Friendship of God
Psalm 25:14 The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant.
It's hard to read that verse and not do a double take. You're like, "Friendship? How does that connect with the ‘for those who fear him' part of the verse?" The Bible is full of these stop-you-dead-in-your-tracks statements. God's Word will make you think about what you think you know. This verse tells us that fear is the foundation of our relationship with God. Fear is not the life that we're living in Him today. It's the foundation of that life.
I John 4:18 says that "perfect love casts out fear . . . and whoever fears has not been perfected in love." When I'm walking in the ways of the Lord and in fellowship with the Lord, I grow up into a love relationship with God. But I'm really glad I still have that fear foundation. What if I'm tempted to be a selfish moron later today? I've got that foundation reminding me, "What will the God you fear think of this?" So you want your relationship with God to be built on a foundation of fear, but then grown up into a love relationship with God: "The friendship of the Lord."
Actually the word friendship in this verse can also be translated secret or intimate. This interesting word in the Hebrew refers to the confidential counsel that you would get from a close friend. So, the secret, intimate, confidential counsel that comes from the friendship of the Lord "is for those who fear Him." God shares His best stuff with the people who fear Him. This is the closeness of trusting God.
My dad was a big-time disciplinarian. "Wait 'til your father gets home" had real meaning in our house. Now I have a friendship with my parents. We laugh together. We cry together. We pray together. I have the most amazing relationship with my parents. But even when I talk to them about something difficult—especially with my dad—I still choose my words carefully because they're my parents.
Even in our friendship relationship with God there's still that sense of "He's God; I'm not." It's an intimacy, but it's an intimacy that has the foundation of healthy fear.