He did much evil in the eyes of the Lord, provoking him to anger. (2 Chron. 33:6)

One of the first songs I remember singing as a new believer in Christ was, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” What a wonderful thought this was to me. God is my friend—He is my “buddy.” However, my understanding of God as my friend caused me to take God for granted. My thinking was that, as my friend, God would always love and accept me and never become angry with me.

However, a spiritual mentor told me that my view of God was myopic. He stated, “Jim, you have to remember that God is more than just our friend. Jesus being our friend does not mean that we can treat Him any way we want. Neither can we expect Him to accept whatever we throw His way. There are responsibilities in maintaining our relationship with Him. It seems that you have a mindset that you can give God whatever you desire without taking into account what He desires. There are times it seems you give Him your leftovers. Yes, God is our friend. However, being our friend does not mean that He cannot get upset with us. God does get angry when we do things that go against His will.”

In addition to being our friend, God is also our Creator and Lord. He deserves our respect and obedience.

While enjoying God’s friendship, be sure to respect and obey Him.

Jim “Umf” Lo is a professor, cross-cultural leader, intercessor, and author of several books including Unholiness: Overcoming the Forces That Attack Your Soul (WPH).

© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.