“And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.” (James 2:23)
Abraham was called the friend of God. This indeed is an amazing thing that the Creator of the heavens and the earth would consider a man as His friend; but Abraham was not the only friend that God had in the Old Testament.
Apparently God had a specific time of the day in which He would visit with Adam (Genesis 3:8, Psalms 8:4, Hebrews 2:6), no doubt sharing and discussing the secrets of the universe and teaching him about His Creation (Genesis 3:8). “What do you think, Adam?” “What should we call these creatures that I have created?” “I have created you in my image and in my likeness!” “Tell me, what shall we call these animals? (Genesis 2:19-20)
Adam was a friend of God, and that’s why the devil targeted him so aggressively; he knew that the man and woman whom God had created were precious to the heart of God, but he also knew that God had given them ruling authority. This fact infuriated the devil, filling him with envious rage; he would stop at nothing until he took what belonged to them and became the “god of this world” (II Corinthians 4:4). Well, most of us know the rest of the story; Satan deceived the woman, and Adam, who was standing there next to her, hearkened to the voice of his wife instead of obeying God (Genesis 3:6, I Timothy 2:14).
We have been taught that God was angry, but it was not so; the voice of God cried out in the cool of the day for the man that He had created; “Where art thou Adam, my friend?” “My heart longs for our fellowship!” “What did you do?” (Genesis 3:9) Of course God knew what they had done and where they were hiding; He wasn’t asking because He couldn’t find them, He was crying out to them because the man that had been His friend was now (spiritually) dead (Genesis 2:17). God’s heart cry continued to echo down through the ages, through all of His holy prophets, speaking of a time of restoration when true fellowship would once again be restored (Acts 3:21). We are privileged to be now living in that time.
God takes His relationship with His friends very seriously. In fact, He valued His relationship with Abraham to such a degree that He consulted with him on one of His major decisions (Genesis 18:17-19, 23-33). Why did God share such intimate things with Abraham? Because He was a prophet? (Genesis 20:7) No, God didn’t share these things with him because he was a prophet, but rather because Abraham was His friend. Friends share intimate things with one another, but prophets are not always friends. There were prophets in the Old Testament that were anything but friends of God (I Samuel 10:11, II Peter 2:15), and so it is today (Matthew 7:22-23).
The Apostle Paul also understood that with friendship comes responsibility and accountability, and he admonished the Corinthian church because they were unwilling to pass judgments pertaining to the affairs of this life (I Corinthians 6:1-4). Paul knew that, as sons and daughters of God, they had been given authority to execute righteous judgment and make decrees (John 20:21-23, Job 22:28, Mark 11:23, Romans 4:17), and that God would back these decrees that were in line with His will.
Paul walked in such intimate fellowship with the Lord that there were times when God gave no commandment concerning his instruction to the church. But rather gave Paul liberty to pass judgment himself, as one that had been found faithful to act as His ambassador (I Corinthians 7:6, 25). Paul was so yielded to the Spirit of God that his decisions were, in essence God’s decisions, and God’s decisions were his decisions; these judgments and decrees of Paul were not by commandment, but rather permission (I Corinthians 2:16), and yet they became scripture.
“Whoa, Brother Tom, are you saying that we can write scripture?” No, but we can make judgments pertaining to the affairs of this life in our specific realm of authority. What is your God-given realm of authority? Are you a pastor? A father and husband? A business owner or employee? An apostle or prophet?
Jesus knew His purpose and the boundaries of His authority because He was not only God the Son and the Son of Man, but He was also a friend of God; He obeyed the Father because He loved Him and spent many hours communing with Him, and knew His heart in matters.
Jesus died and rose again so that we could have the same opportunity that He had while he was on the earth; the same opportunity to walk in oneness with the Father, and to bear much fruit in His name. In fact, Jesus Himself told us that the mighty works that He did, we would do even greater because He was going to the Father, and we were to remain, in His stead; in His authority (John 14:12). We have indeed been privileged to be called the sons and daughters of God (John 1:12).