“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 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. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit,…”
Jesus said this to His disciples in John 15:12-16, but being a friend of God is an option that is open to all men. There are special characteristics of those who would be God’s friends. “You are my friends if you do whatever I command you.” So according to this passage, a friend of God would be a person who is obedient to God, who trusts Him enough to follow His directions.
Jesus said, “I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.” Jesus told His disciples things that He didn’t tell other people. May I submit to you that if you are a friend of God, you will be a disciple, a follower? If we look at the picture portrayed in the New Testament of a disciple, it is a person who spends a lot of time with God in order to know Him, to learn from Him. We see this same characteristic in the life of Joshua in the Old Testament, of whom it was said, he never left the tent of meeting when Moses was alive. Joshua went on to become the next leader of the Israelites who took the promises of God to heart and went into the Promised Land to claim what God had promised was his. Ex 33:11
There were a select few disciples who lived and traveled with Jesus constantly. After Jesus told a parable to the people, we read that the disciples would take Jesus aside and ask Him what it meant. They always sought to understand and to ask Him questions. Jesus had said to them, it had been given to them to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, but to those who were on the outside, He spoke in parables, …Mark 4:11-12 When the disciples asked for the explanation, Jesus would tell them. Where were the other people? Obviously they were not drawing near to the Him to find answers and get understanding. The book of Proverbs says we must get wisdom and understanding. Proverbs 4:7
I have met a few people in my life who take issue with asking God questions. But we never see Jesus chastising his disciples when they asked questions. He told them it was given to them to know the secrets of the Kingdom. He encouraged them. I have always asked God questions after I got filled with the Spirit. And God has just about always given me the answers to my questions with insight into most things. You cannot tell me that I should not question God. We read of Abraham having a Q&A with God in the matter of Sodom and Gomorrah. After God told Abraham what He was going to do with Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham tried to save his nephew Lot by repeatedly asking God how many righteous would it take to stop the destruction of those cities.
I believe that, just like the disciples in the bible, a disciple always asks questions. Those who do not ask will not receive understanding. God does not hand out information casually. What wold be the point of telling someone something they do not value? Mark 4:12 goes on to say about those who are given parables…“That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.” The parables are designed to separate those who desire to learn about the Kingdom and those who do not. It’s like He gives you a hint, a picture, a clue, and in order to know more, you must draw near and ask for more. But He’s not going to give all the secrets away to the casual listener. It’s a matter of VALUE. What do you value? The disciple, the studious, those who are interested are who He will reveal things to.
God desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:4. But not all men do get saved. Salvation is available to all, and some are content with just having that assurance, but a disciple is not content with just salvation…they must have more knowledge of God. They desire to know about the Kingdom.
We are to seek, ask and knock, according to Matthew 7:7. The promise is if we seek, we shall find, if we ask, it will be given to us, and if we knock, the door will be opened to us. James 1:5 says If anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, so yes we are to ask Him for answers. He has plans for our lives. How will we find what those plans are if we do not ask?