There are no shortcuts to friendship… with God or with others.
“No shortcut exists. God has not bowed to our nervous haste nor embraced the methods of our machine age. It is well that we accept the hard truth now: The man who would know God must give time to Him. He must count no time wasted which is spent in the cultivation of His acquaintance. He must give himself to meditation and prayer hours on end. So did the saints of old, the glorious company of the apostles, the goodly fellowship of the prophets and the believing members of the holy church in all generations.”
― A.W. Tozer | God's Pursuit of Man: Tozer's Profound Prequel to the Pursuit of God
"Be still, and know that I am God…" — Psalm 46:10
"Surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, nor go up into my bed; I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids, Until I find out a place for the Lord, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob." — Psalm 132:3-5
There are no shortcuts to deepening and strengthening relationships with anyone. If I rarely talk to God without distractions, am I really interested in knowing more about Him? When I do not schedule time to meet with Him, I usually don't. When i don't designate a place to meet with Him, it doesn't always happen. When I read His Love Letter to me, am I meditating on Him? If I tell people I know Him, but only check in with Him on business matters (what I need Him to do for me), am I seeking to be His friend? In a hymn published in 1898, Joseph C. Ludgate connected friendship with fellowship:
Friendship with Jesus!
Oh, what blessed, sweet communion!
Jesus is a Friend of mine.
From Noah Webster's Dictionary 1828:
"Friendship – An attachment to a person, proceeding from intimate acquaintance, and a reciprocation of kind offices, or from a favorable opinion of the amiable and respectable qualities of his mind."
"There can be no friendship without confidence, and no confidence without integrity."
"Fellowship – Communion; intimate familiarity. I John 1:3"
"And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God." –James 2:23
From the sermon "Friend of God" preached by Charles Spurgeon on May 8, 1887:
"He that is being prepared for glory is always hungry after the largest measure of grace. He who is born of God desires his Father’s love while he is yet a child, and has no idea of waiting for it till he comes of age, and enters upon his estate. Let me have as much of heaven, even now, as I can have. Yes, let me now be the friend of God."
"You and I need friendship, we cannot always lead a self-contained and solitary life; we are refreshed by the companionship, sympathy and advice of a like-minded comrade. We are very foolish if we commit ourselves to a host of acquaintances, but we are wise if we have found a faithful friend and know how to make use of him. Friendship is one of the sweetest joys of life; many spirits might have failed beneath the bitterness of trial if they had not found a friend."
"Abraham loved God for God’s sake, and followed Him fully, and so the Lord made him His confidant, and found pleasure in manifesting Himself to him, and in trusting to him His sacred oracles. O Lord, how excellent is Your lovingkindness, that You should make a man Your friend!"
Friendship is a commitment which requires time, integrity, fellowship, and diligence. What kind of friend am I to the friends God has given me? Jesus Christ is the perfect Friend and the supreme example of what an earthly friend should look like. What kind of friend am I to God? I am thankful He is mine.
"A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." –Proverbs 18:24