Morning Conversations with GodBible Study:
Can We Be a Friend of God?
by William S. Stoddard Share page


"Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face as a man speaks to his friend" (Exodus 33:11).

Read: Ex. 33:9-17; Num. 12; Isa. 41:8-10; II Chr. 20:7;
James 2:23.


What Is God Saying?

God spoke to Moses in a special way, as a man speaks to his friend. This was not a scattered Incident for the expression In our text, "The Lord used to speak" suggests that It could have happened many times. Moses was very special in the plan God had for His people and Moses, a man of constant prayer, must have often listened for the Lord's voice to gIve him directions in carrying out his singular responsibility. There is a sense in which this makes a general reference to spiritual communication. It speaks of the relationship that is possible between God and man that can be best described as friendshIp and "friend" is the word that is used.

In JeremIah 3:19 it is the relationship of Father to children. In II Chron. 20:7 and Isa. 41:9 it is the relationship of Friend with friend. In Psalm 123 2 It is the relationship of Master to servant, but It is all a matter of communion with God in prayer. God, in Christ, is very approachable. Jesus taught us to think of God as Father, and never addresses the Father by any other name, except for His cry of desolation on the Cross. As our Heavenly Father, we should listen to Him and talk WIth Him.

How Does This Apply To Us?

We must not bring the total otherness of God down (as many do in our careless society) to the level of a "pal in the skies" or "the Man upstairs". If we want to distort reality and, indeed totally miss the message of God, we have only to bring HIm down to our level and down to our size. That's akin to making God in our own image. If ever there was a blind alley, that is It.

God wants us to be as children to an infinitely loving Father. Jesus came to show that He is just that, and to get hold of that fact is life transforming.

There is also that awesome Otherness, that total Transcendency, that incomparable Majesty. Lose that and all communication breaks down (lsa.55:8-9). Still our relationship with God has other aspects. He wants to communicate with us as a Friend would communicate with a friend. Abraham is called "the Friend of God". Let us assume that God wants that kind of communication with us. It will be the purpose of our prayer today to explore those areas of "Friendship with God" which can make our daily lives rich with meaning and steadfast in purpose.

Pray With Me

Cleanse me, 0 God, in heart and in desire, in hand and in deed, in mind and in thought, until, with every barrier down, You can talk to me "as a man speaks to his friend".

  • A man speaks to a friend and does not have to weigh his words carefully for fear of offending. Speak to me, Lord, as One who neither takes nor gives offense apart from the truth-and only then in love.
  • A man speaks to a friend and knows that the friend needs no persuading to see things from the speaker's point of view or for the speaker's advantage. Speak to me, Lord, as One who seeks first and only the kingdom of God and His righteousness.
  • A man speaks to a friend and trusts that he will understand. So I would dedicate myself to the yearnings of Your heart as it is burdened for mankind.
  • A man speaks to a friend and trusts him to bring his message to others. So I would bring to others the facts of your judgment on sin and your love for the sinner.
  • A man speaks to a friend and trusts him with his dearest plans and highest hopes. So I would have a mind to grasp Your will and a heart that responds with obedience.

Then I shall see Your face, and seeing Your face, I shall see Your smile ... the smile of a Father forgiving, a Master approving, and a Friend that will never forsake.

Through Him, whom having not seen, yet I love. Amen:

Moving On In The Life Of Prayer

Without assuming that we can come to Him with easy familiarity, we may come to the Lord freely and spontaneously. Let us hear what He has to say in His Word and then resolve that our lives will become adjusted to His purpose. Prayer then becomes far more than a way of persuading God to change His mind. It becomes God's way of persuading us to change our lives. Try it. You'll like it!

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Used with permission. From the book: First Light: Morning Conversations with God.

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