Friends

I’ll be there for you and you’ll be there for me too…. ba ba da da ba ba ba bwang…. 

I have been pondering how one can assuredly know the will of God. It’s something I have been meditating on for a while because how we are told to go about discovering it is often misleading and falls short of what the will of God is intended to bring about in our lives. (not doing stuff, but being relationship with Him)

I personally have looked at the will of God as being a theological/practical matter that has to do with mine and God’s happiness. In other words, I want to know the will of God so that I can live to please him to make myself more acceptable to him acting as though I am not already completely accepted by Him through Christ. However, this is also about control. If I know God’s will I can make certain decisions to get me to it and in it or if I am honest to avoid it if I don’t like where He is taking me. 

In the last 20 years the emphasis on “knowing and do the will of God” has been taught, preached, and written about extensively. There are numerous seminars, workshops and an endless supply of Bible studies available to help people by giving them a systematized method of discovering God’s will and the inspiration or kick in the pants to actually do it if or when they discover it.

Many believe that God’s will is an unsolvable mystery, a Rubik’s Cube only solvable if you know and can remember the complex algorithms that make is solvable. On top of that the goal post are always shifting out of our range. Unfortunately, many believers just throw up their hands in frustration and disappointment. But it doesn’t have to be this way!!

While meditating on this topic I recalled in the Scripture that Jesus told the disciples essentially, “I am telling you these things because you are my friends”.

 I do not call you slaves anymore, because a slave doesn’t know
what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have heard from My Father. John 15:15 HCSB

Could this verse secretly be the answer to the anxiety so many believers feel as they pursue and anxiously wonder if they are in God’s will? Could this verse lessen the need for seminars, systems and studies that many Christians to turn in an effort to at least show God they are serious about knowing His will? Maybe just maybe knowing God’s will doesn’t have to be as complicated as we have made it. Maybe you don’t need a new 10 step system or new 10 step prayer journal. Could it be as simple as truly drawing close to Jesus as a friend?

Think about what Jesus is doing, how he is changing the dynamic between he and the disciples who will no longer just be considered as followers but as friends whom he disclose everything to. The disciples must have been delighted! We all know that true camaraderie and friendship is “earned” by trust and shared experiences as you do life together. We have all had a friend or a group of friends that we could share anything with. We could share our deepest sorrows and greatest joys and those friends would mourn and rejoice with us. There is nothing like having a friend like that!

Yes, theologians, Jesus is my Lord, but relating to Jesus as a friend doesn’t take away His authority. Relating to Jesus as a friend and him relating to me as such personalizes His word and authority. Consider this. Are we more likely to respond to his will as a Lord/slave relationship or a friend/friend relationship where he speaks from the depth of his heart to your heart?

It is in relationship with Jesus that you will be able to have made known to you everything he has heard from the Father. It will not be some system, program or teaching series.

In other words a relationship with Jesus will create the atmosphere for him to speak to you and unveil himself to you just as any close friend does.

Now, evaluate your current efforts to know and do the will of God and your current relationship to Jesus as you reflect on these questions.

As you seek God’s will do you view His will as a marching order given by an impersonal, distant King which you must do OR ELSE? A King who just needs you for a project and if you fail or refuse he’s done with you?

Or

Do you view God’s will as favor asked of you by a trusted, endearing friend who has always been there for you, who has done great things for you – someone you would lay down your life for in an instant, someone you would stop whatever it is you are in the middle of to help?

The first approach is religion. What can or should I do to earn more favor and make myself acceptable to God. (Lord/slave)

The second approach is relationalI am completely accepted by God because of Jesus. He will lovingly, willingly and graciously share all things with me at the proper time. 

Recently, I have had the pleasure of meeting many great people. Many of whom have become trusted friends. People that I would do anything for and respond if they needed help. Likewise, they would do the same for me. Some of these friends are in very influential positions. They will and have helped me by connecting me to other people who can help me in my current job search.

But, I have another friend who is more influential and powerful then all of these combined. His name is Jesus.

John 15:15 shows that knowing God’s will is not complex at all. So take the pressure off yourself. You may not even have to read another book or do another study… ever.

Just…be friends with Jesus. He will do for you what he did for the disciples in John 15:15. No doubt this transition in their relationship was such a powerful experience that it impacted the rest of their lives.

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