Friendship With God
8Whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people would rise and stand, each of them, at the entrance of their tents and watch Moses until he had gone into the tent. 9 When Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and the Lord would speak with Moses. 10 When all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would rise and bow down, all of them, at the entrance of their tent. 11 Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then he would return to the camp; but his young assistant, Joshua son of Nun, would not leave the tent.–Exodus 33:8-11 | NRSV
I have found that often people are clueless about how to develop and deepen a relationship with God. More specifically and personally, how do you become a friend of God? The truth of the matter is that God has sent a friend request through Jesus Christ to you. Believe it or not, God wants to be your friend and mine. The only question is: Do we want to be God’s friend?
If so, then approach the development of a friendship with God the some way you would a human friendship. Set up times to talk and find a place to meet up. When you talk, be open and honest. Use everyday language, not the language of Christian piety nor what I call “church-speak”. In fact, share with God, be it audibly or silently, whatever is on your mind and heart, irrespective of how awful or beautiful it may seem. Share everything; after all, nothing is out of bounds or off-limits. God simply wants to experience you trusting him with your truth. Besides, God will never betray your confidence.
At the same time, make sure that you listen to God speak to and through your life. To hear him, however, you might need to find a quiet place and be still. Frederick Buechner, a celebrated author and a practical theologian, has wisely observed, “God’s word of power always proceeds from silence.” That is, when we are quiet and shut out all other discordant sounds and confusing voices, then we create the conditions which makes it possible for us to hear God speak.
In the Hebrew Scriptures, God tended to speak directly only to special figures, such as Moses or Sarah. In the Christian Scriptures, however, God makes it known that he desire to receive and answer our prayers. What’s more, he longs to know us and be known by us. Like a good friend, he wants what’s best for us, challenges us to be our best selves, and comforts us when we are at worst and/or weakest selves.
When is the last time to you talked to God, your best friend and biggest fan? What do you do when you feel as if he’s not talking to you? Or, why and when do tend to stop talking to him? Has God ever shared with you something about yourself or himself through the Scriptures? How might you be a better friend to God?