Friendship with God
How do we cultivate any friendship? By spending time with the person that we wish to be friends with! It is a very simple formula.
Imagine someone who desires to be your friend, who happens to love you unconditionally, who always forgives your mistakes and, on top of that, wants to help you in every possible way to be a complete person, brimming with enthusiasm and joy, having purpose and direction.
Well, guess what? Such a person exists. God desires to be your best friend in this adventure called life. God desires to be in relationship with you. God is present Now and inviting you to get acquainted with His congenial, loveable Person.
Most people are confused about God. To get unconfused, try being God's friend. Ask God to bring blessing to your life, to reveal his character to you, to help you on your journey. That simple ask, if done in sincerity, will reveal your best friend in the universe, God.
There are stages of building your relationship with God, beginning with getting acquainted, which is a bit awkward, due to our preconceived notions, our lack of attentiveness to cultivating the relationship and our own insincerity. "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God."
The second step is friendliness. At this stage you now have a sense of God and His Presence in your life. You are developing a sense that God can be trusted, unlike many relationships. You are also gaining a faith assurance in the promises of God, that in time they will become real. This step can take some time depending again upon the quality of sincerity that we bring to the relationship. For most of us, deep wounds need to healed, which God will do, to bring us into Divine Relationship.
The third step is friendship. Now, you are clear. God is good; you can see that goodness in the acts of kindness of others and in your own choices to be good. God is sublimely beautiful; you can see that beauty in the creation, in the amazing intelligence which fills every nook and cranny of the creation. God is true; you can see that truth in how God's values actually do work to promote the welfare of all. God is love and, specifically, cares about your welfare. In this step we walk with God every day. We experience God's Presence at every moment and are delighted by that Presence.
The fourth step is union. In this moment you have consecrated your will to the doing of God's will. You have learned to trust God in every way. You have in your experience a sense of the Infinite Depth of God's Regard for his beloved children; and, you are manifesting that regard in your relations with people around you, whether friend or foe.
Contemplative prayer is a deepening of faith. It is the signal that you are willing to spend your most precious asset, your time, with the Beloved, God. For most people, prayer is quick and over; it is not a twenty minute visit; it is a twenty second recitation. If we truly desire relationship with God, we will set aside a signficant portion of our day, twenty minutes in the morning and twenty minutes in afternoon, at the very least, to spend time with the One who loves us most dearly. In this manner, you will cultivate your friendship with God. You will learn to delight in taking this time with the One who loves you unconditionally, who forgives you always and who serves you in exploring the enchanted pathway of the divine will.
I ask you to consider: why wouldn't you want to spend time with your best friend?
"You are my friends... I choose you." John 15:15