Today in church we were singing the song “I am a friend of God”. I started smiling as I thought about the term “friend” and what it has come to mean in today’s society. In fact, “un-friend” was one of the most popular (new) words in 2009. Why? Because of the social networking site Facebook.
Are you a part of the Facebook community? At first I wasn’t so sure I wanted to join (I never did get into MySpace) – but then once I joined, I was tickled pink to find not only my current friends and family, but friends all over the world and America – from my time overseas in YWAM (Youth With A Mission), high school, junior high (in sunny FL) – and even elementary school (in the frozen tundra of Minnesota!). What fun to reminisce and see how my friends have changed (or have found the fountain of youth!). I do have to admit though – in the beginning I felt like I was being nosy and spying . . . seeing who was saying what to which friends of mine, etc! It felt so sneaky!
So today in church – I stood there singing my heart out, smiling that I was a “friend” of God! I could see His Facebook page – and that I was one of the blessed few chosen to be one of His “friends”! And I know that He will NEVER “un-friend” me! But as I happily thought about being his “friend” – I could feel the sadness in His heart. Was He glad that I was His friend? Yes. Is He glad that you are His friend? No doubt! So where was the sadness coming from?
Are you truly God’s “friend”? Do you occasionally check in on Him – find out what He’s done or is currently doing – read His posts (the Bible, go to Church, etc)? Or do you occasionally “post” something to Him (pray – or ask others to pray for you) – a request, a praise, a comment, or even a complaint? Do you only connect with Him via “facebook” – at a distance? You might even “chat online” with him once in awhile when you find the time – but how often do you do this in person?
God loves being your friend! But He’s not interested in just a “facebook” type relationship. He wants a deeper, more intimate friendship and relationship. He actually would love it if He could not only walk and talk with you every day – but to live with you! To be with you every waking moment of the day! No need to sit down and set aside a special time and effort to “post” something on His facebook page (or hope that He’s been checking yours). You would already be in His presence – experiencing all of life with Him – all of your life – and all of His! That’s what He wants! He wants so much more than we give Him. He wants so much more of you – because He wants to give you so much more of Him!
So today, take an account of your friendship with God. Is it just a “facebook” type of relationship? Do you spend time in that “facebook” setting just playing games, taking & creating quizes, swapping information and photos with other friends and with God (ie – getting very involved in activities – in and outside of church) – thinking you are increasing your relationship/friendship with God? Are you enjoying just “spying” on your friends and all their relationships and their friendship with God?
It’s not that all those things are bad . . . but to really deepen and strengthen any relationship/friendship – you need to get together, in person, with your friend! The intimacy that is shared in personal, close contact – sharing not only facts or opinions, but your heart cries, your joys, fears, laughter, tears – watching how your friend’s face reacts to your latest news, feeling the comfort of his/her arms when you are struggling . . . . you can’t find that on Facebook!
I challenge you to go deeper with God today. To put aside your “facebook” type relationship with God – and to invite Him in to live with you – every moment of the day. If that’s too scary or hard for you to imagine right now – then just invite Him over for coffee! You will find, that just spending a little bit of intimate time with Him will leave you wanting more. I don’t think it will be too long before you do want Him to move in!
As a side note . . . I also want to encourage and challenge you (and myself) to also go beyond Facebook (or email) and get together with some of your friends or family members this week. Reach out to them in a more personal way . . . go out for lunch, set up a playdate with your kids, go see a movie and then out for coffee . . . or just hang out at your favorite spot (beach, mountains, mall). Because really . . . which is more important to you? A clean house (your work, your hobbies, etc)? Or your friends/relationships? Start with your friendship with God – and go from there!
Ditch “facebook” and meet Face to face this week!
Gaze/experience/love/laugh . . . deeply!
John 15:12-14 “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.”