#162 (3/14/18)

                                                                                                (Source of material:  Rev. B.R. Hicks)

Please read Canticles 5:16.  From this scripture, we can deduce that the Bridegroom can be known in two ways:  a lover and a friend.  Experiencing Him as a Lover includes the emotion, the romance and the euphoria of this level of relationship.  On the other hand, knowing Him as a Friend is simply talking and communicating with Him when all the emotion is gone. On one side we experience emotion and "feeling", on the other side the "feeling" is removed.  Along with the emotion comes the glorious influence of His presence.  When the influence is taken away, we get to know Him as a Friend we can talk to.  When we learn about these two sides of Jesus, when we experience both in prayer, we then can be a friend and a lover to our own spouse. We can be joyful with the shout (emotion), and can know Him in weeping and prayer.  

Please read Matthew 11:16-19.  Notice here that Jesus was a Friend to publicans and sinners.  He was not a respecter of persons.  He didn't pick and choose who He wanted to associate with.  He was a Friend with the Father in prayer and it influenced His personal relationships with those around Him. His private communication with the Father spilled over into His public handling of the persons around Him.  Private is manifested in public.  Our affiliation with God in private has leverage with "publicans and sinners" (those who are in the sphere of our daily lives).  Being a friend with God enables us to be a friend with humanity.  Our bond with the LORD as a Friend gives us power over humanity by being their friend.  

Please read Matthew 20:9-13.  This man was rejected and accused by those who labored for him in his vineyard.  They thought him to be unjust and unfair with their wages.  Yet, in verse 13, despite their accusation and displeasure, the owner of the vineyard called one of them Friend.  He didn't accept the spirit of accusation and anger.  He maintained his courteous demeanor while being attacked.  This only happens when a bond with the LORD is cultivated on the Friend side.  Be a friend first with Jesus and then be a friend with humanity.  We, as Christians, are to lead - - - not follow.  It is easy to follow someones bad attitude when it is force-fed along with accusation.  Being a friend with the LORD allows us to lead with a pleasant attitude by showing the accuser how to be a friend with humanity.  When we are not friendly to others it is because we are not maintaining a friendship with the LORD.  We must be steadfast and faithful in prayer and being a friend with God when all the emotion and feeling is gone.  Jesus is the Supplier of all true satisfaction.  He is fully capable of meeting all the needs of the human heart.  He made the heart with all its associated emotions and He can maintain the heart by meeting and surpassing all its complex needs.  He is All in All to the emotional needs of the heart.  By neglecting our prayer we are not having our emotional needs met.  When we are not a friend with Jesus, we turn to others to meet our needs.  The speedy consequence of this is anger, dejection, and frustration.  Another human was never created to meet and fulfill our emotional needs.  Only GOD as a FRIEND can perform this duty.  People can't meet our needs; only God can!  It all starts by being a friend with the LORD; being faithful to Him when the feeling is missing.  When Israel demanded water in the wilderness, Moses took on their attitude and called them rebels.  He smote the Rock instead of speaking to it. He wanted to be loved and appreciated by Israel.  He wanted them to meet his need of acceptance and self-worth.  When he didn't get it he got angry.  We can have no friends and be angry about it. We can point the finger and exclaim how much we are not appreciated.  Unfortunately, if this is the case, the fault lies with our lack of faithful prayer and being devoted to Him when He has withdrawn the feelings.  It all starts with Him - - - our relationship with Him directly influences our associations with humanity.