Day TWELVE: Developing your Friendship with God

Today we are back on topic. At least for now. 🙂 I am sure some of you wonder why I am not doing these posts day by day…as the book actually directs. 40 days…well, I am of the opinion, that the topics in the book should be considered and worked into your life processes in more than a day. It then becomes part of your norm, before you bring in another and another new thing to do each day. Slow and stead wins the race, and in this case, perhaps brings you a little closer to God. If you would rather do all 40 days in a row as the book suggests please purchase, borrow, or check out from the library, Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life. Maybe you should do that anyway, cause it’s a pretty amazing book.

As for me and my life…it’s controled chaos. The drought is still on going, but the rain has started to fall, as much in the world as in my little realm. I pray God is plentifull.

Day Twelve: Developing Your Friendship with God

Point to Ponder: I’m as close to God as I choose to be.

Verse to Remember: “Draw close to God, and God will draw closer to you.” James 4:8a (NLT)

Question to Consider: What practical choices will I make today in order to grow closer to God?

In the church I attended as a child we sang a song every service called, “What a friend we have in Jesus.” (Lyrics below)

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!

In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.
Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
May we ever, Lord, be bringing
All to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
There will be no need for prayer—
Rapture, praise, and endless worship
Will be our sweet portion there.

This was written in 1855 by Joseph M. Scriven. In 1954, Rick Warren put this into modern language and said basically the same thing. My favorite line in this chapter is, “God listens to the passionate words of his friends; he is bored with predictable, pious cliches.” Bar none, favorite line of this chapter. How many of you attend a church that has had a similar version of the same service for the last 2000 years? How many times have you repeated the same prayer over and over, because that is what you were taught to do as a child? How often have you confronted God on His own turf? How many times have you sat down with God and animately, passionately, candidly told him how you really feel?

“What may appear as audacity God views as authenticity.” Wow! A writer after my own heart! My approach to God in the last few years has been pretty direct. There are plenty of times when I have gone to God and screamed, “This is NOT going to work for me!” And I lay it all out to Him and sometimes I get it my way, other times I don’t. But that is not the point. The point is that you need to give it to God. One scene I am sure we all remember is in Bruce Almighty when Jim Carrey meets God for the first time, he is standing in the big empty warehouse screaming and God is patiently taking it. God then changes the scene and they are on the water and Bruce is still giving it to Him, then Bruce stops, looks around and suddenly he realizes everything is changed. This is such a metaphor for our lives. While we are busy complaining to God and telling Him our problems and honestly approaching Him like a true friend, He is busy changing our lives, changing our circumstance, making it better, making it more.

Unfortunately for Bruce, he found out the hard way that there are signs all around us for how to proceed and where to go and when to stop and turn around. I think for us we have the ability to know that we should be watching for the signs. We have the ability to talk to God, trust Him, follow Him obediently because that is all we are required to do. God made us in His image and then gave us free will, not to have power and control, but to be able to figure out that we must choose him to fulfill our destinies. But this is not a choice that can be forced, this is a choice that must be made and persued and cherished.

Please let Him in. Let Him guide you. Let yourself talk openly with Him knowing you may look a little crazy on the outside, but on the inside you are free. On that note, try looking a little crazy on the outside. Burst with joy. Run up and down the aisles of your church. Shout to heaven. I can’t say I will be joining you, I am a little reserved Baptist girl who attends a wildly authentic, Assembly of God church right now. I may not be able to scream out the way I have witnessed (my own pious cliches) but I know that in their freedom the people I know are speaking directly to God. Directly to His ears with no mediary, how? Because I feel it to my very soul. My stomach warms and goosebumps rise and I want to dance…so I do…only very slightly in my seat.

Many blessings for you all on your weekend. Have a good one!

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