Day 11: Becoming Best Friends with God

 Fear of God, not friendship, was more common in the Old Testament.  With Jesus, this changed—He said: “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business.  Instead I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you”.

 Knowing & loving God is our greatest privilege, and being known & loved is God’s pleasure.  But what does it mean when God wants me as a friend? 

Here we’ll learn six secrets of friendship with God—2 in this chapter and 4 in Day 12.

1.  Through constant conversation—It won’t happen by attending church once a week, or establishing the habit of a daily devotional time with God.  He wants more than an appointment in our schedule.  He wants to be included in every activity, every conversation, every problem, every thought.  “Praying without ceasing”.

 It’s a common misconception that “spending time with God” means being alone with him, or that we must get away from our daily routine in order to worship Him.  How do we learn to develop a constant conversation with God?  Brother Lawrence, a humble cook in a French monastery, wrote Practicing the Presence of God in the 17th century.  He was able to turn the most commonplace, menial tasks into acts of praise and communion with God.  What you normally do for yourself you begin doing for God, whether eating, bathing, working, relaxing.  Brother Lawrence didn’t have to go away for special spiritual retreats—Because God is with you all the time, no place is any closer to God than the place where you are right now.

 Another helpful idea from Brother Lawrence was Keep It Simple:  pray shorter conversational prayers continually thru the day instead of long sessions of complex prayers. 

How can we pray “all the time”?  Using “breath prayers” throughout the day, as Christians have done for centuries.  Choose a brief phrase that can be repeated to Jesus in one breath—such as “You are with me”, “I want to know you”, “Help me trust you”, “For me to live is Christ”.  Ensure your motive is to honor God, not control him.

Practicing the presence of God is a skill, a habit we can develop.  We need to train our minds to remember God.  Create reminders to regularly bring our thoughts back to the awareness that God is with us in our moments.  Benedictine monks use the clock’s hourly chimes to remind them to pause & pray “the hour prayer”.  What can we use?

Warren reminds us we aren’t seeking an experience of His presence thru this, but a continual awareness of the reality that God is always present.

 2.  Through continual meditation.  A second way to establish a friendship with God is by thinking about His Word throughout our day–meditation.  The Bible urges us to meditate on who God is, what he’s done, what he’s said.  Meditation isn’t some difficult, mysterious ritual practiced by isolated monks & mystics, but simply focused thinking.

When we think about a problem over and over in our mind, it’s called worry.  When we think about God’s Word over & over in our mind, that’s called meditation.  When we hear a sermon, let’s not just forget it and walk away—let’s develop the practice of reviewing the truth in our minds, thinking about it over & over.

 Start today by practicing constant conversation with God and continual meditation on His Word.  Prayer lets us speak to God; meditation lets God speak to us.  Both are needed in becoming a friend of God.

 Question to Consider:  What can I do to remind myself to think about God and talk to Him more often throughout the day?

* Weekly we will be writing about what inspires us from each consecutive chapter of Warren’s Purpose Driven Life.  If you read along with us, please share your inspirations.  There’s no need to catch up, just jump right in. 

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About blueprintforliving

A born & bred New Yorker living on the other side of the Atlantic since '92. Once you live in a much smaller country you realise everything is precious,take nothing for granted,and you gain a global view which you would never have if you had stayed in the US.
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2 Responses to Day 11: Becoming Best Friends with God

  1. juliaelio says:

    The one thing we must realize is that it is “GOD” who takes the initiative in establishing a love relationship between HIM and us. What HE wants us to do is to have a “real and personal” relationship with HIM, so HE can work through us in HIS ministry. There are many things that remind me of GOD in which I talk to HIM about each day. I can look at a picture of my “grandson” and thank GOD for such a precious gift and thank HIM. I can look out the windows and look at HIS creation and thank HIM. I think of my children and thank GOD for them. And, just getting out of bed each morning and getting dressed, I thank GOD. Then there are HIS provisions in food, clothing and shelter in which I am grateful for and talk to HIM about. It is not just the “thanking” but it establishes a personal dialogue that we can expand on in order to create this “one on one” relationship.

  2. juliaelio says:

    There are so many reminders during the course of the day that remind me of GOD. In waking up this morning and turning on BBC News, we cannot help but be overwhelmed and saddened by the devastating earthquake in Haiti. This prompted me to seek GOD and pray for this country and its people, and asking GOD “why he allowed this to happen.” Of course, we are always asking why such terrible things occur in which we have no satisfying answer. The only consolation I have is knowing that GOD is in control of everything and that I must put my trust completely in HIM.

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