From the desk of Steve Shultz:
God created us to fellowship with Him. I appreciate this word from Luke Holter on what it means to walk in true friendship with God. Friendship with HIM is everything.
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Friendship with God - Acquaintance or Friend?
Friendship means understanding. Do you feel understood by God? Do you feel you understand God?
I was driving in my car a long while back and I was having a conversation with the Lord. I was talking to Him about what I perceived to be the level of expectation in my life from Him. I felt like I just couldn't measure up to what He was expecting of me. I finally asked in a pitiful cry, "What do you want from me anyway?" and He answered me back almost as soon as this question was out of my mouth, "I want to be your friend, Luke, and I don't NEED anything from you, but I WANT your love and friendship."
This raised an interesting question because I was feeling judged by God even though at the core of who I am I didn't know what God really wanted from me. It's funny, because I assumed God felt a certain way about me, but it was an assumption based on religious performance and not true friendship.
So what does it mean to have a friendship with God? Most of us ask this question at different points of our lives... We have many different relationships, but not necessarily friendships.
Acquaintance or Friend?
Moses met with God face to face as one friend speaks with another friend. Jesus met with us on this planet in the form of a human being and spoke to us face to face. Then the Holy Spirit came and lives in us and speaks to us even now face to face as a friend. One major factor that all these have in common is this: they all came to reveal the emotions of God to the hearts of men.
When I began looking at being a friend of God, the Holy Spirit asked me this question: "Is the Lord an acquaintance or a friend to you?"
The word acquaintance means "a personal knowledge as a result of study." So do you know God from study or from personal interaction where emotions are exchanged?
We are in a covenant relationship with God, and if you break down those words "covenant relationship" you learn that the word covenant actually means "to promise by a pledge" and relationship is defined as "an emotional connection between two beings." So, covenant relationship means "to promise by a pledge to have an emotional connection with someone." Wow, that is a promise from God to you!
God's ability to love you doesn't rest on your efforts to never fail again, but rather His greatness and strength are what secure His love for you. Meaning, God secures His own love for you...
God is love and what is love if not the deepest, most meaningful aspect of friendship?
God's Glory Follows Friendship
The revelation of God's beauty is essential in our quest to live holy before God. We resist sin far better when God fascinates our hearts. There is no greater pleasure than when God reveals Himself to the human spirit. One of God's main weapons against sin is an army of people captivated by His glory.
To sit and meditate on what God has done is to behold His glory or His emotions. It's opening your Bible and gazing upon the works of God's hands throughout Scripture and allowing that to penetrate your heart.
In Exodus 33:9-10, Moses prayed to see God's glory. God answered Moses; God promised to proclaim His name to Moses. When God proclaimed His name, He was proclaiming His character and His personality. Most of you understand that the name of God represents His personality and His character. In other words, God promised to manifest His personality to Moses. The way in which God reveals His glory to Moses is by revealing His heart and His personality.
"You have people grasping for their own perception of greatness not seeing how far below the line they are falling. 'If I preach this way or say these things I'll be powerful'... this is not the case! Power and authority only come from true friendship with God... (see Acts 5:12-16)."
Everything Jesus did related to miracles, and signs and wonders were from the place of friendship.
We have an invitation to encounter God's emotions here on earth... to really be His friend now on earth. Some of us have been so good at being slaves that we never became friends (see John 15:15). Sinners were great at being friends with Jesus (see Luke 7:34), but it was the religious crowd that had a hard time being friends with Him (see John 8:39-47).
To be a friend is to believe Him, honor Him, and interact with Him. If there is no communion with God, then there is no real relationship and I would search my heart to see what I was reconciled to when I first believed. Was it a religious idea or was it God? Was it a list of impossible expectations? Was it a list of do's and don'ts? Or was it God? I invite everyone here to begin to search yourselves and ask these difficult and hopefully freeing questions.
Don't wait until the New Year to get this understanding! This is something the Lord is very passionate about right now. He is looking for friends that will answer His call in their lives. He is looking for friends whose works will be fueled by love not religious obligation.
Prophetic Sheep Ministries
Luke Holter is an author and conference speaker. As an expert in real life issues, Luke and his wife, Grace, are Apostolic Prophetic Leaders to the wider Church as well as serving in the local Church. Luke is certified through the AACC (American Association of Christian Counselors) as a Biblical Counselor. Luke is considered by many of his peers to be a prophetic messenger to the generations. Bringing with him a little over a decade of experience in prophetic leadership and life coaching, as well as a unique set of giftings, Luke and Grace's passion is to connect people's hearts to the Father's heart and give language to take on their destiny.