DRAWING CLOSE TO GOD:
If we want to draw close to God, we must read our Bibles, pray, and worship. These three basic and foundational disciplines are keys to developing intimacy with the Almighty. If we want to learn the secrets of friendship with the Lord, then let’s begin by cultivating a healthy fear of the Lord, overcome the roadblocks to our friendship with Him, and avail ourselves of the practical helps to drawing close to God. He is a friend who will stick closer than a brother, and nothing will ever separate you from His love.
Pastor Chris Jordan