Most of us have friends, some are considered closer than others, but do you have an inner circle of friends if so what qualifies the person to be in your inner circle other than familiarity? Is it your best friend, someone at work, people in your neighborhood, somebody you grew up with, the people you socialize with, someone at the gym or maybe even, somebody you met at church? Can you even name the people you consider in your inner circle? How many would you say are in the close-knit circle you have what do you talk about when you are together? Would you say the conversation is about people, places, events, ideas, or just stuff? You may have heard it said, Great minds talk about ideas, average minds talk about events, and small minds talk about people and make up stuff.
If your inner circle is comprised of, people who listen, pay attention to, and act on the Word of God, you have a group with which to share your ideas. Although Jesus called twelve and added more later He identified His inner circle when He took only Peter, James, and John into the house of Jairus, where Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead (Mark 5:35-43). Later, those same three disciples Jesus chose to witness the transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-9). Those same three also saw Jesus’ agony in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:33-42).
God deeply desires that we become a part of His inner circle that we know him intimately. In fact, he planned the entire universe composing history, including detailed plans for each of our lives, so that we could become his friends. In the book of Acts 17:26-27 we read “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us”.
That God would want any of us for a close friend may be hard to understand. Knowing and loving God is our greatest privilege, and being known and loved is God’s greatest pleasure. In Jerimiah 9:24 God says, “but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.”
The word for “friend” in this instance does not mean a casual acquaintance but a close, trusted intimate relationship. We read the words of Jesus in John 15:15 “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” Even today in royal courts and among some dignitaries servants must keep their distance from the king, and VIP’s but the inner circle of trusted friends enjoy close contact, direct access, and confidential information.
It is very difficult for most of us to imagine how an intimate friendship is possible between an omnipotent, invisible, perfect God and finite, sinful human beings like us. It is easier to understand a Master-servant relationship or a Creator-creation relationship or even Father-child. In order for us to understand and begin to view God as a friend, we must first move beyond our thoughts and feelings of only being in fear of God. The teaching many older Christians received about God mainly induced one type of fear or another of God, rather than those feelings invoked by being a friend of God.
God created me to seek and find Him, repent, and reestablish myself to Him, to intimately know Him, love Him, and serve Him in this life, so that I will be beyond happy, when sharing the mutual enjoyment of being in His presence forever in the next life.