As we enter into the New Year 2017, I would like to present this inspirational teaching as a reminder to us, as to what it means to be a friend of God. Did you know that by virtue of being a believer in Jesus Christ you are a friend of God in the same way Abraham and his descendants were?
There are house of Israel inheritances therein, being a friend of God that is, which are attainable from Christ. These enable us to sustain intimacy with God and be His holy priesthood.
Many Christians are not taking hold of these inheritances which are part of their covenant relationship with God that allows them to exercise their authority in Christ. The inheritances are the kingly and priestly anointing and the right of access to the revelatory realm of God (portals of heaven) among other blessings.
In this article, I discuss what friendship with God means and the benefits deliberately in an in-depth manner including Old and New Testament scriptures, so as to encourage believers to assess their level of obedience and intimacy with God. Also for those who already walk intimately with Him, that they would press on with greater zeal. Happy New Year and God bless you all!
Live in the fullness of your inheritance as a friend of God in 2017 & beyond:
God Almighty is always calling us higher, to places of greater intimacy and depth in Him (Rev 4:1) and has told us to call on Him (Jer 33:3). Our being called by Him and being asked to call on Him is so that our God of communication and love will show us mysteries, or hidden things we do not know for He wants us to know the signs of the times and things that He plans to do.
Abraham had faith in God and was obedient to Him many times, a sign that he walked in agreement with God. For these reasons, He was called righteous and a friend of God (James 2:23 KJV).
“Can two walk together except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3 KJV)
“16And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way.17And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;18Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.” (Gen. 18:16-19 KJV).
We can see from Genesis 18:16-19, that the type of friendship God had with Abraham was one of trust which meant that God did not want to hide anything from Abraham which was why He told Abraham in advance about His plan to destroy Sodom & Gomorrah.
The 18th and 19th verses of Genesis 18, reveal clearly what God requires from those He calls friends. It is not enough being in covenant with God as Abraham was (verse 18). What seals friendship with God resulting in God trusting the person to the point that He reveals His secrets or what He plans to do is when that person does what God foreknew Abraham would do (verse 19) which is to position him or herself as a leader and tutor in their household to ensure that everyone is living in obedience to the righteous and just ways of God. The aforementioned is a condition for covenant promises of God to come to pass. This is such an important point that needs underlining and remembering daily.
This point highlighted in verse 19, ought to revive or reinforce the reverential fear of God in our hearts and to remind us that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ is indeed the same God of the ancient Israelites.
It is important to question and reflect as we enter the new year and while we live our lives through it, as follows: could the measure of revelation and insight into specific things and what God wants to do, be withheld from many by God because they are not relating to Him beyond just believing in Him as Christians under the new covenant? Are people leaving things undone such as teaching their children or other family members the ways of God regardless of the cost?
Being ready to suffer mockery or affliction momentarily by teaching or preaching the gospel and living a lifestyle as Christ’s witness is a price to pay for at least one member of one’s household eventually coming to the Lord. Are we paying such a price? Do we care enough to do so?
It is just as well God told Abraham that He was about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because Abraham was able to intercede for his nephew Lot. This shows the importance of cultivating a lifestyle as a true friend of God as Abraham did; You become God’s trustworthy ordained intercessor for the sake of others, communities and nations because you are privy to His secrets, thoughts and will. You are therefore a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinth. 6:19/Romans 8:26) to pray the will of God and to partner with Him for His plans and purposes to come to pass.
God speaking through Isaiah calls Jacob (Israel) “the seed of Abraham, my friend” (Is.41:8 KJV). The type of friendship that Jacob had with God was inherited from Abraham. God also foreknew that Jacob will have the same nature as Abraham (One jwho activated his covenant relationship with God, not for his own sake but ensured his household lived according to God’s righteous and just ways as well) thus meriting the ability to communicate with God closely, trusted enough to gain insight into God’s mind and be His instrument to bless multitudes.
What evidence is there of this in Jacob’s life?
12And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.13And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I [am] the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;14And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed (Genesis 28:12-14 KJV).
The LORD at the time of affirming Jacob’s Abrahamic covenant inheritance gave Jacob a dream of angels ascending and descending on a ladder at the top of which stood God. This speaks of the following being part of or the product of the covenant of Abraham passed down to Jacob:
1.Right of access to the revelatory realm of God or “portals of heaven” to hear from God and therefore know His will as well as to fellowship with Him so as to have His perpetual peace, joy and righteousness.
2. The prophetic (receiving revelation from God on behalf of the people) and intercessory/ priestly (presenting people & their needs before God)
gifts or anointings upon the house of Israel, called by God as His “kingdom of priests and holy nation” (Ex.19:6KJV).
This prophetic and priestly anointing is Israel’s supernatural inheritance which makes it possible for their natural perpetual service to God in their life path so that the prophetic will of God for the world is made manifest through them (Israelites) collectively as a people as it did specifically through Jesus Christ, sent into the world through Israel.
It is therefore not surprising that Jesus said the following
to his disciples (which we are today)
“Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” (John 15:15 KJV). Thus as a friend of Jesus Christ, we do not only have the righteousness of God through him (Romans 3:22) but are affirmed friends of God of the calibre of Abraham and his descendants, for as Abraham, we are ones who do not
-take our covenant with God for granted but apply it in our lives as well as teach our households to live according to it as God foreknew Abraham would under covenant (Gen 18:18-19).
-strive to hear from God about His will, plans and purposes for us but rather we cultivate a relationship with him daily so as to receive the knowledge of all things from God through Jesus Christ.
Expressed in another way, we are in actual fact, Jesus’ disciples or friends
1) communing with Jesus, the “Son of Man” (John 1:51)
The picture of open heavens and the Angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man (John 1:47-51) Jesus said Nathaniel his disciple will have is a revelation of the portals of God’s heavenly realm (same as Jacob, the friend of God saw in Genesis 28) open to anyone who is a disciple of Jesus Christ, and therefore a friend of God.
Jesus Christ is one who personifies the gateway (he is indeed the only Way John 14:6) or portal to God’s heavenly throne room. May we abide in Christ daily so that we stay completely connected to God spiritually for an enriched natural life fulfilling His will on earth, not just for ourselves but multitudes in Jesus’ mighty name. Amen. or
2) attaining from the house of Israel through Jesus Christ (in the manner of point 1) our inheritance which are
-Right of access to the portals of heaven or revelatory realm of God.
-prophetic and priestly (intercessory) anointing.
This is because Jesus is the seed of Abraham (Gal. 3:16) through his descent from Abraham’s lineage (The line of Jacob’s son Judah) and believers in Jesus Christ are spiritual seeds of Abraham (Gen. 3:29) as partakers of the new covenant (Jer 31:31-34) through acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
Be reminded of your priesthood nature as an anointed believer in Christ Jesus according to the Word of God:
-Christ has made you “a kingdom of priests for God His Father” (Rev 1:6).
-“But you are a chosen people, a Royal Priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9)
-You are built up as a spiritual house made a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God through Christ Jesus (1 Peter 2:5)
As long as you have the Holy Spirit abiding in you, you are prophetic, in other words through the Spirit of God you are able to hear from God so as to know His mind and will.
In addition to the prophetic and intercessory (priestly) spiritual anointings and access to God’s revelatory realm we receive as our heritage from the Abrahamic covenant through Christ, we are given insight into other blessings we partake of as friends of God which were pronounced on Jacob (Israel) the “seed of Abraham, my friend” (Is.41:8), Abraham’s grandson by his son Isaac (Isaiah 41:8-13).
These are God’s assurance that we are chosen by Him, and should therefore be fearless. We are guaranteed God’s help, protect and defence against our enemies.
Brethren, there are only two days left of 2016 before the year 2017 commences, it is therefore the right time for you, a friend of God to
1. Thank Him for what He has done in 2016 and past years and is about to do.
2.Seek Him in prayer for revelation and wisdom concerning 2017;
Are your plans in alignment with His for you?
As a friend of God, He wants to share with you what is on His heart concerning yourself, family, individuals, the world etc.. as well as insight into the enemies’ strategies.
The next couple of days are therefore a time to take stock of this year 2016 and set quality time aside in prayer and fasting. Having quiet times to tune one’s spiritual ears to hear what God is saying is also as important as praying and fasting are. While the LORD God can do all things without you, He chooses to partner with you because He is a God of relationship.
As you take delight in the Lord and take hold of the fullness of your inheritance in Him, I pray that God would grant you, his friend, all your heart’s desires according to His perfect will in 2017 and beyond.
You are blessed, determine to stay blessed!