Last time in our series on best friend relationships with God, we talked about the importance of honesty and transparency. We mentioned how David directed all his emotions towards God including those of fear, doubt, concern, and worry. We saw how he was blessed for it too and was considered as the man after God’s own heart! Today we will be considering the aspect of obedience in a best friend relationship.
- Obedience/ Guidance
You may think to yourself: what does obedience have to do with friendship? Even when you consider your own friendships, you may struggle to find instances where they give directions that require obedience. The type of obedience that is common to us is not what we are considering here. We are not talking about the obedience that exists in a master/servant relationship or that of a boss/subordinate relationship. We are talking about obedience in the form of heeding to guidance and advice given by your best friend.
We know that candor comes in the form of advice that you may not want to hear but probably should hear. This isn’t something just anyone can tell you. It must be someone who is close to you and has established that relationship to the point where they can be open enough to advise and admonish you without having fear of criticism. This is the type of obedience we are talking about in our relationship with God.
When we consider the freedom God has given us, we realize we have a choice in every matter. We do not have to obey what He says but He expects obedience out of our love for Him as our best friend. When we talk about fear of the Lord, the fear we should have for God is out of awe and respect to our Creator and not of worry and concern of what punishment we may face if we don’t follow His direction. Let’s take a look at Scripture where we see the importance of having this healthy fear and obedience in our relationship with God.
Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. | John 15:9-11
You are My friends if you do what I command you. | John 15:14
From these verses we see the importance of obedience in love. Whenever I read these verses I’m reminded of an episode from King of Queens where Doug and Carrie get into an argument over washing dishes. Carrie asks Doug to wash the dishes but when she comes back from work the dishes are still in the sink. When she confronts him again about the dishes, he loathingly gets up and with all frustration heads over to the sink to start washing them. Carrie immediately stops him and tells him not to do it with that type of attitude. Doug is confused about the sudden change of direction even though she had JUST had asked him to do the dishes for the second time. Her response is what sums it up best, “I want you to WANT to wash the dishes!” His immediate reaction is, “Why in world would I WANT to wash dishes?”
When we consider our friendship with God, we often fall into the same boat. We often obey because we feel we HAVE to obey, or else! That is not the attitude that God desires from us. He wants us to obey Him out of our compelling love for Him.
When you consider your best friend and the direction and advice they give you, you try your best effort to comply and make them happy because you love them! You value them as an important person in your life and you know they advise you because they care for you. God has the same relationship with us but in a MUCH greater way! God loves us beyond how any earthly friend could ever love us! He loved us to the point of giving up His own Son for our sakes. That is true love! The least we can do is obey Him because of what He has done for us!
Today we looked at the importance of obedience in our friendship with God. We should obey Him out of respect and love, not out of fear of punishment! In part three, we will consider the importance of passion and desire in our best friend relationship with our Savior!