“We have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” (Acts 19:2)

These Ephesians were almost completely in the dark! But while they were innocently unaware of the Holy Spirit, he was, of course, well aware of them. You could even say that the Spirit sent Paul as a spokes­man to “introduce” himself. And the new friends quickly made up for lost time.

Think about your best friend. Do you remember when you met? Would you say that you’re better friends now than you were at first? Of course! Friendships grow over time. At first, we know them, then we know them, and then we really know them. The knowledge grows deeper every year. Eventually we know what things they like, what makes them laugh, what they might say in a certain situation, even what they might think and not say! It takes a certain mutual effort and patience for a relationship to develop so deeply, but it is well worth the effort.

Our relationship with the Lord is no different. If we want it to grow, it also takes time and patience. It takes making sure that we have time alone with him every day in prayer and in his Word. It takes examining our hearts to see what areas aren’t quite submitted to him. It takes small steps of faith in the direction he’s leading us. And as for patience, well, we have to learn to wait on the Lord for guidance. Then sometimes we even have to be patient with our­selves when we don’t get it right!

All this effort and patience we contribute may seem small, though, when compared to the effort and patience God puts into this relation­ship. Think about all the ways he has gone the extra mile for you. He gave you his only Son Jesus. He has given you his Spirit. He sends you messages of love and grace every day in a thousand different ways. He is incredibly merciful—even long­suffering—because he treasures your friendship so deeply.

Friendship with the Lord never goes stale. No matter how well you know him, there’s always more. His love is deeper, his majesties are higher, and his faithfulness is greater than you will ever know. And that means there’s always more ways your friendship with him can sur­prise and inspire you!

“Lord, thank you for calling me your friend. All I want is to know you more.”

Psalm 68:2-7; John 16:29-33