Thursday, March 8, 2012

Is God Your Friend?

I’m not a big swearing girl. OK, I almost never say anything even remotely questionable…most of the “biggies” I’ve never said in my life. So when going through the list of the Ten Commandments, I usually feel pretty good at “Do not take the name of the Lord in vain.” Check. Got that one….I’m doing one right!! Yippeee…..

Well, this week Josh, who preached, talked about extending that commandment to mean more than just refraining from swearing. He spoke of truly honoring the name of God with our lives. Having that same sense of importance in “wearing the name” that a sports team might feel…..when you’re wearing the jersey, you live differently. (OK….So now Tammy can no longer feel smug about mastering one of the commandments!) That sparked a discussion in small group about what honoring God and living to glorify His name might look like. Which lead to one of the topics I’ve hashed over in my head a number of times due to the fact that it gets brought up in Christian circles frequently. It goes like this:

There’s a discussion about being aware of God’s holiness and his greatness, of seeing how powerful He is and being in awe of Him. In the midst of the discussion someone invariably makes this comment, “We put too much emphasis on being God’s friend, his buddy.  What we really need to do is fear the Lord more. We need more awe. We need to see that He is holy.” This always bothers me and I have never been able to articulate my struggle… until last night.

For me, when someone says “we need to fear the Lord more”, my tendency is to step away from Him. Focusing on how holy He is usually causes me to pull away. But when someone says “we put too much emphasis on being God’s friend” I feel guilty, because my relationship with the Lord is something I cherish. Feeling guilty about calling God my friend causes me to pull away, too. Either way I find myself distant from Him. Then I’m confused because this whole line of thinking is not helping me at all.

Last night I had an epiphany.  Drawing close to the Lord and being intimate with Him brings me into a state of awe. The closer I get to God the more amazed I am by Him. When people are talking about being too buddy, buddy with God, I think what they really mean is too casual. They are treating God like one of the “bros”. I think it’s a kind of indifference, like “God won’t care, He’s cool.” Being indifferent or casual about the Lord does show a lack of respect and honor.  Sincerely loving God as the precious and amazing Lord that He is…that’s not casual at all. That’s intimate. That’s close. I can’t get too close to God. The closer I get, the more I appreciate and love Him. And that always leads to awe.  So I’m going to go ahead and call God my dearest friend…and I’m not one bit ashamed about it!

John 15:15(NKJV)
No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.

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