I am always amazed that Jesus would be so friendly and allow Peter (it was John not Peter) to lean on his chest but we can all have this relationship with Christ. When we are born-again we become a member of God’s family and come into a relationship with God. The first stage of our relationship is a servant relationship, then as we mature we become God’s friend, John 15:15.
The final stage is Sonship, Galatians 4:19, where our character conforms to the image of Christ and the full power of the Holy Spirit rests on us. At this stage we will do greater works than Christ, John 14:12.
How do we mature through these stages and come into Sonship? First let’s see how God defines a friend then we will see how we grow through these three stages. Many Christians call God their friend but how many Christians does God call his friend! There is a big difference! I believe the Bible is clear about who are God’s friend.
God said about Moses, “I will speak to him face to face, as a man speaks to his friend”, Exodus 33:11, Numb 12:8. The Bible records a lot of conversations God had with Moses. So God’s friend has direct conversations with God. God will speak to that person face to face directly and not through dreams or visions, Numb 12:6.
Just before Christ’s crucifixion Jesus said to the disciples, “I no longer call you servants but I call you friends” John 15:15. Then he said, “¡ for all things that I have heard from my father I have made known to you”. When we become God’s friend, we will know what Jesus is doing and it will not be hidden.
Therefore Christians who become God’s friend have a very intimate relationship with him. God will speak to them by voice directly and not through dreams or visions. God will also show them what he is doing and will not hide it from them. How do we grow through these three stages?
When we come into the Kingdom we are babies in Christ, we have a servant relationship. The first thing to do is lay a solid foundation. We do this by developing a relationship with Christ and by making him first in our life. I am shocked by the number of Christians who do not hear from God. This is the privilege of every Christian but we must seek him for it with all our heart.
Next are the foundational character and principles we must establish in our lives. When Jesus finished preaching the Sermon on the Mount he said, “He who hears these words (Sermon on the Mount) of mine and does them is a wise person who builds his house on a rock (a solid foundation)”, Matthew 7:24. Therefore Christians who live the Sermon on the Mount will be as solid as a rock. Those who do not lay this foundation will have problems and failures when trials come.
Last we must be clear about our foundation doctrines. These doctrines are, repentance from dead works, faith towards God, baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead and final judgment, Hebrews 6:1-3. I strongly recommend Derek Prince’s “Foundation Series” on YouTube. Prince rightly divides the word of truth and teaches these important truths clearly. When I hear the hyper-grace, extreme mercy, once saved always saved and prosperity teaching, I know these extremes could have been avoided if they simply learnt, Prince’s foundation truths.
When we are doing these three things, have a good relationship with Jesus, turning from sin and weaknesses in the Sermon on the Mount and practicing the foundation doctrines then we have laid our foundation. Jesus taught the Apostles these three things in the early part of his ministry. Once the foundation is laid we can then grow from the servant stage to the friendship stage.
To become God’s friend more is required. When Jesus called the disciples friends, they were living the Sermon on the Mount and doing all that Jesus taught in the Gospels, John 17:6. They still had areas of their lives to overcome, but what Jesus had taught up until then, the disciples were doing. So when we read the Gospels, remember Jesus first laid foundations in the Apostles lives then built on that foundation until they matured into a friendship relationship.
Now how did Moses become God’s friend? We don’t have as many details as the Apostles but there are a few important facts to note. Moses was faithful in all that God commanded him to do, Numb 12:7. Moses astounds me. Imagine going to the leader of your country and telling them twelve curses are coming, especially that their first born will die!
Also Moses faithfully led Israel through the wilderness. The children of Israel were stubborn and disobedient, yet Moses was faithful in all that God commanded. Moses did not draw back from these responsibilities but faithfully carried God’s message to Pharaoh and the children of Israel.
Abraham was also called, a friend of God. He became God’s friend when he passed the last and final test, offering up Isaac on the altar. Imagine that, a traumatic act of obedience and faith. How would you feel doing something like that? Abraham obeyed God and he was called a friend of God, James 2:21-23, John 15:14.
Therefore God’s friends are Christians who have laid a solid foundation, are living the Gospels, are faithful and obedient in all things. I have heard Rees Howells and Rick Joyner share how they became God’s friend and their testimonies are challenging. Every Christian has the same grace to become God’s friend.
The next phase in our relationship is Sonship. I have not heard anyone say they had this kind of relationship with God but possibly Rees Howells and A. A. Allen had Sonship relationship. The Apostles and Paul obviously would have but this kind of relationship is possible for all Christians, Romans 8:29, John 14:12.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater [works] than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” John 14:12
Notice in John 14:12 Jesus said “he who believes ¡ will do greater works than he”, which means each and every Christian will do greater works. So let’s pursue God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, yes strength is needed, so we can come into all God has for us.
Your God chasers
Love Tim & Faith