“The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him,
and he makes known to them his covenant.”
Long ago, while in the throes of a tug of war for my soul, (AKA middle school), I regularly attended church in Connecticut with my parents. This was a pivotal season wrought with spiritual warfare. Adolescence begets identity – hence why the enemy tries tirelessly to highlight times of insecurity and shame. Even now, as I look back on those years, I see many moments I long to forget.
But lately, as I’ve been searching the scriptures, I’m reminded of something from that time period that’s seemingly insignificant…a song we often sang at church.
The song is “Friend of God.” It has, like many 2000’s worship songs, since evaporated into the ether of Sunday morning service planning software. It’s earned a bad rep from many for being too casual in referencing our relationship to the Almighty God. The simple chorus sings, “I am a friend of God. I am a friend of God. I am a friend of God – He calls me friend!”
While, admittedly, the hook is slightly annoying, “Friend of God” is a much more powerful song than I’d ever realized.
Psalm 25 declares that the friendship of the Lord is not synonymous with our understanding of human friendship – it is a bond birthed in holy fear.
“The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear Him.”
Have you ever met someone who oozes Holy Spirit power? Someone who’s presence feels as if you’re in the presence of Jesus?
She is a friend of God.
But what qualifies her to receive that title?
Her fear of Him!
The fear of God is a holy reverence for who He is. It’s the beginning of wisdom. And this rightful recognition of who He is results in His friendship.
Our fear of the Lord grows naturally over time. The longer we walk with God, the more we fear Him. We begin to truly believe in His power, His holiness, and just how good He is. The longer we walk with God, the easier it is to trust and obey Him, because He is immutable; He never changes, and we can recall His faithfulness time and time again. The longer we walk with God, the more we can boast in His character. When we willingly decide to dwell beneath the banner of His redeeming love and unending power, adamantly acknowledging His rule and reign over all things, He takes notice. He instructs us. He calls us friends, and He makes known His covenant to us.
What is His covenant?
“This is the covenant that I will make with them
after those days, declares the Lord:
I will put my laws on their hearts,
and write them on their minds,”
then he adds,
“I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”
His covenant is newness. His covenant is a cleansed conscious. His covenant is made possible only through the blood of Jesus. His covenant is for His friends.
I will not allow the enemy to bury the powerful message of this song within the skewed view of my awkward middle school years. Singing of our status as friends of God is not a mockery of His holiness – it is a faith-filled declaration of His promise. Yes, it’s radical. But oh, what a wondrous truth! The friendship and secret council of the Lord is not a casual arrangement. It is a gift reserved for those who fear Him.
It is reserved for those who daily allow the Holy Spirit to reveal the immeasurable beauty and power of Jesus Christ through His Word. It is saved for servants wrapped in the reality of Jesus’s righteousness – in awe that somehow, despite our unending sins, we still haven’t lost our favor with the Lord. It is for those who look on Him with wonder; who worship Him spirit and in truth.
It’s not casual – it’s radical.
The friendship of the Lord is for me…
…and it is for you.