I Call You My Friends
Scripture: John 15:15; 1 John 4:18
So much of life hinges on a single choice. And on the single choice after that.
Are there people who choose a destination other than what God has predestined for them? Absolutely. Are there people in the grave with books they were supposed to write, people they were supposed to save, companies they were supposed to launch? Yes, yes, yes—without a shadow of a doubt. This is the power of choice. Now you may say, “How can a loving God let us choose less for ourselves?” And I would say, “How can he love you and not let you choose?”
This is the problem with us playing God: We simply do not have what it takes. We contradict ourselves. We act selfishly. We say we want freedom and independence, even as we long to be somewhat controlled. “God, let me choose you!” we cry out to our Father. “Don’t make me go against my desires! I want to have sex because I feel like it. I want to do what makes me feel good!”
Moments later, we cry out, “God, won’t you please keep me from harming myself? I can’t take this pain anymore!”
May I state the obvious here? We simply can’t have it both ways.
Before time began, God solved this dilemma by giving humankind free will. He wants to purify and redeem us, but he wants us to choose that noble course. I’ve heard it said that “Love is not love without choice. Once love is mandatory, it is no longer love. It is slavery, and God doesn’t want slaves.”
What does God want, according to John 15:15? “I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.” What God wants is friends.
What this means for you and me both is this: The ball is always in our court. God gave us the power to give him the power over our lives. The choice is always ours.
How do you respond to the idea that God wants you as a friend? What does this say about God’s character?