K is for Knowing God

friendship knotIs God a friend or just an acquaintance?

Now, be honest.

Acquaintances are easy rela­tion­ships. Just a notch above a stranger, they don’t require any­thing from us. They’re be nice to have around if we need some­thing, but there’s no real com­mit­ment to being involved with them out­side of acknowl­edging they’re there. Sometimes, they are simply the people in our lives that ful­fill a need at a par­tic­ular time. Think of them as people we interact with at work or school, but never per­son­ally get together with out­side of those sit­u­a­tions. They could be our banker, florist, co-worker or that Facebook friend from high school we haven’t seen since graduation.

On the other hand, friends are people we want to take time to get to know. A friend cares if they unin­ten­tion­ally hurt us. They stick by us through thick and thin. Friends offer advice, guid­ance and coun­seling when needed. We take time to get to know these people on a deeper level because we care about them.…and they care about us. We know their likes and dis­likes and they know ours too. Forever friends rise of shared expe­ri­ences and a deep, emo­tional connection.

But being a for­ever friend requires com­mit­ment. Deep friend­ships don’t just instan­ta­neously happen. And they’re never one-sided. They take work. They take lots of our time…not just when we happen to have a few free moments with nothing else to do. Being friends means we are an advo­cate for that person and they are an advo­cate for us. Being con­nected with someone in this way requires a time com­mit­ment not seen with acquaintances.

Friends go the dis­tance with us no matter how rough it gets. Friends always have our backs. Our closest friends care deeply about us and aren’t shy about trying to bring us back in line when we’ve detoured…even at the expense of making us uncom­fort­able or angry at their advice.

Adam and God were friends. Eve and God were friends. Moses and God were friends. Noah and God were friends. David and God were friends. Daniel, Jacob, Joseph, Mary Magdeline, sis­ters Mary and Martha, and Paul were all friends with the living God. They knew God on a per­sonal level and were willing to spend the time needed to fur­ther develop that close com­mu­nion. And their lives were blessed because of their com­mit­ment to making that covenant rela­tion­ship work.

So, I ask again.…is God a friend or just an acquain­tance? Do we really know God or just know of him?

If we con­sider him a friend, we feel free to call him up in the middle of the night with a problem that is con­suming us. We can speak openly and share our fears, dreams, wor­ries and secrets. We know his likes and dis­likes, and he knows ours. We trust he’ll always be there when we need guid­ance, and trust his advice…even when it’s dif­ferent from what we think we want to do.

To con­sider God a friend would mean we believe in him, trust in his guid­ance and promises, and make time to get to know him on a deeper, more per­sonal level.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. ~John 15:13
Jesus did just that.

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. ~James 4:8
God promises to be a true, for­ever friend to those who seek him.

…for he has said, “I will never leave you nor for­sake you. ~Hebrews 13:5
He will go the dis­tance with us no matter how rough it gets. He always has our backs.

But, if he’s only just an acquain­tance, we really shouldn’t expect much of any­thing in return, should we?

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11 Comments

  1. Truth is I was fas­ci­nated what visual you’d use for God. I LIKE it!

    • It’s a Friendship Knot sculp­ture in Los Angelos’ Little Tokyo. I thought it was a per­fect rep­re­sen­ta­tion of *ver­tical* friendship. :-)

  2. I believe God is more than a friend, but dif­fi­cult to know. I know How God wants us to be. He wants us to act and love like Jesus. God showed a bit of him­self in a human like Jesus, and that makes it a bit easier.
    God is so great that it is impos­sible to know Him thoroughly.I read about Him in books written by people like you and me. But once I got the mes­sage from Him that He blesses me and keeps me
    He makes His coun­te­nance shine upon me and is gra­cious to me;
    May He turn His coun­te­nance to me and­grant me peace.
    When I heard this after a long time of prayer, I thought: Okay, let this be suf­fi­cient , I am in Gods hands. Now my mind is at rest.

  3. God knows me much more inti­mately than I know Him though we are in con­stant com­mu­nion. The more I find of myself the more I learn of Him.

  4. Very thought pro­voking post. Carver, ABC Wed. Team

  5. Lisa, I love your analogy of God being an acquain­tance or a friend. For me, He is def­i­nitely a friend with whom I com­mu­ni­cate within my heart. And I when I speak with Him, it’s just as if we conversing…like good friends.

    Fab post, my friend! And as Roger Green shared, I like your visual for God.

  6. Certainly a most thought pro­voking article Lisa.
    I know God through my Anglican reli­gion and see him as a friend and mentor.
    We have a won­derful Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool and I find it the most inspiring church to go to, par­tic­u­larly when I am feeling low…
    I go when I am feeling happy and I thank him daily for my won­derful family.
    I love to sit in the Lady Chapel and clear my mind of every­thing and anything…I pray for cur­rent trou­bles around the world and ask him to help.
    After spending many years in a church choir I have a great love of sacred music, There is one par­tic­ular pas­sage from a works called The Olivetti to Calgary…
    ’God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son,
    that who so believeth, believeth in him,
    should not perish but have ever­lasting life’.

    Best wishes,
    Di.x

  7. To me friend­ship is very impor­tant ! I always say friends you choose, family you inherit !

  8. I feel it is impor­tant to have a close rela­tion­ship with God. As always you know just how to say things. I was inspired today.

  9. Very thought pro­voking post. Thanks you.

  10. Gives the reader lots to think about.. I read this through a few times.. yes when God is a close friend you can get in touch in the middle of the night while acquain­tances still sleep.
    Thank you

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