Experiencing True Friendship With God

Read these words slowly:

[box]“You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends . . .” (John 15:14–15)[/box]

That is Jesus talking. Every time I hear this it does something to me. Friend. He calls me “friend.”

The Greek word used here is: phílos – a friend; someone dearly loved (prized) in a personal, intimate way; a trusted confidant, held dear in a close bond of personal affection.1

What does that do to you, to know that He dearly loves you? You are held by Him in a “close bond of personal affection?”

I don’t know about you, but reading those words gives me happy goose-bumps!

Friendship with God is not only possible, but is something He offers. Abraham had an intimate relationship with, and was known as the friend of God (2 Chronicles 20:7 Isaiah 41:8 James 2:23). Have you ever thought about the elements of his life that would lead to such a privileged position, to be called “friend of God?”

Was a he a super saint that God chose to hang out with because he was so spiritually superior? Well, there’s a couple of pretty embarrassing episodes where he failed to trust God and kind of hid behind Sarah’s skirts to save his own skin (see Genesis 12:10–13, Genesis 20:1–13).

The first incident happened before his name change and the other (eerily similar) happened after he’d grown a bit in his relationship with God, entered into a covenant with Him, and had a name change (from Abram to Abraham). I really hate seeing that side of Abraham, but at the same time, I’m glad his mess-ups are included. Because I’m not perfect, either.

God didn’t love Abraham because he was perfect or was a super-saint. God just loved him. God called Abraham to Himself, and in the process of a shared history and a walk of faith (sometimes faltering faith), God claimed Abraham as His friend.

I think there are some principles we can glean from their relationship:

  • God’s love for us is extended on the basis of His character, not ours.
  • He delights in those who surrender their plans to follow His.
  • His love reaches beyond our failures.
  • Walking in obedience to Him forges the unity of friendship.

Where are you in your relationship with God? Does He call you friend?

1   copyright © 1987, 2011 by Helps Ministries, Inc.
For complete text and additional resources visit:

Image courtesy of Castillo Dominici


  • Kathryn

    This is so breathtaking. Simply amazing to consider that God calls me friend. It is so very true – His love truly compels me to obedience. Lord, help my wayward heart and help me to rely on your word and not my feelings or fleshly ways. Thanks Kim. God bless you.