“He appointed twelve that they might be with Him
and that He might send them out to preach
and to have authority to drive out demons.” Mark 3:14-15
If you skim through this verse (like I have many times), you might miss Jesus’ first priority for His disciples.
Go ahead and look again. I’ll wait.
Did you catch it?
It was simply to be with Him.
Before they preached His message. Before they cast out demons. Before they healed the sick or raised the dead or built His church. He just wanted them to be with Him.
I believe verses like this one reveal a beautiful, life-changing, mind-blowing truth. I think Jesus likes us. And I think He enjoys our company.
The Basis of Friendship With God
Any Christian will agree that “Jesus loves me.” How many of us learned to sing the song before we could even speak? But when is the last time you really let it sink in?
He takes delight in you…
and rejoices over you with singing.
Don’t rush through this priceless message from your God! Let it sink down into your soul and fill all the empty, dark, weary, painful, fearful, lonely crevices.
God sees the very depths of your soul – the good, the bad, the broken, and the oh-so-ugly – and He loves you anyway.
And not in an “I guess I have to put up with her” kind of way.
I think it’s more like a “I would create her and die for her so I could be with her and live through her all over again” kind of way.
And maybe even a “She’s one of my favorites” kind of way.
Yes, I really believe He wants His disciples to be with Him for His own sake.
But He wants it for His followers’ sakes, too. Because being with Him was a necessary prerequisite for the work He would assign them. He certainly knew they needed to be with Him.
The Benefit of Friendship With God
Before they could have the miraculous power, they had to know the Source of power.
Before they preached the message, they had to know the Message.
Before they healed the sick, they had to know the Great Physician.
Before they raised the dead, they had to know the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Before they cast out evil, they had to know the Holy One.
So when I’m struggling with not having enough to give, I have to ask myself whether I’ve been with Jesus enough.
And not just in a “I guess I’ll spend five minutes reading my Bible so I don’t have to feel guilty about not doing it” kind of way. It’s really more like a “sit still and read and ponder and ask Him and listen and confess and plead with Him and pour out my heart” kind of way.
Do you know what else is interesting to me about Jesus and His disciples?
They didn’t know about the work when they made the decision to be with Him. They didn’t choose to be with Him just so they could be equipped for the tasks He would assign them.
Because He hadn’t assigned them yet.
They chose to be with Him just because they wanted to.
Are you catching a glimpse of what a beautiful relationship that is?
Jesus calling followers because He wants them to be with Him, and them coming to Him just because they want to be with Him, too.
No preconceived ideas about what was involved with Christ-following.
No to-do lists waiting to be checked off each day.
Just mutual desire, pure and simple.
This is exactly the relationship He wants for you and for me, dear heart. A friendship with God.
Now that we know how much God longs for a friendship with us, where do we start? Here are more top posts about this topic.