For the perverse person is an abomination to the Lord, But His secret counsel is with the upright.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
If you want a deeper, more intimate connection with God you must learn to honesty share your feelings with him, when he asks you to do something learn to care about what he cares about, and desire his friendship more than anything else.
I must choose to be honest with God
God doesn’t expect you to be perfect, but he does insist on complete honesty. If perfection was a requirement for friendship with God, we would never be able to be his friends. Fortunately, because of God’s grace, Jesus is still the “friend of sinners.”
The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her children.”
Job 42:7 (msg)
After God had finished addressing Job, he turned to Eliphaz the Temanite and said, “I’ve had it with you and your two friends. I’m fed up! You haven’t been honest either with me or about me—not the way my friend Job has.”
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Depart and go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘To your descendants I will give it.’ 2 And I will send My Angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanite and the Amorite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite. 3 Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; for I will not go up in your midst, lest I consume you on the way, for you area stiff-necked people.” 4 And when the people heard this bad news, they mourned, and no one put on his ornaments. 5 For the Lord had said to Moses, “Say to the children of Israel, ‘You are a stiff-necked people. I could come up into your midst in one moment and consume you. Now therefore, take off your ornaments, that I may know what to do to you.’” 6 So the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments by Mount Horeb.7 Moses took his tent and pitched it outside the camp, far from the camp, and called it the tabernacle of meeting. And it came to pass that everyone who sought the Lord went out to the tabernacle of meeting which was outside the camp. 8 So it was, whenever Moses went out to the tabernacle, that all the people rose, and each man stood at his tent door and watched Moses until he had gone into the tabernacle. 9 And it came to pass, when Moses entered the tabernacle, that the pillar of cloud descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the Lord talked with Moses. 10 All the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the tabernacle door, and all the people rose and worshiped, each man in his tent door. 11 So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle. 12 Then Moses said to the Lord, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.’ 13 Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.” 14 And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15 Then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. 16 For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.” 17 So the Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.”
Exodus 33:12-17 (msg)
Moses said to God, “Look, you tell me, ‘Lead this people,’ but you don’t let me know whom you’re going to send with me. You tell me, ‘I know you well and you are special to me.’ If I am so special to you, let me in on your plans. That way, I will continue being special to you. Don’t forget, this is your people, your responsibility.” 14 God said, “My presence will go with you. I’ll see the journey to the end.” 15-16 Moses said, “If your presence doesn’t take the lead here, call this trip off right now. How else will it be known that you’re with me in this, with me and your people? Are you traveling with us or not? How else will we know that we’re special, I and your people, among all other people on this planet Earth?” 17 God said to Moses: “All right. Just as you say; this also I will do, for I know you well and you are special to me. I know you by name.”
Genuine friendship is built on disclosure. God listens to the passionate words of his friends; he bored with predictable, pious clichés. You must be honest to God, sharing your true feelings, not what you think you ought to feel or say.
People often blame God for hurts caused by others. Releasing your resentment and revealing your feeling is the first step to healing.
Consider Job (Job 7:17-21)
“What is man, that You should exalt him, That You should set Your heart on him, 18 That You should visit him every morning,
And test him every moment? 19 How long? Will You not look away from me, And let me alone till I swallow my saliva? 20 Have I sinned? What have I done to You, O watcher of men? Why have You set me as Your target, So that I am a burden to myself? 21 Why then do You not pardon my transgression, And take away my iniquity? For now I will lie down in the dust, And You will seek me diligently, But I will no longer be.”
Asaph (Psalm 83:13)
O my God, make them like the whirling dust, Like the chaff before the wind!
Jeremiah (Jeremiah 20:7)
O Lord, You induced me, and I was persuaded; You are stronger than I, and have prevailed. I am in derision daily; Everyone mocks me.
Naomi (Ruth 1:20)
But she said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.
God gave us the book of Psalms
– a worship manual, full of ranting, raving, doubts, fears, resentments, and deep passions combined with thanksgiving, praise, and statements of faith.
When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, Then You knew my path. In the way in which I walk They have secretly set a snare for me.
Expressing doubt is sometimes the first step toward the next level of intimacy with God.
I must choose to obey God in faith
Every time you trust God’s wisdom and do whatever he says, even when you don’t understand it, you deepen your friendship with God. Jesus made it clear that obedience is a condition of intimacy with God.
You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.
We obey God, not out of duty or fear or compulsion, but because we love him and trust that he knows what is best for us.
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
True friendship isn’t passive, it acts.
1 Samuel 15:22
So Samuel said:“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.”
And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Luke 2:51 (msg)
So he went back to Nazareth with them, and lived obediently with them. His mother held these things dearly, deep within herself.
Thirty years of pleasing God were summed up in two words “lived obediently”
I must choose to value what God values
This is what friends do
– they care about what is important to the other person. The more you become God’s friend, the more you will care about the things he grieves over, and rejoice over the things that brings pleasure to him.
2 Corinthians 11:2 (msg)
The thing that has me so upset is that I care about you so much – this is the passion of God burning inside me!
Because zeal for Your house has eaten me up, And the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.
What does God care about most?
– The redemption of his people.
You must care about all people around you whom God cares about. Friends of God tell their friends about God.
I must desire friendship with God more than anything else
One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple.
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You.
And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.” But he said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!”
that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death
You are as close to God as you choose to be. Intimate friendship with God is a choice, not an accident. God is not mad at you; he is made about you and he will do whatever it takes to bring you back into fellowship with him.
Jeremiah 29:13 (msg)
“When you come looking for me, you’ll find me.”
1 Timothy 6:21
by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith.
Point to Ponder: I’m as close to God as I choose to be
Verse to Remember: James 4:8 – Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Question to Consider: What practical choices will I make today in order to grow closer to God?
Surrender to him, Worship – not just when I remember to. Try and be more understanding to people (friends/family/workout people) and refuse to listen to gossip. Learn to keep my tongue held tight by not complaining to those who need help and continue to pray.
Day 1 – It’s Not About Me
Day 2 – You are Not An Accident
Day 3 – What Drives Your Life
Day 4 – Made to Last Forever
Day 5 – Life from God’s View
Day 6 – Life is a Temporary Assignment
Day 7 – The Reason for Everything
Day 8 – Planned For God’s Pleasure
Day 9 – What Makes God Smile
Day 10 – The Heart of Worship
Day 11 – Becoming Best Friends with God