“Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness, you who seek the LORD… Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who bore you; for I called him alone, and blessed him and increased him”(Isaiah 51:1a, 2 NKJV).

There are many descriptions of Abraham in the scriptures. For example, he is called “Abram the Hebrew”…”Abraham My servant”…”Abraham father of a multitude”. But the one I like best is given by God to the prophet Isaiah, “Abraham My friend”(Isaiah 41:8b). It is one thing to declare that “God is my friend”, yet quite another to declare that God counts me His friend. Abraham is the only person in the scriptures that has the distinction of being called no less than three times “friend of God”. Who wouldn’t like that to be added to their resume?

One day, while in prayer, I heard the LORD say, “Son, I have lots of children, but very few friends”. I was taken aback by that statement. And it got me to thinking about the significance of Abraham being called by God “My friend”. What made this man so special that the LORD God would single him out for recognition? I believe the prophet Isaiah provides us with insight. “For I called Him alone”(Isaiah 51:2a). Maybe this is the ultimate thing about Abraham…He was willing not only to be singled out by God but to start a journey with God which would mean “aloneness with God”. The truth of the matter is that aloneness is a characteristic mark of those who have pleased God. They understood intuitively that faith to walk with God is given as a gift of aloneness.  But let us make a distinction between loneliness and aloneness. Although Abraham walked alone he was never lonely. He met the God of the universe.  Stephen in his great defense of the Gospel put it this way, “The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham”(Acts 7:2). From that moment Abraham’s life was never the same and in this he was confident…I am not here by chance or accident, “The LORD is near”. What comfort, what a friendship indeed, to know that God is with you in the midst of life’s challenges, heartaches and adventures.

Abraham, the Wanderer

It is of interest to note that Abraham’s beginning walk with God did not lead him straight to his destination. The writer to the Hebrew Christians comments, “That by faith Abraham went out not knowing where he was going”(Heb. 11:8a).

The first test of a new friendship is developing trust. Abraham obeyed God and began walking with Him without a clear destination in mind. God seems to be indicating that His friends just like being with God, hanging out with Him. Walking with God in true friendship means that we learn that God is not in near as big a hurry as we might be. Recall that it is said that “Enoch walked with God”(Gen. 5:24).  That walk took over 300 years in the earth and then God took him to His house escaping death!  Let us remember that it is not merely the destination but the pilgrimage of trust that is formed between God and His friends.

Jesus also desires friends for the journey. When his first disciples followed him saying, “Rabbi, Where are you staying?” His response was “Come and see”. Unfortunately, most people want to see and understand more informationally as opposed to experientially. We want God as an inference rather than knowing Him as a reality. Religion will always offer us a ‘‘cut rate deal’’ in order to keep us from heartfelt experience. In other words, religion apart from God will always seek to “keep the two lovers apart”.  Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.  You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.  No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you”(John 15:13-15 NKJV).

Abraham was not satisfied with more information about God (which did nothing to transform his walk). He wanted what David later described as a never satisfied ongoing passion for God. David declared, “My soul thirsts…My flesh thirsts for the true and living God. To see you as I have seen you in the Sanctuary; to see your power and your glory”(See Psalm 63:1-2).

The furious response to the wooing love of God can’t be contained within “the four walls of religion”. When the cry of the heart is a passionate desire and longing to know the true and living God…You are on your way to becoming one whom God can call “My friend”.

Copyright(c) 2011, Walter Fletcher Jr., All rights are reserved.  This article may be copied free of charge provided that it is not altered in any way from it’s original content.  Send any correspondence to:Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com


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