I never really thought about being a servant versus being a friend with Jesus until recently. You know how you read a verse in the bible so many times that you know its words inside out but not fully grasping the understanding of it and then one day you read it again and it just comes alive to you, like fresh revelation. John chapter 15 verse 15 was one of these verses for me.
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:15
A servant serves. They do what their master asks of them but they are still held at a distance, living in separate quarters to their master, eating at a different dinner table and using a separate entrance to the house. But a friend is taken into the masters life. A friend regularly spends time with the master, sharing in his life, engaging in conversation and having their thoughts and ideas heard.
As a friend of Jesus you are taken into His life. You have access to the heart of God and His heartbeat becomes your heartbeat. Instead of working for Him like a servant you work with Him. He trusts you with more of His power and you become changed into His likeness more and more. Your identity changes because as a friend you are not worried by what other people think of you, you know who the Father says you are.
As a friend you enter into a partnership with Him. Your ideas, dreams and desires are heard…Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4.
You are not a puppet carrying out the Lords plans. You are a contributor to what He is doing. God wants to be influenced by what you think and dream. He is after your desires and intimacy with you.
So how do we move into that place of being a friend of Jesus? Jesus says in John 15 verse 14 “You are my friends if you do what I command”.
Becoming a friend of Jesus is about following Jesus, it is going in the direction that He is going in. It is doing the things that He is doing and saying the things that He is saying. We have an intimate connection with Him when we regularly spend time in His presence listening to His voice and hearing His commands, we are faithful in doing what we asks us to do, we read His word and hold it in our hearts and we follow people who are also following Jesus.
Just before Jesus says“You are my friends if you do what I command” He says this “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
His command is not difficult, yet how many of us struggle with this simple thing, just to love one another? To love one another like Jesus loves us helps us to get to that place of being counted as a friend of Jesus. His commands are not outrageous, they flow from a heart that loves us and just wants the best for us, so lean into His voice and hear and read His commands and start there, doing the things that He has commanded us to do. Lean into the heart of God and hear His heart beat. He is inviting you to be His friend.