Friends With God: Part One
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Why do we not come to Jesus in faith? Many give Him a casual touch, coming in contact only with His person. The woman did more than this. She put forth her hand in faith and was healed instantly. . . . The friends of the truth will honor Him who is the Author and Finisher of their faith. Christ will prove Himself a physician in restoring the body as well as the soul. The workers together with God will yoke up with Christ and place themselves, soul, body, and spirit, in right relation to God.
This week’s email is about being friends with God. Even during times like this, when we all have a dark cloud in our experience; the Light of Christ is in that cloud; and we may be His Friend. This is the kind of news that is such good news, most anyone would welcome; and being friends with God always means you have good news for someone. Good News for everyone that God puts in your path.(1 John 1:1-3). In today’s darkest clouds; we can see Jesus; we can be friends with God. And your personal experience, (1 John 5:11-12) will be your personal testimony. The Bible says that we can overcome the accuser “…by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of [our] testimony;” (Rev 12:11)
Face to Face With Jesus Our Friend
And the Lord spoke unto Moses face to face, as a [person]would speak to their friend. Exodus 33:11.
After the transgression of Israel in making the golden calf, Moses again goes to plead with God in behalf of his people. He has learned from experience that in order to have an influence with the people he must first have power with God. And thats why the Bible says: “to anyone who receives [Jesus] gave He [God} POWER to be the sons and daughter’s of God.” (John 1:12)
The Lord reads the sincerity and unselfish purpose of the heart of His servant and condescends to commune with this feeble mortal, face to face, just as anyone might speak with a friend. Moses casts himself and all his burdens fully upon God and freely pours out his soul before Him. The Lord does not reprove His servant, but pauses, and comes down to our level, to listen to our supplications.
For Moses, the answer comes:
“My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.” (Exodus 33:14)
But Moses does not feel that he can stop here. He has gained much, but he longs to come still nearer to God, to obtain a stronger assurance of His abiding presence. He has carried the burden of Israel; he has borne an overwhelming weight of responsibility; when the people sinned, he suffered keen remorse, as though he himself were guilty; (Moses identified, personally with the people he was praying for), and now there presses upon his soul a sense of the terrible results should God leave the people of Israel to their hardness and impenitence of heart. . . . Moses presses his petition with such earnestness and fervency that the answer comes:
“I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.” (Exodus 33:17)
So this is way back in Exodus when Moses “found grace,” and saved by grace has always been the watchword of the Christian, both Old Testament and New Testament.
Indeed, we would expect the prophet to cease pleading or praying here; but no, emboldened by his success, Moses ventures to come still nearer to God, with a holy familiarity which is almost beyond our comprehension. How many of us do this with God now?
Here, Moses now makes a request which no human being ever made before:
“I beseech thee, show me thy glory.” (Exodus 30:18)
What a petition to come from finite, mortal human beings! But is God repulsed? Does God reprove Moses for presumption? No. This is where we hear the gracious words:
“I will make all my goodness pass before thee.”…(Exodus 30:19)
In the history of Moses we may see what intimate communion with God it is our privilege to enjoy today.
God and Moses talked face to face in the Tent of Meeting, just as friends do. Why did Moses find such favour with God? It certainly was not because he was perfect, gifted, or powerful. Rather, it was because God chose Moses, and Moses in turn relied wholeheartedly on God’s wisdom and direction. Friendship with God was a true privilege for Moses, out of reach for the other Hebrews. But it is not out of reach for us today. Jesus called his disciples—and, by extension, all of his followers—his friends (John 15:15). He has called you to be his friend. Will you accept his invitation to openly communicate with him? Jesus desires this kind of relationship with you.
While Moses was absent; and speaking thus with God, it was a time of waiting and suspense to Israel. The people knew that he had ascended the mount with Joshua, and had entered the cloud of thick darkness which could be seen from the plain below, resting on the mountain peak, illuminated from time to time with the lightnings of the divine Presence.
It is similar to our modern day situations where the clouds of our experience can make it hard to see Jesus. But the Bible tells us that it is because of the clouds that we can be drawn closer to God and have communion with Him, as to a friend. The Light of Christ; His presence, is right there in the cloud.
John 3:29 The bride belongs to the groom. The friend who helps the groom waits and listens for him. He is full of joy when he hears the groom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete.
Our Lord Jesus Christ came to this world as the unwearied servant of our necessity. Right in the middle of the clouds of my experience, Jesus is there. God is in the room. Jesus identifies with us by “taking our infirmities, and bearing our sicknesses,” [Mat 8:17.] that He might minister to every felt need we may have now. The burden of disease and misery and sin He came to remove. It was His mission to bring to us complete restoration; Jesus came to give us health and peace and perfection of character. And without a doubt; varied are the circumstances and needs of those who seek His aid today, and none who come to Jesus are turned away un-helped. (John 6:37). From Jesus, in the middle of the cloud, flowed a stream of healing light and love, and power; and in body and mind and soul people today can be made whole in Christ.
The Saviour’s work is never restricted to any time or place. His compassion knows no limit. On so large a scale did He conduct His work of healing and teaching that there was no building in Palestine large enough to receive the multitudes that thronged to Him. On the green hills of Galilee, in the thoroughfares of travel, by the seashore, in the synagogues, and in every place where the sick could be brought to Him, was to be found His hospital. In every city, every town, every village through which He passed, Jesus laid His hands upon the afflicted ones, and healed them. Wherever there were hearts ready to receive His message, He comforted them with the assurance of their heavenly Father’s love. All day Jesus ministered to those who came to Him; in the evening Jesus gave attention to such as through the day must toil to earn a pittance for the support of their families.
2 Cor 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 2 Cor 1:4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
Jesus carried the crushing weight of responsibility for the salvation of all people who seek Him. He knew that unless there was a decided change in the principles and purposes of people, that all would be lost. Decisions have to be made for Jesus today:
Joshua 24:15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
This was the burden of our Savior’s soul, and none could appreciate the weight that rested upon Him. Through childhood, youth, and manhood, Jesus, in and through The Spirit, walked alone. Yet it was heaven to be in His presence. Day by day Jesus met trials and temptations; day by day Jesus was brought into contact with evil, and witnessed its power upon those whom He was seeking to bless and to save. Yet Jesus did not fail nor become discouraged.
In all things He brought His wishes into strict abeyance to His mission. To glorify The Father. Jesus glorified His life by making everything in it subordinate to the will of His Father. When in His youth, His mother, finding Him in the school of the rabbis, said, “Son, why hast Thou thus dealt with us?” He answered,–and His answer is the key-note of His life-work,–“How is it that ye sought Me? wist ye not that I must be about My Father’s business?” [Luke 2:48-49.]
Everyone is under the darkening clouds of the Covid 19 crises. The struggle is real. But so is Jesus. Crises is always opportunity for Jesus. “His presence shall go with thee…” (Exodus 33:14).
The Light of Christ is in the clouds. Yesterday I prayed for someone who lost their job, because of the virus and today they texted me and said that a resume they submitted to someone over 7 months ago, was kept by the owner of the business he had applied at; and he got a call from that business today about that job. So God answered my prayer, seven months before I uttered it:
Isa 65:24 “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.”
What do you see in your clouds?
It is by being Friends of God that we can see Jesus in the darkest, stormiest clouds of our tired planet.
His eternal presence is in your clouds:
Psalms 18:11 He made darkness His secret place; His canopy around Him was dark waters And thick clouds of the skies. Psalms 18:12 From the brightness before Him, His thick clouds passed with hailstones and coals of fire.
Wont you make today, the day that you have a talk with Him?