Apr 15, 2013

Defining friendship... How we should communicate & pray... How to hear God's voice... & God-goggles...

Did you know that we are considered 'Friends of God' ???

"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."
~John 15:15~

The Creator of the entire universe wants to be friends... with me???

He considers US... friends? 


Does this seem a bit off-base to anyone else? 

Then again, if the bible says so... God says so, but what does that mean for us? What do I know about friendship that could help me understand this relationship? This friendship? 

I'll need to ask myself some questions...

1.) What's a friend?

Through a concordance I found that the original translation of the Greek word 'friend' from John 15:15 is philos. It literally translates as a friend, associate, or companion. It also refers to the bridegroom's friend who, on his behalf, asked the hand of the bride & helped out with the celebration, etc. Makes me think of the story of Isaac & Rebekah in Genesis 24 (Abraham sends his top servant Elieza to bring Rebekah to his son Isaac).

The dictionary defines the word friend as: A person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection.

How do "I" personally define friendship? It can be complicated, but generally friends enjoy each other's company, trust each other, play together (who says you have to grow up?), talk, share, learn from each other, laugh together, support each other no matter what, pray together, love unconditionally, & hope to see each other often.

(Believe it or not, there was no alcohol involved in the making of this photo... this is just what happens when you try to make a bunny face while holding back laughter. Posing properly was out of the question at this point... 
I still laugh every time I see this!)

Remember: We should understand that God desires to listen to us, speak to us, teach us, support us, & love us unconditionally.

2.) How do friends communicate?

Have  you ever been in a situation where you were chatting with someone... and all they did was talk on and on without letting you get a word in edgewise? It's SO irritating!! I know this, because I've been the irritated one as well as the irritator... yeah I made that word up, but you know what I mean : ) 

Conversation wasn't meant to be one-sided... 
We should share our hearts, but also LISTEN to what the OTHER person has to say!

In the same way: Prayer was not meant to be a monologue (solo), but a dialogue (btwn 2 or more ppl)... Speaking AND listening... 

It's so easy to just throw out all our requests to God, say amen, & walk away... but have you ever considered... that perhaps He has something to say to you??? 

I know I know, it seems off-base that He would want to take time out of His day to acknowledge us, but we have to remember that He sent the Holy Spirit for just this reason... so He could be available to ALL people, ALL of the time! 

Learn more about the Holy Spirit by clicking: HERE!

He has something to say if only we would take the time to shut off our busy mind & mouth & listen... then wait... give Him time... & lean in to understand His whispers. He speaks to us through His Word, other believers, our memory, & a multitude of other ways... sometimes even in an audible voice (I haven't experienced this, but many have). 

Actually, being able to hear Him takes us to my last question...
3.) How often do close friends communicate?

This one really depends on you (& each of your individual friends)... I understand that a lot of factors play into this, especially as we get older and have jobs and families and just get caught up in the busyness of life... but generally, those that are very close... and want to STAY close... keep in touch on a regular basis (sometimes even daily)!

Another thing to consider is 'how' we come to recognize someone else's voice... you probably hear it often! 

If you went shopping & heard your friend's voice in the next aisle... would you recognize it & acknowledge them? 

When you're somewhere crowded, maybe at a family get-together, would your child recognize your voice & be able to find you? Why is that?
♥ Time = Relationship 

The more time you spend with someone, the easier it is to understand them & recognize them & maybe even start ACTING like them (this can be good or bad, depending on the friend... lol)!

In order to hear God's voice, we need to get to know Him better. We do this by regularly (at least daily) speaking & listening to Him.

Don't know what so say to God when you pray?
  1. You could say the Lord's prayer to keep it simple (Mt6:9-13)
  2. Praise Him (You are good, You are trustworthy...)
  3. Lift requests/needs up to Him (Heal that little girl...)
  4. Thank Him (For your family, home, job, etc...)
  5. Process life with Him (Why am I so crabby today!?)
Don't know where to start to start 'hearing' Him?
  1. Take time to pause during prayer, give Him a chance
  2. Read the bible, which is the Word of God
  3. Surround yourself with christian influences (friends)
  4. Listen to God-glorifying music
  5. Put your 'God-goggles' on & be watchful/aware of Him
With that last one, I say this because He can reach us in ANY way He sees fit... I have received revelation through movies (even non-christian ones), random conversations, bad weather, & even google! lol 
Just keep an open mind on this one, ok? How I hear Him best might be totally different from how you hear Him best, so be aware!

Oh, and those goggles aren't just a way to find out how He speaks to us! Putting on your metaphoric God-goggles reminds us to see people & situations through God's eyes... giving us Godly perspective : )

"Lord help us to understand our friendship with You. Remind us to fervently pursue our relationship & be aware of how You are trying to speak to us. Amen."

How about you? In what ways could you compare your friendship with people... to your relationship with God? Share below!

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