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Learn 4 ways how we can grow in our friendship with Jesus. We will look into John 15 meaning on the topic of being friends with God.
Being friends with Jesus is one of the BEST things ever. And I want to share with you my testimony on this and some key ways we can grow in our friendship with Christ.
I will be mainly focusing on John 15 for this post, but will have some other Bible references as well. If you would like to read or review the chapter you can click the John reference above.
Jesus Wants To Be Your Friend
There are lots of different ways our relationship with God is described or mentioned as in the Bible. We are called His children, the bride, and servants. And I love how Paul describes himself as a prisoner stating he has been captured by Jesus.
But there is one type of relationship that God longs with us that is truly sweet and that is friendship. Throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament, we see this longing in God to be friends with us.
I want to share a quick testimony on my this revelation of friendship with Jesus.
From Servant to Friend – My Testimony
I was radically saved at the age of 15. You can read a quick version of my testimony here. I was so grateful for my salvation that for about 2.5 years in my walk with God I would pretty much daily pray… “God, I am your servant, please use me and help me…” Even in worship, I would state to God I was His servant.
My email, AIM, and other usernames online were “ServantofGod.” I wrote in my journals and other places. It was such a huge part of who I was to God and who God was to me. I felt so grateful and wanted to give back to Him. I felt like being a servant to Him would do that.
I never shared that with anyone or told anyone how I prayed. I figured it was no big deal and between God and me.
One day as a teenager I snuck into the back at the school of ministry class at my church. There was a guest speaker and I wanted to hear him. He was wrapping up his teaching and started ministering to the students. I stayed near the back just observing.
All of sudden he called me out and he began to pray over me. I was in shock and super excited cause I thought he would give me a word. But it was short-lived because a lady came right up to him and said, “We have to get going…”
So, he stopped praying for me and in a hurry grabbed a pen and wrote on my hand a Bible verse reference. He apologized to me and said he had to go.
I walked to the back of the room feeling super bummed he didn’t get to pray and prophecy over me. I looked at the verse on my hand and thought very little of it ( I know…I know…but being honest). But I felt gypped.
I grabbed my Bible and looked up the verse….
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 learned from my Father I have made known to you. -John 15:15
The presence of God came so strong on me as I read the verse. And I heard the Holy Spirit say to me that He was not looking for a servant but for a friend.
I cried. And cried…as the Lord ministered to me about our friendship. It radically changed how I viewed my relationship with Jesus. To this day when I think about this encounter, it brings tears to my eyes.
That guest speaker didn’t even know me. He came from out of town. He didn’t know how I prayed or what I wrote in my journals, or what my email was. I was just some random teenage kid standing in the back.
He knew. And God cared enough to speak to that minister and have him share God’s heart to me. It changed me.
I know God values friendship. He is not looking for a bunch of servants to do His bidding. He wants a people who call Him friend, who love Him and follow Him.
I hope my testimony on my friendship with God has blessed you. It’s been close to 17 years since this happened and it still moves me.
Growing in our Friendship with Jesus
I think when most people hear the word obedience we cringe. We think of overpowering teachers and controlling parents. And it’s easy to make those images into what God is. But it’s a distorted view of Him.
Our source of understanding of who God is and what He truly is like we must come from an understanding of His word.
When God asks for obedience He is doing it from a place of love for us and pure truth.
Like a good caring father trying to guide his child. And the child follows his father’s instructions because he trusts him and knows he has good intentions towards him.
It’s not out of control or a power trip. That’s what people do because they are insecure, fearful, and hungry for power.
If you keep My commandments [if you continue to obey My instructions], you will abide in My love and live on in it, just as I have obeyed My Father’s commandments and live on in His love. I have told you these things, that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy and gladness may be of full measure and complete and overflowing. John 15: 10-11 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . You are My friends if you keep on doing the things which I command you to do. John 15:14
Follow God’s Word out of a relationship with Him (not legalistically) and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. – John 15:4-5 NKJV
Like with any friendship or relationship, time spent together makes a huge difference. I can’t tell you the number of friendships that have dwindled away because they moved away or we stopped hanging out.
And most of the time it wasn’t because something happened but just the lack of spending time together. You can easily go from a good friend to acquaintances as years go by without connection.
If we neglect our time with Jesus it will affect our relationship with Him. Just like it does our earthly relationships. And I am not talking about doing things for Jesus but actually spending time with him in prayer, worship, and meditation of the Word.
Getting in God’s presence needs to be a priority in our lives. This is part of our friendship with Him. Friends spend time together!
A good gage of if you are abiding in Christ is the fruit in your life. Jesus makes it clear spending time with Him will result in…GOOD fruit.
What should our fruit look like?
I love how Galatians 5:22 makes it so easy for us to understand what the fruit of the Spirit should look like in our lives.
- Forbearance (patience)
Loving God and loving others is part of our foundation as Christians. Jesus made that clear when He told us the two greatest commandments were just that. (Matthew 22:36-40)
This is My commandment: that you love one another [just] as I have loved you. No one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends. John 15:12-13
One of the problems with love is that we think when we are supposed to love it’s supposed to look like what we think or what the world says love is.
But according to scripture the love God talks about is very different. It’s called Agape love in the Greek. Here is a great video from The Bible Project on the topic.
I hope it brings you clarity on what loves is according to God’s word and heart.
Faith – Abraham: A Friend of God
If we look at John 15 you won’t see the word faith mentioned. But you have to look a little deeper to see it.
You can’t obey God’s commands, abide in Him, and love Him and others without FAITH. Look at it this way…
Faith is the fire that ignites our actions.
The first person in scripture to be mentioned as a friend of God is Abraham. I’m not going to lie it’s pretty awesome that Abraham was able to get friendship status with God before the new covenant. And it was all because of FAITH.
And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and this [faith] was credited to him [by God] as righteousness and as conformity to His will,” and he was called the friend of God. – James 2:23 AMP
And we know first hand that we can’t please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6-8). If we want to grow in our friendship with Jesus we must grow in our faith.
Faith needs to be a part of our walk with God. Without it, everything crumbles. If you are hungry to grow more in your faith then check out: 4 Easy Keys to Growing Your Faith
OTHER VERSES MENTIONING ABRAHAM AS A FRIEND OF GOD
Our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? – 2 Chronicles 20:7 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . But you, Israel, My servant,
Jacob whom I have chosen,
The offspring of Abraham My friend – Isaiah 41:8
More on Friendship with God
If you would like to grow more on the topic on Friendship God and friendships in the Christian faith then please visit the posts below!