June 8th is Best Friends Day. This isn’t to be confused with Friendship Day — which is a different (and apparently much debated) day. I shared 5 semi-wise lessons for adult friendship earlier this week and I’m going to continue on the friendship line again today. Only this time it’ll be with a Jesus twist. 🙂
Growing up in church, whenever people would talk about friendship they would reference David and Jonathan. However, I want to go back a little bit further in Scripture.
Before Jesus arrives on the scene in the New Testament, there were a lot of rules and guidelines for a connection to God. It required a sacrifice and a priest.
Jesus’ sacrifice create a bridge to God and we have the privilege to approach God often as we desire. Jesus became our intercessor, our go-between.
Thank God (literally) that Jesus made such a sacrifice and that we have the honor to talk to God like a friend. However, this verse about Moses’ friendship with God shows us a little something more. It shows us WHY we need to be friends with God.
In a word: Joshua.
Moses spent time with Joshua. Joshua spent time with Moses. Moses spent time with God. Joshua spent time with God.
Even when Moses left his talk time with God, Joshua stayed.
Our friendship with God is important for us. It’s a life-giving, peace-filling, joy-sustaining, power-building station. It’s where God can sooth, prepare, equip, teach, and build us.
Never for a moment should we forget the honor and privilege it is to have the All-Creative, Life-Giving God of the Universe desiring to spend time with us.
But our time with God doesn’t just benefit us, it infects the next generation — if we allow them to see it at work in our lives.
Although we’ve recently stepped down as youth leaders, I don’t think I’ll ever forget Emma coming home from Bible college and saying “… and they’re youth pastor never even taught them about this! They just played a lot of games.”
Emma was stunned by the lack of information that the other “church” kids had. As her leader, it was proud moment and a terrible moment.
I don’t know the situation of these other students. Maybe the church was experience growing pains and the students were lost in the shuffle. Maybe the student was taught the information but zoned out during the lesson. The list of “maybe’s” could go on and on and on. And from one leader to the next — I get it — youth ministry is hard. It’s a strange, complex, and ever-changing ministry field.
Even as an adult, I find the lack of displayed passion alarming. Everyone wants to teacher, preach, or start some sort of ministry. (*quietly raise my own hand as I write a blog post in which I teach.) Teaching, preaching, and other forms of ministry are necessary! They are important! They are needed!
But when we allow others into our secret places we allow them to see a relationship — and not just any relationship. They see our friendship with God.
Prayer becomes less intimidating when they get to witness a “friendly conversation.” Intercession is modeled for them and it loses its teaching jargon. Praise and worship is displayed as a personal endeavor and not just as a public display. Most importantly, a friendship with God is seen as a reality and not just a possibility.
Moses didn’t let everyone into the hidden places. God chose Joshua. Moses could have been jealous of Joshua’s “youth” or he could have kept him at a distance. But he didn’t. Moses let Joshua into the messy times and into the amazing time.
In my own life, I’ve always found that the mentee I chose only brings frustration and never really meets the mark. But the person God chooses for mentorship is ready to bloom. The seed may be buried deep and they may not know they’re ready — but God knows. It’s my responsibility to walk in obedience and humility. It’s my responsibility to bring that person beside me.
It may take time but eventually they blossom into a God-hungry, divinity-filled person that God saw all along. And all it took was my friendship with God being displayed.
It should be noted that Moses had children. Yes, you’re children are supposed to witness your friendship with God. That is an important calling! However, sometimes God calls us to some place a little different.
A Joshua isn’t your biological child. The relationship is less parent/child and more teacher/disciple, mentor/mentee, or interactive display/learner. By the way, I’m pretty sure mentee isn’t a real word but you get the idea. 🙂