Face to Face

August 12, 2017

Have you ever felt like just a face in a crowd who was too afraid to face other faces? Perhaps you felt your face wasn’t really seen? It’s been said that eyes are the windows to the soul. Whose eyes are you looking into? I want to first gaze into the eyes of God before exchanging glances with the world.

 

To be fully known is to be seen face to face, and not feel judged or wronged or condemned, but fully loved. God has the capability of loving us as we are. Even though people might see a mirror reflection, a mere shadow – knowing just hints or parts of you – God sees and knows you entirely, “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

 

Imagine being so intimately connected with the Lord that you would be invited to speak with Him face to face. In Exodus, we read that Moses was given that honor, “The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.” Solely because Moses was a friend of God first face to face, He was able to lead the people, the Israelites. 

 

Naturally, people gravitate to people, they want to have friends, they desire to connect, and have a need to be understood. But, first and foremost, we must realize that intricately we are wired for a God-connection. Unless that void is first filled with a fuel that only God can provide, no amount of earthly connections and friendships will be able to satisfy our hungry souls.

 

Proximity and intimacy are two connectors of the human soul. Closeness denotes intimacy. The closer you are, the less borders and boundaries there are. The further you are, the larger the boundaries are. In the same way, the closer we get to God, all distance fades away. He wants you to get close.

 

A strong friend to people is first a strong friend with the Lord.  In order to know how to be a good friend, we need establish the foundation of who and what a good friend looks like. I want to be a woman who is known for walking with the Lord, because that is who I am – a daughter of God, a friend of God.

 

There is a Spanish Proverb that states, “Dime con quién andas, y te diré quién eres,” translated in English as, “Tell me with whom you walk, and I will tell you who you are.” Because Abraham walked with God, he was called a friend of God. James 2:23 explains that because he believed God, it was counted to him as righteousness. If you believe, you are His friends. There is no greater title.

 

FRIEND OF GOD

 

Being a friend of God’s enables you to become a better friend to people. That means spending time with Him, reading His Word, talking with Him, praying, and partnering with Him to fulfill all the great works and destiny that He has in store for you. He really wants to let you in on the secrets of His heart as John 15:15 (MSG), says “I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father.

 

Ultimately, Jesus  is the only One you’ll have full assurance of that will always love you and never hurt you. But as you love people there is a chance, a possibility of being hurt by them. That’s why you can learn to trust people, but don’t put your trust IN them. You can learn to have hope, but don’t put your hope IN people. Only put your trust and hope in the Lord – He’s unchanging, the same yesterday, today and tomorrow!

 

We don’t need to place the pressure on people to be our everything, our constant, our source. Jesus is the only One who can ever fill that void. That’s why it’s so crucial to learn how to have communion with God, to be one with Him in Spirit, in order to be able to go out freely and love people.

 

Love & Blessings,

Natalia Maranian

In The Elena & Natalia Show, we share a revelation on how union and unity form a true friendship with God and with people. Whereas communion is fellowship with God, community is fellowship with people. You need both unity and union to have sacred fellowship, first, with the Lord, then with people.

 

TRUE VS. TOXIC FRIENDS

 

In Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes, “So often Christians, especially preachers, think that their only service is always to have to 'offer' something when they are together with other people. They forget that listening can be a greater service than speaking. Many people seek a sympathetic ear and do not find it among Christians, because these Christians are talking even when they should be listening.

 

A good friend truly listens and really hears. Heart even has hear in it, because the heart is meant to be heard. The next time you meet with your friend, listen more than you talk to illustrate that you actually care. A good friend empathizes and not just sympathizes. A good friend mourns with you and celebrates you. A good friend remembers the good and forgives the bad.

 

Friends are not fickle, they’re faithful.

 

Friendship is a two-way street – a mutual effort of invested time, earned trust, and real respect. If you feel your friends have not earned your trust yet, then don’t give it away, and, likewise, if you don’t show yourself as faithful, then don’t be offended if their trust is not returned. Don’t expect to be called a friend if you're not putting in any time to develop your friendships. Toxic friends want you to fulfill their expectations of a friend, yet don’t put in the same effort. Poisonous relationships can affect and infect your destiny. If you feel more drained than uplifted, more exhausted than encouraged, then it’s time to cut that tie off. They are dead-end relationships taking you nowhere good.

 

Friends know the details, not just the facts. They want to know why you do the things you do and not just what happened. They go beyond the surface and read between the lines, because they care to know you, the real you.

 

True friends also share the truth to your face instead of behind your back. They don’t leave you when times get difficult. They will tell you what you need to hear, not only what you want to hear. Because what you need to hear will help you, and not hurt you. Their tone will be out of love and not chastisement or condemnation, you will be able to receive it. You’re called to exhort one another and lift each other’s burdens and pray for one another. True friends aren't experts at flattery, rather they strive to exercise intentionality and accountability.

 

Let's face it, good friends give more than they take! Instead of trying to get, they seek to give. Are your friends adding to your life or subtracting? Are they magnifying God or minimizing Him? You become who you surround yourself with.

 

Pray for good, God-sent friends. Pray for the people who are currently in your lives. Pray that God will reconnect you with the people that you have lost touch with that are instrumental to your destiny. And pray that He removes those that are toxic, detrimental to your destiny. God-sent friends will always lead you straight to loving Jesus more and more. They will inspire you to fall in love with the Source of all true friendship.

 

We need to have mercy and grace on our friends' weaknesses, but not enable toxic behavior. If you’ve been hurt or betrayed by someone you considered a friend, if you feel like you don’t have a friend who sticks closer than a brother, or if you just want to learn how to be a better friend, know that if you are willing to receive the Ultimate Friend, Jesus Christ into your heart, then He will teach you how to be a true friend.

 

PRAYER

 

Lord, teach us how to be a good friend, a true friend – first to You, then to people. I want to be called a friend of God, like Abraham was. I want to know the secrets of Your heart and be found worthy to see You face to face like Moses did. Help me, God, to obey your commands, because those who really love You, obey You. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

 

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” – John 15:12-15

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