Friend of God

Eldredge, The Way of the Wild Heart, p. 255

Eldredge is answering the question, How to cultivate relational intimacy with God?

Part of the answer is orientation.  Most men charge through their day to get things done.  That’s their orientation—tackle the problems, seize the opportunities, make hay while the sun shines.  A friend of mine, a gray-haired King [Eldredge breaks up a man’s life into stages, with “King” being the fifth of six stages] working in ministry, confided in me just a few days ago, “I’ve lived the past thirty-five years of my life scrambling.”  If you would become the friend of God [Eldredge is suggesting that being a friend of God is the most important qualification for the King stage (1 John 1:12-14, John 15)], your orientation needs to be to walk with God through the day.  It’s a posture, where you are aware of God and asking, “What are you up to here, God?” And, “What is this all about?  How do you want me to handle this?”

With this orientation, this posture, I would add an open heart.  This is also why most men don’t know God in the way John is referring to.  They are about as in tune with their hearts as they are the lunar cycle at the moment.  Their inner lives are jungles, because they’ve never ventured in to live there.  And without a heart alive, awake, and somewhat free, you cannot know God.

Finally, and pardon the obvious, you must actually want it.  Because unless you really do, you will not be able to fight for the time required to cultivate friendship with God.  I mean, something’s gotta give.  God doesn’t offer friendship to men who don’t care enough to make room for it.  I’m troubled to think how often I have shied away from time with God.  I’m not quite sure why.  But I have noticed this: there is in men an irritation at having our agendas tampered with.  God is the ultimate disruption.  A godly man just confessed to me, “I don’t want to ask because I don’t want to hear ‘No’.”  We don’t want our agendas messed with.

Father, help me to want it more!  Lord, I confess my divided heart.  I am in constant violation of the necessity of being present in the moment with you.  I am frequently worried about the future, or upset over the past.  When my mental energy is spent this way, I crowd you out and cannot hear your voice.  As Jim Elliot said, “Wherever you are, be all there.”  Lord, you died for the past, and you hold the future in your hands.  Help me to walk in this moment with you, and to get all out of it that you intend.  Carpe diem!  Father, may I think your thoughts all day long.  Lord, may you be with me as I wash the car, clean up my messes, teach my girls, and go to the dentist.  I invite you in.  Help me to keep inviting you in the rest of this day.

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