a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations.
a person who is not an enemy or who is on the same side.
I like reading the different ways any given word is defined.
Many words can be used when explaining what another word could or would mean.
Meanings change over time, or new and different meanings can be attached to certain words.
The word friend is one word which can carry quite a bit of weight.
Context serves the means by which any word is understood, what is being meant when that word is used in a message.
But you, Israel, My servant,
Jacob, whom I have chosen,
you descendants of Abraham My friend...
- Isaiah 41: 8Could you imagine being called God's friend?
The Being who created the universe; all things seen and unseen, considering you His friend!?
How would it feel if you were to hear God call you His friend?
What would that friendship look and be defined as?
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are My friends if you do what I command. 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: 13-15We can agree that a human friendship isn't dependent on obedience to another human being.
That would be quite the opposite definition of what a human would consider the idea of friendship to be, building upon the “mutual affection” mentioned in the definition above.
So does God put an unusual demand on us when asking obedience in return for friendship?
Does this sound unreasonable?
Think of any new or old friend you now have; a good friend whom you trust and is dependable... or at least you are trustworthy and dependable towards them.
Doesn't a certain level of expectation already exist in how you speak with and treat one another?
Is the manner in which you speak and treat your friend built in disrespect and an unloving way?
Or isn't there a clear effort to do what is right, good, kind and loving towards your friend?
Don't you have an expectation of the same type of treatment from this friend?
This is where the concept of obedience comes into the picture.
Hasn't God been a best friend to us all?
We are here on earth, now alive.
We've been sustained so far, despite our expectations of more things or a greater lifestyle.
We exist, and in that reality and context, God has been very good to us; making us in His likeness.
So where is our reciprocation towards God?
And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.
- James 2: 23-24So where, again, is our reciprocation towards God?
A: believing God at His Word and doing as He calls us to do.
God desires a friendship based on the very premise we expect from our human friends.
Imagine for a moment the friend you have treated and spoken to in love, kindness and fairness your entire life... and this person never responding in kind to you.
It would be a one-sided friendship and relationship.
You would wonder why that person doesn't respond to your love... or if they even care to value your friendship.
Here we see the second definition of friendship: “a person who is not an enemy or who is on the same side”.
God calls us to be on His side, not be an enemy by the way we may respond to His friendship.
Surely we need God and His friendship more than He needs ours... yet He has already gone far and beyond in being the best of friends to us.