The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren—A Synopsis (continued).
Chapter 11—Becoming Best Friends with God (pages 85-91)
Although God relates to mankind as Maker, Lord and Master, Judge, Redeemer,
Father, Savior and more; He prefers to relate as Friend. God was man’s
Friend in the Garden of Eden, until man’s disobedience. From then on very few
individuals actually were considered true friends with God, primarily because of
the “sin barrier” (sin nature) that man inherited due to Adam’s
disobedience. But when Christ paid the penalty-price for man’s sin on the cross,
this barrier was removed, allowing once again personal access to God through
faith alone in Christ alone.
Through Christ man may once again approach God anytime—initially through
faith when accepting Him and His sacrifice for personal salvation and then
continuously thereafter. In fact, any Christian may have friendship and
fellowship with all three Persons of the Holy Trinity. By friendship, the Bible
means a “close, trusted relationship.” God would have His children know Him
intimately—He indeed created the entire universe and orchestrated history toward
There are six secrets of friendship with God, in this chapter two will be
considered and four more in the next chapter. The first two are as follow:
1. Constant conversation with God.
A routine “devotional time” with God is insufficient. Friendship with God
is built by sharing all of one’s life experiences with Him—through a
continuous, open-ended conversation with Him throughout each day. God should
be included in and consulted for all activities during each day. It is never
necessary to “get away” from one’s “daily routine” to worship God. It is
one’s attitude while conducting activities that must change, not the
Elaborate prayers are never needed. Short, to the point, from the heart,
breath prayers (the spontaneous verbalized or thought-directed
requests or statements of praise that can be completed in “one breath”) will
do the job. Undergirding this practice must be the awareness that God is
with and in the Christian all the time. It should be noted
that a Christian who is seeking an (emotional) experience with God
through his spiritual activities and efforts is missing the point. The
lifestyle of worship is centered on praising and making God feel good, not
2. Continual meditation with God.
Meditation is “thinking about God”—His essence, His desires, His plans,
His mercy, etc. — throughout each day. And the only way a Christian can do
this is by knowing God—and the only way a Christian can
know God is through His Word. Meditation (similar to the process of "worrying,")
which is only “focused thinking,” is accomplished when one mulls over
(contemplates, ponders) God’s Word continually during the day.
Meditation allows God to share His secrets (revelations) with His
children—to speak to His children in a close and personal way. To properly
meditate requires a life of studying God’s thoughts recorded in the Bible.
It also means that a Christian should continuously review Biblical truths
when they are presented in sermons, radio broadcasts, Bible studies, etc.
“But the most shocking truth is this: Almighty God yearns to be your Friend!”
“God deeply desires that we know Him intimately. In fact, He planned the
universe and orchestrated history, including the details of our lives, so that
we could become His friends. (pg. 87)
“Knowing and loving God is our greatest privilege, and being known and loved
is God’s greatest pleasure.” (pg. 87)
“Friendship with God is built by sharing all your life experiences
with Him.” (pg. 87)
“‘Praying without ceasing’ means conversing with God while shopping, driving,
working, or performing any other everyday tasks.” (pg. 88)
“The key to friendship with God, he [Brother Lawrence] said, is not changing
what you do, but changing your attitude toward what you do. What you
normally do for yourself you begin doing for God, whether it is eating, bathing,
working, relaxing, or taking out the trash.” (pg. 88)
“The Bible tells us to ‘pray all the time.’ How is it possible to do this?
One way is to use ‘breath prayers’ throughout the day, as many Christians have
done for centuries.” (pg. 89)
“We don’t praise God to feel good, but to do good. Your goal is not
feeling, but a continual awareness of the reality that God is always
present. That is the lifestyle of worship.” (pg. 90)
“It is impossible to be God’s friend apart from knowing what He says.
You can’t love God unless you know Him, and you can’t know Him without knowing
His Word.” (pg. 90)
“But meditation is simply focused thinking—a skill anyone can learn and use
anywhere.” (pg. 90)
“If you know how to worry, you already know how to meditate!” (pg. 90)
“The more you meditate on God’s Word, the less you will have to worry about.”
“Prayer lets you speak to God; meditation lets God speak to you. Both are
essential to becoming a friend of God.” (pg. 91)
Psalms 95:6; 136:3; John 13:13; Jude 1:4; 1 John 3:1; Isaiah 33:22; 47:4;
Psalm 89:26; Exodus 33:11, 17; 2 Chronicles 20:7; Isaiah 41:8; James 2:23; Acts
13:22; Genesis 6:8; 5:22; Job 29:4; Romans 5:11; 2 Corinthians 5:18a; 1 John
1:3; 1 Corinthians 1:9; 2 Corinthians 13:14; John 15:15; 3:29; Exodus 34:14;
Acts 17:26, 27; Jeremiah 9:24; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Ephesians 4:6b; 1
Thessalonians 5:17; Psalms 23:4; 143:5; 145:5; Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2; 1 Samuel
3:21; Job 23:12; Psalm 119:97; 77:12; Genesis 18:17; Daniel 2:19; 1 Corinthians
2:7-10; Psalm 25:14.
The primary desire of Almighty God is be a Friend to man and for man to be a
friend to God. God’s intentions to this end were sabotaged by man’s disobedience
in the Garden, but the possibility of friendship with man was restored by the
sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. Once a person becomes a Christian,
friendship with God is established and can be improved through continuous prayer
and meditation throughout each day of the Christian’s life. Brief, spontaneous
and genuine prayer should surround every activity of the Christian experience;
and meditation is contingent upon the child of God studying, knowing and
dwelling on Bible doctrine throughout each day.