From Servant to Friend...From Rules to Relationship
"No longer do I call you servants...but I have called you friends..." John 15:15
In that moment, Jesus extended to His disciples, then AND NOW, the same level of relationship with His Father that He had. The Father was opening His heart and inviting His creation to know Him intimately; to experience love on FULL display. This was HISTORIC. The chasm between servant and friend had only been breeched by one person in history - a little shepherd boy who became king. The shift? For servants, the primary focus is obedience; follow the rules - but friends are less concerned with disobeying than with disappointing. Instead of asking, "What should I do for Him?" friends wonder, "How do my choices affect Him?"
Five things radically changed in that shift -
~WHAT WE KNOW ~ His heart.
~ OUR EXPERIENCE ~ Divine encounters become our greatest memories, and personal transformation is the only possible result.
~ OUR FUNCTION ~ Now, instead of working for Him, we work with Him. We work not for His favor, but from His favor.
~ OUR IDENTITY ~ Christians who live out of who they really are no longer live under the control of other people's opinions or expectations; instead, they burn with the realization of who the Father says they are.
A CLASSIC EXAMPLE of the difference between servant and friend is seen in the story of Martha and Mary (Luke 10:38-42). Mary chose to sit at Jesus' feet while Martha chose to work in the kitchen. It was as if Martha was making sandwiches that Jesus had never ordered while Mary was enjoying Jesus' favor and using the time to simply be with Him. Mary wasn't a non-worker; she had learned to serve from His presence - only making the sandwiches that Jesus ordered.
~ INFLUENCE WITH GOD ~ Along with friendship, Jesus gave His disciples amazing promises - blank checks - that they could use to expand the Kingdom.
"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it will be done for you." John 15:7
"If you ask anything in my name, I will do it." John 14:14
God never intended believers to be puppets on a string but rather made Himself vulnerable to their desires. In fact, it can be said, "If it matters to you, it matters to Him." It's not because He needs us, but because He loves us.
Condensed from the book, Spiritual Java, pg. 53-56 by Bill Johnson