Friends of God: Speaking and Listening

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 15:15 ESV

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The other day I had this conversation with my Friend:

ME: Yes, Lord. We are friends ... we go way back, don't we? 

LORD: Farther back than you think!

ME: Oh yes, Lord!

LORD: "Chosen in [Me] from before the foundation of the world ..." (cf. Ephesians 1:4)

ME: Thank You! Oh thank You!

Friend ... a friend of the Lord of heaven and earth. Amazed. And He is a hearing and speaking God. He reveals what He has heard to me His friend.

Then I read in that day's Scripture reading*:

Friendship with the Lord is for those who fear Him.
With them he shares the secrets of his covenant.

Psalm 24:15 NLT

And He has shared and I have heard Him, time after time. It's my birthright because "His sheep hear His voice" time after time (cf John 10:27).

And this is true of you too, O child of God, friend of the Lord of heaven and earth. You go way back with Him ... farther back than you think. And He shares with you what He has heard from His Father and yours. He shares the secrets of His covenant promises with you ... mysteries that defy human intellect but are revealed by the Holy Spirit to His friends, those who know Him (Be sure to read 1 Corinthians 2:6-16). 

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Hearing
IF I CAN’T SEE YOU FOR SOME REASON but can only hear you, you don't exist for me in space, which is where seeing happens, but in time, which is where hearing happens. Your words follow one after the other the way tock follows tick. When I have only the sound of you to go by, I don't experience you as an object the way I would if you stood before me—something that I can walk around, inspect from all angles, more or less define. I experience you more the way I experience the beating of my own heart or the flow of my own thoughts. A deaf man coming upon me listening to you would think that nothing of importance was going on. But something of extraordinary importance is going on. I am taking you more fully into myself than I can any other way. Hearing you speak brings me by the most direct of all routes something of the innermost secret of who you are.
It is no surprise that the Bible uses hearing, not seeing, as the predominant image for the way human beings know God. They can't walk around God and take God in like a cathedral or an artichoke. They can only listen to time for the sound of God—to the good times and bad times of their own lives for the words God is addressing to, of all people, them. 
-Originally published in Whistling in the Dark and later in Beyond Words 
www.FrederickBuechner.com

*From my regular chronological reading of the Bible ... never a coincidence, always a God ordained moment.

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