"Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you."
This is interesting stuff. To me, the first verse sounds kind of harsh out of context... like, "I will only love you if you do what I say." ... and if it weren't God speaking here, it might be a really bad thing. Us choosing to befriend only those who obey us or agree with us in everything would be pretty scary and limiting. I think the difference here is shown in the last verse. God is telling us the whole plan. He lets us know who he is, who we are, and all the things that we need to know in order to achieve exaltation. He walked the path before us as an example and a leader, and now, as our guide, he is telling us where to go and how to navigate through the darkness. And although we know the way, and we have the map... this is a journey that we can't make it through without help. Like climbing Mount Everest perhaps, or diving the Titanic. There are some trips that it is unwise to attempt alone. God is there, offering to help, and we're his friends if we take him up on that offer, and are wise enough to listen to him, because he knows so much more than we do about how to accomplish this task successfully. It isn't God that will retract his friendship if we choose not to obey him... it is us retracting our friendship from him when we choose not to trust him and follow him. Life is not a cakewalk. It is an extremely dangerous journey at times, and when we intentionally ignore God and decide to go our own way, we're endangering not only our own lives/souls, but those of the people around us who might follow us rather than the guide. Today, let's learn all we can about our path, and listen to and follow God, who is our guide. Let's be his friends by trusting him and staying safe on the path. The path isn't less exciting. Just less deadly.