God is not your bestie

Something new has happened in the 21st century that has infiltrated churches, Christian bookstores, Christian music, and Christian thought, and I believe it is one of the most detrimental ideas that faith has ever had, and it’s the idea of a ‘bestie God.’ As a Christian, every time we turn around, we’re being told that ‘God is our best friend,’ that you can talk to Him however and whenever you like, that He loves you unconditionally and that you should hang out with Him more than anyone else in your life.

While some of this is true – the Bible does say God is a friend that sticks closer than a brother – the idea of God as our BFF has weakened our Christian faith. You don’t see King David pulling out his harp and saying, “So yeah, God, hey; you’re my best friend and all, and it’s really cool that I get to hang out with you, so here’s a little number in your honor.” You don’t see Paul telling us to ‘hang out’ with Jesus.

We used to believe we could only go to God through someone else, and that changed – but now, the thought that we can sling our arm around God’s shoulder and friend Him on Facebook has turned what should be reverence, honor and respect into something weak and pathetic.

We’ve stopped worshipping at God’s throne. We’ve turned Him from an omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient King into a ‘best friend who’s just like us!’ and it’s chipping away at the foundation of our faith. Is God our friend? Absolutely. Does He love us unconditionally? Yes. Does He ever demand less than honor and glory from us? Not really.

You don’t take a selfie with the Creator. You don’t hang out and have fun with the King of Kings. You spend time with Him, you learn from Him, and you come to Him as often and frequently as you can – but you remain humbled. You bow before Him. You show Him all the respect and service and honor He deserves (i.e. all of it).

God is your Friend, but He is not your bestie. He is your Lord, your King, your Creator, and He loves you more than you can possibly imagine.  On Sunday, we were asked to ‘give God a hand.’ God doesn’t need us to ‘give him a hand.’ Give Him  your sorrow, your sins, your obedience, and your own humbled, human love.

Give Him what He asks for.

 

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19 thoughts on “God is not your bestie

  1. I have so much love for this post. Thanks for the reminder! ^_^ I hadn’t thought about it, but it’s true. ❤

    (Also, I'm loving the new look! Very professional! 😉 )

  2. I agree, and disagree with you.

    I agree, that the level of intimacy we are invited to experience with Yahweh should overwhelm and fill us with awe. He is my Master, and my Savior, and my Provider. There is no one who is able to hold Him accountable, and no one He can go to for council.

    However, in Hosea 2:16 The Lord Himself says, ‘in that day you will no longer call me Master, but you will call me Husband.”

    Oi. Work. Must dash with this thought incomplete, but I’ll finish it tonight. 😉 Promise.

    • You’ll notice He says ‘in that day,’ not ‘right now.’ Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to Me and I will answer you in My time and tell you
      great and incomprehensible things you do not know.” I think it’s a good thing to think on, from all perspectives. Intimacy, yes. BFF-forever-ness? No.

      • Yahweh is my best friend, and the wild and strange thing is that He desires to be my best friend forever even though I can’t be His best friend forever( because I will fail Him), but He still desires to know and be known. The Hebrew word for ‘to know’ is yada. This is the word that Yahweh uses when He says of Abraham “I have chosen him” in Genesis 18:17-19 and more literally the passage could be read “I know him” and then He goes on to tell Abraham what His plans are for Sodom and Gomorrah and there is this amazing back and forth between Abraham and Yahweh where the one reads the Others heart and intercedes for the people of the city.

        This word yada, is an intimate word. It’s the same word used when Adam “knew” Eve and she had a son (Geneis 4:1) and here is the word used for the sexual intimacy between husband and wife.

        Yahweh desires to be known by us, and to know us. In fact He knows me better than anyone else. He knows what colors I like, He knows how many sins I committed today, He knows each mistake and victory. He knows that I love wolves, and foxes. He is glad when I include Him in my day and worship and awe and confession all get rolled up in one glorious conversation.

        Abraham was His friend (James 2:23)
        Moses was His friend (Exodus 33:11)
        Lazarus was His friend (John 11:11)
        The Apostles were His friends (John 15:15)

        And I am His friend. More astoundingly, He is MY friend. He doesn’t need anything from me, but He genuinely enjoys spending time with me and I am a delight to Him. Wild, I know.

        Now you’re right that God doesn’t ever need my help. Or your help. Or anyone’s help. He doesn’t need anything from any one of us. However, He does invite us to labor with Him, to join Him where He is working. That’s another mind-blowing thing.

        Yes, there should be reverence in the relationship. And if ”taking a selfie” with Him is to show off in a selfish self centered way, then no, I wouldn’t take selfies with Him. However, if taking a selfie with Him marks Him as mine, and me as His, then yes, yes I could take a ”selfie” with Him, metaphorically as it were.

        I will leave you with one last thought. I am in a huge amount of pain right now—-more on that later. But as my body was wracked with white hot pain, and I was doubled over trying to get some relief the thought pinged through my mind ”I want to go home” and then right on the tail of that thought was the surprise that I didn’t mean MY home, MY bed. I meant, I want out of this malfunctioning body and I want to go where Yahweh is. I want to be with Him.

        Sometime, when I wasn’t looking, Jesus became Home.

        I don’t mean that in a holier-than-thou way either. I mean it frightened me spitless kinda way, and I have been pondering that in a quiet kind of awe.

        So in conclusion, Yahweh is indeed my best friend because He knows me best and loves me anyway. I DO have fun with Him. I delight in His power and creativity and I talk to Him like I’d talk to a friend.

        And Yahweh is God. He made me(Genesis 1:27), He owns me (1 Cor 6:19-20), He can span the universe with one hand(Isaiah 40:12), and He destroyed the Egyptian army with the breath of His nostrils(Exodus 15). He holds the heart of every king in His hands(Proverbs 21:1). He declared the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:9), and there is no one like Him.

        And He is my friend. I don’t know how this works but it is the truth and I am profoundly grateful that He wants to be my friend.

        • I agree with what you say. I DO believe God is our friend, and He wants a personal, intimate relationship with us. I just don’t agree with the modern idea that you can chill out with God like he’s a homie and not GOD. 🙂

  3. If anyone knows God humbly and intimately, it’s Cynthia Heald. (If you haven’t heard of her, look up her books). I’ve known her personally ever since I can remember, so I really know her humility. Today I started the first chapter of her new book Becoming a Woman Whose God is Enough (I have a prerelease copy – it’s not out yet). The chapter title is God, the Giver of All Things. Isn’t that the balance? That God is the Giver – intimate, even “friendly” enough to give us good gifts – of All Things – so distant and outside of our world so as to hold all of it.

  4. I tend to think Western society has seen a sad loss of reverence in all aspects of life, perhaps as a result of the “leveling” in modern philosophy. We think God is “altogether such a one as we are.” We think we’re fulfilling the biblical injunction to love God, but we have in fact completely lost sight of Who God is: pure holiness and power and light and goodness. We’ve made him tame. Just look at all the passages where godly men fell down on their faces in terror and worship at the sight of their God – where God had to hide Moses so he wouldn’t drop dead at the sight of Him. When John, the beloved disciple, fell before the throne, I really see no reason why we think we can ignore the majesty of God. We are, of course, meant to come to Him boldly through the blood of Christ. But we must also keep clear in our minds the fact that we’re coming boldly into the throne room of the Most High God.

    In addition, but somewhat tangentially, I think the failing comes also from a failure to clearly understand realities of love and friendship. We forget that love to God is meant to be given with all our strength, all our being, and to be coupled with fear. We forget that friendship – even earthly friendships – are to be made of stronger stuff than endearments and Facebook tags. For the love of peaches – even the three musketeers knew better than that! The problem, though it shows with rather horrific clarity in our relationship to God, is a foundational one in modern thinking. We forget not only that God is worthy of our fear, but that there is anything in life that demands our respect.

    …which is all to say, good post, excellent thoughts, spot on, etc.

  5. sadly, I’m guilty of thinking this way about my relationship with God as well, and the worst thing is that I’m conscious that I do it. It’s worse than having a fair-weather-friend relationship with my one and only savior. Your words are very convicting.

  6. Wow. Great way to express what are my feelings also… I especially see this in worship. I’m not against modern styles at all, in fact I love christian rap/techno etc. But in church it seems most of the modern worship songs miss the glory and majesty that the lyrics and music of hymns had. And it’s sad because with a rock band if you had that element of awe it would be so much more powerful than two ladies on pianos. Nonetheless, I’ve always wished we could go back to the catholic days of ear-splitting organs and kneeling on the stone floor at 4am without losing the accurate theology and nurturing preaching of the reformation onwards.
    *sigh* I wish I could compose music…
    Great post, though.

  7. It makes me so happy to read this. It has been so long since I’ve heard someone talk of RESPECTING God. I’ve – sadly – become used to the “bestie” God everyone talks about. (Not personally, but as the only thing I ever hear Christians talk about.) To know there are still those who respect Him, show humility, and understand that – even though He is our friend – He is still our Creator and should be shown respect, is a refreshing thing to hear. Thank you for this, and for taking a stand on your beliefs.

  8. God is the Christian’s best and truest friend—just not, as you are quite right to point out, our “best friend” in the “modern” sense of the term. God was our best friend—the one Person who was willing to meet our need no matter the cost, and unwilling to let us go to our death even if we were set on that course—even when we were his enemies.

    And if we reduce him to a merely human level of friendship, we deprive ourselves of the comfort of the gospel, as the first two questions of the Heidelberg Catechism make clear: “[My] only comfort in life and death” is “that I am not my own, but belong, body and soul, in life and in death, to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ …” And, “to live and die in the joy of this comfort,” I must know three things: “first, how great my sin and misery are; second, how I am set free from all my sins and misery; [and] third, how I am to thank God for such deliverance.”

    The Lord of the universe has made us his friends and his children. But he is still God and Lord, and we are not.

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