While God is Almighty, all powerful, and the sovereign Lord, He does extend Himself to us as our intimate friend.
In Psalm 25:14 the scripture describes the God who creates and sustains all life as wanting to confide in us.
”The LORD confides in those who fear Him, He makes His covenant known to them.”
Ps. 25:14 (NIV)
In the previous entry, “God: Our Personal Friend,” we saw that this expression confides was translated from a Hebrew word having a primitive root meaning “couch.” This has the inference of a place where two people lean into each other and share intimate, personal conversations. Where they can open up their heart and share their inmost thoughts and feelings. God is welcoming us to do that.
It seems unbelievable, but it is true! If you are in any form a believer in God this is an astounding truth. I, for one, desire such a relationship with God. I want to go beyond the religious exterior of performance and be in close friendship with God.
God, the Initiator
God has been reaching out to man to have a very personal relationship since before creation. Eph. 1:4 states: “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.”
God initiated setting us up to be able to have this close relationship with Him even before He created the world. This close relationship was always God’s intention, will and desire.
Let’s look at a few of these types of encounters with God.
More Snapshots on the Couch with God
As we flip through the album of God’s friends as written in the scriptures I see God’s overtures to man to indicate that God truly does welcome such closeness.
A Bold Conference with God
In Genesis 18, the LORD visits with Abraham to confirm the promise of a son. As the Lord is leaving He considers Sodom and Gomorrah and looks in the direction of those cities. He plans to destroy them for their wickedness and harm to others. His intent to have a close relationship, one in which includes Him revealing His heart and mind to man, is indicated in these words:
“When the men got up to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way. Then the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?” Gen. 18:16-17
After this comes a dialogue between Abraham and God in which God reveals to Abraham what He is about to do, and Abraham intercedes back and forth with God about this what God plans to do.
Abraham asks God in a series of dialogues if God would destroy these cities even if Abraham found 50 righteous people. God says, “No.” Abraham intercedes back and forth through 40, 30, 20 and 10 righteous people. (Genesis 18:16-33)
This is a true to life example of sitting on the couch with God.
Vulnerable Outpouring on the Couch
Have you ever been so frustrated and hurt by a situation or a person that you just had to sit down with your best friend and have a good cry, pouring all the hurt and confusion out? This is what we see in the next picture of Hannah and God.
In 1 Samuel 1:3-17, we see Hannah in a frenzied state talking to God. In verses 6 and 7 we read the background of Hannah’s soul talk with God. We see Hannah has been being harassed by her rival, Peninnah, the second wife of Elkanah.
We read hard words: provoked, irritated and rival. Some translations use the words provoke grievously and taunt severely to describe how Peninnah interacted with Hannah.
The scriptures relate that Hannah was in “deep anguish” when she confided in God, 1 Sam.1:10. The term “deep anguish” is translated as: in bitterness, anger, or discontent. One older translation says in “bitterness of soul she prayed to God.”
We might say Hannah was more than discouraged. This was not some simpering, prayer full of clichés and platitudes. She was frustrated and angry. She was honest and vulnerable before God. She prayed in such a distraught fashion that the priest who watched her as she spoke to God took her to be drunk, 1 Sam. 1:12-14.
What did God do? Ignore her? Recoil? No! God did not chastise her. He did not turn away from her. He listened to her and responded. He understood and answered her prayer. Infact, God had a mission for the son she would bear as a result of this talk with God.
You and God: Heart to Heart
God wants to have heart to heart talks with you also. In Revelation 3:20, Jesus says,
“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” (NLT)
Jesus is talking to believing disciples in this passage. He is not speaking to non-believers; He has another invitation for them in His Gospel. He is addressing the church in Laodicea.
He is reminding these disciples that He wants a deep personal friendship with them. The imagery in this passage is of sitting down and sharing a meal and conversation with Jesus. It is a picture of a personal friendship.
God wants to have a heart to heart talk with me, every day. Do I want to have this with God? Do I trust Him and His love for me?
God made it possible to be close with Him. He set this up through the death of His Son. Do I come in openness, humility, and a willingness to be vulnerable with God? Am I sitting on the couch, leaning into Him? Am I sharing a meal with Him, or participating in a routine or a religious process.
Think about it. What is it like between you and God?
“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?”