Hi, I am John Bevere, Co-Founder of Messenger International with, my wife, Lisa. I want to share something with you. A scripture to start your day off right. Listen to this: “The Lord is a friend to those who fear Him. He teaches them His covenant.”
Now, there is another version of the New Living Translation that says, “Friendship with the Lord is reserved for those who fear Him.” God is not everybody’s friend. You say, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, what?” Let me go a little bit further. God is not everybody’s friend in the Church. You say, “Now, wait a minute, John. Jesus said, ‘You’re my friends.’” Yes, He said, “You are my friends.” But, there was a condition. “If you obey me.” That’s John 14:14-15. You say, “Well, that is works!” No, it is not works. It is called submitting to Him in your hearts.
Jesus said, “I will manifest myself to those who obey my commands.” The grace of God was not given to us just to cover our sins or give us an excuse to sin so we could brag about our relationship with God. No. God gave us His grace to forgive us. He gave us salvation – one with which we could never, ever earn. Or we never deserved. That salvation package doesn’t just free us from the penalty of sin. It also empowers us to obey the Word of God.
In the Old Testament, you were an adulterer if you jumped in bed with a woman who wasn’t your wife, or a man who wasn’t your husband. Jesus said, “Under the new covenant you have grace. You are going to be an adulterer if you even look at a woman to desire her.” Wow. Why is it such a higher standard? Because God has given us the grace to live it. What happens when we start operating in this grace? We start becoming a friend of God.
Let me tell you what it means to fear God. Friendship with the Lord is reserved for those who fear Him. Fearing God does not mean being scared of Him. How can you have a relationship with someone you are scared of? It is impossible. Fear of the Lord is to be terrified to be away from Him. The person who fears God trembles at His Word. That is a term the prophet Isaiah used in chapter 66. What does it mean to tremble at His word? It means His word becomes more important than what you desire, what you want, what you think, or what you’ve reasoned. His Word is your final authority.
When you walk in that kind of holy fear – the holy fear does not mean being scared, it means, “I am terrified to be away from Him, therefore I am completely submitted to His authority and His Word.” His authority is wrapped up in His Word. He says he has elevated His Word even above His name. Here is the deal. When we fear God, we passionately desire to be near Him. Which means we passionately desire to obey Him. Because Jesus said, “I will reveal myself. I will manifest myself. Make myself real to those who obey my commandments.”
The real friends of God are not the people who prayed the sinner’s prayer. The real friends of God are the people who say, “I will put His desires, and His will, and His wishes, and His word above anything I desire.” I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to experience a friendship relationship with God. Abraham had it and had insights others didn’t have. Moses had it and had insights others didn’t have. I want to see you have that relationship with God today.