How to Be a Friend of God

When was the last time you ordered food or coffee from a drive-thru? Maybe you visit the same place frequently. Perhaps you have become familiar with the person who takes your order every day.  You might even know their name.

But do you really know them? You may exchange “good mornings,” on a regular basis but you really know nothing about them. You order, you pay, you smile and say thank-you as they hand you your order. Then you drive away.

Isn’t that how we sometimes treat God? We know where to go for what we need. We can express our needs in a clear way. We pay our dues by trying to do the things we know God expects. Finally, we thank Him for all he does for us and then we… drive away.

Beth Moore said in a devotion I read recently, “We cannot have a drive-thru relationship with God and expect to behold His glory.”

God wants more from us than a list of requests and a few words of appreciation.  He wants relationship.

Think of your best friend. Does that person know things about you that most people don’t? How did that happen? They know you because they have spent time with you. Probably LOTS of time. When you are with your friend, wouldn’t you rather go to a nice restaurant where you can sit and talk and laugh together instead of going through the drive-thru? Or maybe you would have them over to your house for a meal and an evening of visiting. God wants us to spend time with Him like we do our friends. He wants to tell us things that only His closest friends know.

A while back I wrote a devotion called, “Do You Have a BFF?”  where I talked about how well God knows you and wants to bless you. He knows everything about you. But He wants more than a relationship where He knows you. He wants you to know HIM. He has so much to tell you!  Spend some time just sitting in His presence and listening to His voice.

God is who He says He is but how will we believe it unless we get to know Him? How can we trust Him if we don’t know Him? And how can we get to know Him if we treat Him like a Drive-Thru God?

“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”– Jeremiah 29:13(ESV)

“So the Scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness, and he was called God’s friend” – James 2:23 (HCSB)

Friends For This Life and the Next

Back in December I wrote a post where I made this statement:

The real friends you make in your life will always be with you, no matter where you live. The miles or the years make no difference. (read the rest of that post here.)

This weekend we had the opportunity to spend some time with some friends from Iowa. These friends are relatively new to our lives, just a couple of years, but we’ve bonded in a special way. God does that sort of thing.

When we received the call asking if we could transport them from the airport to the dock where they would board their cruise ship we were thrilled to agree. So a week ago we drove them the half hour from the airport to the ship port and then yesterday we did the trip in reverse with a slight detour for lunch. We had a wonderful time just visiting as friends. The location for lunch was chosen spontaneously. No need to pick the right place to impress anyone, no agenda, no real plan except to be at the airport on time.  It was a very relaxing visit with much laughter and many words of encouragement shared.

What a blessing to have friends that you can just be yourself with. Those are the friends for life. You can’t help but be encouraged when you get the opportunity to be together, even for a short time.  And isn’t that what God intended friendship to be? A true source of encouragement.

I have already written more emails and letters in the last month than I have in a very long time.  I have chosen to be intentional about keeping connected to those who have become a part of my life.  For 10 years we have done this with the friends we left in Ohio, now we add more precious folks from Iowa to our circle.  We are so blessed!

Some of our special friends have gone on to their Heavenly homes and it is also a blessing to know we’ll be together again one day. And what a reunion that will be!

Sometimes you have friends who are in need and you do whatever you can to help them. We saw that kind of outpouring of love when we were preparing to move.  Many friends came to offer their help and encouragement. It meant so much to us.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.

Can I ask you to pray for a friend of mine? We have friends we have known for over 30 years who are in a difficult time in their lives. We haven’t seen them in many years, but we share many memories and feel connected to them even today.  Four years ago they lost everything in a fire.  They have spent those years rebuilding their lives only to lose it all again to yet a second house fire this past week.  I can’t imagine what they are experiencing. My heart aches for their family.  If you would add Steve and Lyn North to your prayer list I would be grateful.  And if you are interested in helping in a tangible way or just reading about the incredible work God has allowed Steve to be part of in Toledo, Ohio you can get more information by clicking on the following links.

Lifeline Toledo

Help the Norths