When God created the world, he created man first to take care of the garden of Eden (Genesis 2:7-9). After a while, God saw that man was lonely and needed a companion and so “the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man” (Genesis 2: 21 – 22). Adam rejoiced at his helpmate. He was happy that he finally had a friend who he could share his love with.
Adam was not the only one to experience such joy. Abraham did too. The book of Genesis chapter 18 recounts one of such encounters with God. Other prophets also made mention of Abraham’s friendship with God. This includes Isaiah in Isaiah 41:8, “But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend”. It is also stated in James 2:23, “…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.”
So then, to answer the question, ‘who is a friend,’ the answer is, a friend is someone that you trust to always be there for you, to assist you, to help you, to strengthen and build you up. This true definition of a friend can first and foremost be found in God. He is always there for us and he expects us to also be available for him. Abraham recognized this and made himself available, thereby being called a friend of God. It is very important to note that friendship is a relationship; and like all relationships, it is a two-way traffic. In order to be called a friend of the other, we must first present ourselves as friends in words and deed.
Therefore, in order to be friends with God, the following must be part of our lives:
Honesty is being free from any form of deceit, lies or untruthfulness. One individual which the Bible presents to us as a man without deceit, one who is honest, is Nathaniel. His honesty went ahead of him and so when Christ saw him approach, He said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit” (John 1:47). Can Christ say the same thing about you? If yes, then that is a sure way of becoming friends with God.
Friendship, as stated above, is a relationship. The only way to nurture this relationship is through effective communication. Communication is two-way and not just one-way, so in order to communicate with God, we pray to Him. Unfortunately, most people have turned prayer to reeling out a bucket list to God and then closing the prayer. But prayer also involves listening. It is having a heart-to-heart discussion with your friend. In all, “do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6). God answers when we pray but we must always be ready to listen.
Love is what we were created for. After all, God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). God calls us to love our neighbours as ourselves because they are created in God’s own image. We must love with all sincerity, hating what is evil and clinging to what is good (Romans 12: 9-10). If we cannot love then we cannot be friends with God. This is because Whoever does not love does not know God because God is love (1 John: 4:8).
Finally, friends do not hurt one another. If you want to be and remain God’s friend, then you must not hurt Him. To hurt God is to sin because God hates sin. I pray that you become a friend of God (if you not already are) and if you are, that you should continue to build a stronger relationship with Him so that at the end of our lives, we will rejoice with Him in Heaven.
What qualities do you desire in friendship with fellow human beings? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, I would love to hear from you.