“Since we were restored to friendship with God by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be delivered from eternal punishment by his life.” (Romans 5:10 NLT)
Your relationship to God has many different aspects: God is your Creator and Maker, Lord and Master, Judge, Redeemer, Father, Savior, and much more (Psalm 89:26, 95:6, 136:3; Isaiah 33:22, 47:4; John 13:13; 1 John 3:1; Jude 1:4).
But the most shocking truth is this: Almighty God yearns to be your Friend!
In Eden we see God’s ideal relationship with us: Adam and Eve enjoyed an intimate friendship with God. There were no rituals, ceremonies, or religion — just a simple loving relationship between God and the people he created. Unhindered by guilt or fear, Adam and Eve delighted in God, and he delighted in them.
We were made to live in God’s continual presence, but after the Fall, that ideal relationship was lost. Only a few people in Old Testament times had the privilege of friendship with God. Moses and Abraham were called “friends of God,” David was called “a man after my own heart,” and Job, Enoch, and Noah had intimate friendships with God (Genesis 5:22 (NLT), 6:8; Exodus 33:11, 17; 2 Chronicles 20:7; Job 29:4; Isaiah 41:8; Acts 13:22; James 2:23).
But fear of God, not friendship, was more common in the Old Testament. Then Jesus changed the situation. When he paid for our sins on the cross, the veil in the temple that symbolized our separation from God was split from top to bottom, indicating that direct access to God was once again available.
Unlike the Old Testament priests who had to spend hours preparing to meet God, we can now approach God anytime. The Bible says, “Now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God — all because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us in making us friends of God” (Romans 5:11 NLT).
Friendship with God is possible only because of the grace of God and the sacrifice of Jesus. “All this is done by God, who through Christ changed us from enemies into his friends” (2 Corinthians 5:18a TEV).
The old hymn says, “What a friend we have in Jesus,” but actually, God invites us to enjoy friendship and fellowship with all three persons of the Trinity: our Father, (1 John 1:3), the Son (1 Corinthians 1:9), and the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 13:14).
Talk About It
- How would your relationship with God change if you trusted and confided in him as you do your best friend?
- Talk about how Jesus’ death and Resurrection changed your position with God?
- What would enjoying fellowship with all three persons of the Trinity look like?
This May Saddleback Church will host Summit VIII to inspire and equip Christians to effectively live out God’s love for the orphan through adoption, foster care, and global initiatives. Learn more about Summit at www.summitviii.org.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America’s largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.