Can God be our best friend?

Aaron Budjen has a really interesting take on Proverbs 20:27; the insight he reveals is unique, and as always with Aaron, his teaching points us directly to the heart of God; to a closer relationship with our Savior.

I’ve never heard any other Christian pastor teach the way Aaron does, and this is especially seen in his take on Proverbs 20:27 — you can listen to his teaching on this verse found here.

Proverbs 20:27 says, “The spirit of a man is the lamp of the LORD, Searching all the inner depths of his heart.”

His heart? Whose heart? In his radio broadcast (linked above), Aaron explains that “his heart” is referring to the heart of God. And that our born again spirit — “the spirit of a man” — has been created as a lamp that can shine light into the very heart of our living God. Our spirit is the part of us that is brand new, the part of us where our God resides, the part of us that was resurrected from the dead (we were spiritually dead in our sins and trespasses, and God has made us alive together with Christ; Eph 2:4-5).

Our God wants us to know Him and He has given us the ability to “search all the inner depths of His heart.” This verse in Proverbs shows us that this is the way that God intended for us to relate to Him. We relate to Him by growing to know Him. We grow to know Him as our spirit searches and reaches out for the depths of His heart.

We are encouraged in the Bible to grow to know our God. Think of the words of Peter telling us to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). Our goal as born again believers in God is to grow and mature in the knowledge of Him, Jesus our God.

When people look at me, they see my “outer man,” my flesh, my shell, my tent, my “jar of clay.” But the REAL me is on the inside, the “real me” is my spirit. To get to know my spirit would take some effort on your part, it would take some time, it would take patience. Most people don’t know the real me, and if you think about it, you will probably agree that the majority of people that you interact with do not intimately know the true, inner part of who you really are.

The same is with our God. He does want to be our best friend, and I can testify that He is my best friend. This has taken effort; this has taken time; this has taken patience. But as I have grown in grace, as I have come to understand all that I have been given in the New Covenant, in my inheritance in Christ . . . I have grown to know how gracious He is, I have grown to actually know the heart of Jesus Christ. I know Him better than I know anyone else. He truly is my closest and best friend.

This has been made possible because he has created my spirit to be like a lamp, like a light that can shine into the innermost parts of the depths of my God. He has revealed His goodness to me, and I can attest that He truly is the best thing that there is in this universe.

Please check out the audio message by Aaron that I linked above. I’ll share it again here. This is completely 100% possible: God CAN become your best friend.

Let me know your thoughts and if you can say with me that God is your best friend.

MENTAL ILLNESS, ADDICTION, AND MY CHRISTIAN LIFE

Before I became a Christian at age 22, I had it easy. I had never truly experienced pain and suffering. After a fun and fulfilling childhood and then a parent-funded Bachelor degree, I was ready to embark on the journey called Adult Life.

Life wasn’t perfect, but BOY, had I been sheltered! I just had no way to fathom what the next three decades would bring my way. A life where sadness, neglect, emotional abuse, mental illness, drug addiction and suicide attempts would enter my life’s path. Basically . . .

“Your Worst Life Now” could become my anti-Joel-Osteen bestselling book.

Do I regret anything that has transpired? Do I wish I had taken a different path? Do I raise my fists in anger to God?

No Way!

Dang, I’m GLAD for the emotional muscles that God has built in me. I am thankful for the tribulations . . . really, in all honesty.

It’s not fun to go through difficult times, but it sure is worthwhile. And the reason is because Jesus has been there with me through it all. I had nowhere else to turn, so He literally became my ROCK.

Interviewing for a teaching position at a large homeschool co-op in 2014, I was extremely nervous that I did not possess the desired credentials. But this was a Christian ministry with their head on straight; the first question the panel asked me was, “What does Jesus mean to you?”

Are you serious!?

I immediately started bawling my head off!

Now THAT was a credential I possessed in excess. I began to tell the ladies how Jesus meant EVERYTHING to me; how He had held my hand through many difficult trials, and how I had learned to depend on and rely on Him alone.

Teaching at that co-op for the next five years, was fruitful and successful . . . in a spiritual way. To this day, I still get together with some of my ex-students, high school age, for coffee, chatting and a Bible Study (heavy on the chatting!)

My heart rejoices in the Lord! I am writing this post to testify that He gives us JOY in the midst of pain. It’s a heart-filling, overwhelming sense of peace, safety, security, love and acceptance. NOTHING is better than that.

Yes, my life is still difficult. We had another huge, terrible family emergency just four days ago; an event that could have been devastating . . . but that God had His hand in nonetheless: He works all things together for good.

Christian brother or sister, hang in there! Cry if you need to! Pray and yell and fret all you want to our Father God, He can handle it. Pour out your heart to Him at all times. Cast your cares upon Him.

For He cares for you. ❤️

Photo by RF._.studio on Pexels.com

Christian Dream Interpretation — God shares the Gospel with a gay waiter — Part 1 of 3

Fort Lauderdale Hotel & Marina Commands $163M

Darren and Darryl were two gay guys that I once worked with at Café 66, the intracoastal restaurant located on the property of Pier 66, a 4-star-hotel and resort in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.  They were both waiters. Darren was my best friend at that job, but Darryl didn’t like me at all.

Darren accepted me because he too was a Christian, but Darryl gave me these intense, scowling stares during our staff meetings in the kitchen.  Other than the creepy looks, Darryl avoided me.  Except for the day of his dream.

Disturbed by a dream he had the previous night, Darryl went from employee to employee asking their opinion.  Finally, he approached me.  He told me the dream and then asked if I had any idea what it meant.  I was honest and said no.

I worked as the Administrative Assistant to the restaurant’s Executive Director, Steve Silverman.  A highly polished and manicured Jewish man who had a legendary reputation for having his secretaries quit on him.  After I got hired, I heard this phrase numerous times from employees all over the resort, “Oh, you are Steve’s new secretary?  He’s awful to work for!  You’re not gonna last long.”

However, I lasted a year and a half; I seem to have a knack for getting along with difficult people.  I did quit, but it was to pursue my Biblical education in another state.

My office was down in the basement, but on the day of Darryl’s dream, I was up in Café 66 filling in for an absent hostess.  After I told him I had no idea what his dream meant, I went back to my station at the hostess stand . . . and prayed.

I said hesitatingly, “God, if you want to give me the interpretation of his dream, you know, that would be cool.”

And then suddenly, with an almost physical sensation of something being dropped on my head, the meaning of the dream was downloaded into my brain.  It was clear.  And it was cool!  God was preaching the gospel to Darryl!

So, I sheepishly walk over to Darryl.  “Umm, this has never happened to me before, but like, God totally gave me the interpretation of your dream.”

In his dream, Darryl was driving a car.  In the passenger seat was a toilet bowl filled with poop; it was raining out, and the steering wheel was shuddering. There were other details that I don’t remember (this happened almost 30 years ago), but the basic message was this:  “Darryl, you have sin in your life, and you are trying to control your life with your own effort, but you are headed for destruction and therefore God wants to save you, and be the One who ‘drives’ your life.”

Darryl was thoughtful, but unsure.  He said “okay, thanks,” and then I walked back to my station.

About an hour later, he excitedly came up to me and said, “I finally figured it out!  I ate pizza late last night, and the pizza is what gave me the weird dream!”

“Oh.  Okay, thanks,” I said.  But, of course, I didn’t believe that for a minute; I knew that God had preached the good news to him through that dream, hoping to save him.  Hoping to give Daryl new life and to begin a relationship with him.

I believe God occasionally speaks to us through our dreams.  And I believe that God Himself gives the interpretation.  I was thankful to be used by God to give Darryl this message about sin and salvation, about death and life.  It is now 30 years later, and who knows, maybe by the time of this writing, Darryl has surrendered to God, and been reborn with the life of Jesus Christ.

To be continued . . . Part 2 here.