If I will be so bold as to call myself a friend of God, then surely, what matters to God matters to me, right? That’s what friends are for… when one smiles, the other smiles, and when one cries, the other cries… see, a friend feels what the other feels. It’s as if they share one heart. Or at least it should be that way. Because if you have a friend whose heart is breaking, and you’re not moved by that… well, then you’re not really a friend at all, are you?
And so, to be called a friend of God, one must know what He cares about, right? One must know what lies on His heart. And it’s through the pages of Scripture that we find His heart’s message. Deuteronomy 10:17-19 says, “For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe. He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing. Therefore love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” So it’s clear, God cares about the fatherless and the widow… He loves the stranger. Further into the pages of God’s word, we find a sterner message, but essentially saying the same, “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” James 1:26-27.
You know… in past days, I would have described myself as a religious person. And because of that fact alone I would have given myself the title, “friend of God.” Because I’m religious and hold fast to a set of external ceremonies with regard to worship of God. It’s a religious discipline that I cling to. So yes, this makes me a religious person; however, I find that this is not at all what makes me friend to God.
A true friend of God would listen to Him. A true friend of God would care for what He cares for. And now I’m seeing the truth… the closer I get to Him and His ways, the more I see that my heart and my ways are not exactly meshing. Because I find that my heart is not in sync with Him with regard to what matters the most. And what I’m seeing is that my outward worship is simply that. Outward. But today is the day, He’s calling me to something deeper. Something real. He’s calling me to what He considers pure and undefiled religion. And not just me… He’s callling us all to something more.
You know, I’ve been so uncomfortable lately. And the truth is, I believe I’m going to feel this discomfort until I move off my duff and do something… I think this unsettled feeling will follow me around until I really step up and follow the footsteps of Jesus like He told me to do. The truth? Three years of seeking God and trying to escape the rut of darkness, and forty-some blogs later have all led to this. I know in my heart of hearts that God is moving me beyond my complacency. And what that will look like, I really don’t know. All I do know is what Jesus did… and I know that I am to follow His footsteps. We all are.
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.” Isaiah 61:1-3
I can’t say it any better than the following video. This video is a picture of God’s heart. It should be our heart. May we all be so moved beyond our complacent… but uncomfortable… walls.