Trusting God as Our Friend by Bob Hartley

“Oh God, would You be my friend?”

Bob: “In the cubby hole, I wrote out questions you would ask as a friend.”

Bob: What do You like to do?”

Jesus: “Play.”

Bob: “What games do You like to play?”

Jesus: “I  like to play magic tricks.”  

Bob: “He showed me there was about three pieces of paper in the corner. There were balls. I said, “Let me see You juggle them.” And, He did it. I saw three balls. I started for six months playing with Him and juggling. Then, there was a cinder block. I had pieces of paper. I said, “Let’s see who can roll it closer to the cinder block.” I would roll it. Every time He rolled it, He bounced it into the first hole in the cinder block. The last one, He bounced it into the second hole. I could hear the laugh of the Lord. and He was so enjoying Himself!” 

God being a Friend to the Lonely

Jesus: “All this loneliness amongst the children; They think they are alone; but they are playing with Me.”

Bob: “That’s the highest form of friendship you have. They don’t realize that I am the best Friend they can ever have, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. I can have the most fun with them. The first lens that I was to see Him through was the lens of a Friend. What do you do with a friend? You play and tell stories. You do pranks on people together. I started to develop a whole new language with God as a Friend. I only knew Him as the severe taskmaster. It took a long time of playing with me before He could start to talk to me about His salvation and those deeper issues because I had to get convinced He was real.”

Jesus: “Do you know how many people treat Me as a friend and know that I am real? Two.” He showed me a little girl. He showed me a ninety-year-old woman that I met.”

God of Creative Inventions

“The little girl God showed me was Akiane Kramarik. He showed me her, and showed me a friend of hers called Aminaki. He was a young man who built a water engine at eight-years-old playing with Jesus. Jesus just showed him how to make a water engine.” 

“I met this kid in New Zealand. I had emergency back surgery. The minister of health and her husband – they did the surgery and had me stay with them. He would sneak down to my room. He was a kid who would stay up until three in the morning. He showed me his inventions of what Jesus had showed him. What Jesus showed him would change the world with inventions. He showed me a hover car he designed with Jesus. He showed me floating cities. Earthquakes couldn’t hurt cities. There were real ideas from Jesus that would work. He showed me forms of energy that would replenish themselves without doing any danger to the environment. He showed me medicines that were like candy. They were so enjoyable to take. The results were so synced up with the human body, that they left no detrimental effects. They added whatever the body needed to balance it out and heal it.” 

Innovative Metal

“He had a precious metal that he had designed. It was not gold or platinum. It had an interesting name to it. The precious metal was useful. A quarter pound of it could run a car forever. It was practical. Gold – you can’t do anything with. It is an asset that is hard and solid that we assign worth to back up our money. You can’t eat it. You can’t use it for electricity. You can’t heal with it. This metal adapted to anything somebody would need. Like food, it would feed you for the rest of your life. It would inflate metals to build a house. When you get into the real world of playing with Jesus, He plays and creates these things that you can’t even imagine. All you needed all your life was this quarter pound of this metal that would produce what you needed.”

Mastering our Left Brain through our Right Brain

“I believe these are unthinkable ideas. It became so simple. The earth had become so complicated. It became so simple. The whole goal with Jesus as a Friend was not to kill our left brains (reason) but to master them by our right brain (creative/artistic). Every activity moving forward in business and everything was designed to build the creative side of us.” 

Einstein & Jobs

“The greatest friends of Jesus were the greatest inventors. Like Einstein was a friend of Jesus and didn’t even know it. Steve Jobs was a friend of Jesus. They wouldn’t tell people, but they would have someone show up and talk to them at night and give them those ideas. We count them as geniuses. They were because they were good listeners of God as a Friend. They were good believers. They believed it was possible.”

Friendship Stories to Unlock Hearts

“You and I would tell stories that would heal people completely and give them direction for their whole lives and their utmost effectiveness/ potency. We would do it with a story. We would tell a story and leave. People would not be able to get out of their seats for two or three hours because of the anointing and residual effect of a friend that tells you a story that sums up all of who you are in your original design, shows you in joy your purpose for existing, and the steps you would take. We could just imagine a life for them. We would tell a story, like God as a Friend. We would point at an individual and say, “That’s you!” 

Enrique and Cuba

“I did this in Cuba. I took the hardest man in the world to be the softest man. His name was Enrique. I said, “You are going to be a leader of the celebration that celebrates Jesus as a Friend.” There were all kinds of friendship celebrations. There were events placed around enjoying Him as a Friend. We had gotten so functional that we knew God as a revelatory face of God but not as a relational face of God and friendship God.”

Duty into Delight

“The Face of God as a Friend – that’s where our greatest business ideas would come from and our greatest answers for life. Since it was so much fun and so much love was involved, it wasn’t hard enough for us. So, we didn’t think it was real. We had to do things by duty in our own self strength versus grace. Friends work by grace with one another. He showed me the seventeen types of friends. He showed me what those areas opened up.” 

Jesus: “Do you trust Me as a Friend”?

Jesus: “This is going to be the biggest, most difficult question. Do you trust Me as your Friend through all of life?”

Bob: “Where I have done the worst in my life is where I have lost sight of Him as a Friend. The last three years I lost sight of Him as a Friend. It opened the door to more fears. The enemy was able to get me to focus on Him in other ways. Like the hopeful God, which is fantastic. It has to be the hopeful Friend. After every face, the Supplier Friend. Number 1, God called us to be Friends. It’s the number one revelation that we have to have is of our unique friendship with Him, or we don’t receive the myriad of blessings that He only gives to His friends. You have to be on that wavelength. What leads into that friendship is friendship questions and types of friendships. There’s creative friends, building friends, etc.” 

Jesus: “Why do you always think I am against you?”

Bob: “I could tell stories forever out of friendship with Him. The hopeful Friend. The times where my health was not good and I started allowing it to affect our friendship. I just looked at my problems.”

Jesus: “Why do you always think I am against you? Why do you always think I am a two-faced Friend? Why don’t you think you can trust Me as a friend?”

Bob: “Those are the kinds of questions He will ask me during those times. Then, it will require me to build my business as a friend and other things. You bring the best out of people as a friend.” 

Kevin Mangold

“Kevin Mangold has a genius IQ. He has created so many things nobody knows about. He has created love tools, out of his love for people. He is an expert at bringing people into the warmth and friendship of Jesus. He has supernatural answers for problems. He gets it from a simple place called friendship with Jesus.” 

Basketball Story

Bob: “The basketball story was when AmyAnn was born cross-eyed, or Terry needed her teeth fixed, I didn’t have enough money to fix the tire on the car. We are living in this little house. I am going home at eight o’clock at night with my little brother. He is driving me home. Shawn and his boys had gotten touched by Jesus as a Friend. They are seeing things. They are seeing crowns being put on people and other amazing things. The children, when they met Him, treated Him as a Friend and trusted Him as a Friend. It is ridiculous having a Friend who is the King of the Universe who can do anything.”

Being a Friend to the King

Bob: “We were in Cuba. I had a bag full of tapes that says “Reformers of Cuba.” It is illegal. They don’t want me bringing in anything like that. They are communists. The top of my bag had ripped off. All of this is sitting there. All of these cassette tapes that were there. The inspectors were looking at it. They take me away to a room. They are quizzing me. I said, “All I want to talk about is inviting God in.” They keep me until one in the morning. They put me and Kevin on blackball list. They have secret police following us around. To me, it was not a big deal. I only came once or twice a year. Kevin came a lot. We both got fined from the US government for coming illegally. We were staying at a house. There is a bunch of us. Kevin was really feeling it because he was getting blackballed from the country he loves to go to. He comes in. It is probably about two in the morning. He is across from me in a single bed. He is leaning on his arm. I start writing on a legal pad. I write 1 Kings 4:5. He looks at me and says, “That’s all I ever wanted to be.” He starts trembling. His life verse was to be a “friend to the king.” Kevin was right to trust God as a Friend. He always has this sweet place because he trusted God as a Friend.” 

Trusting God as a Friend

Bob: “God would bring me to the Trust Box. He was standing by me and saying, “Aren’t I a close enough Friend that you can trust Me with this?” There were issues in my life that I never told anyone, including Him. There is a difference between Him knowing it and you telling it to Him. He is God. He is sovereign, so He knows it. When you sit down and tell Him, it is the most freeing thing in the world.”

Jesus Died for our Friendship

Bob: “To be with a Friend that you can bring the rawest, scariest, most challenging places of your heart to, and know that you are not going to be condemned, but this wonderful warmth and insight will come.”

Jesus: “How can you even think this way of Me, that I would be One who would challenge you over something like this? I want you in My life. I died to show you how much I wanted you in My life. He took me from a child how many times he could’ve, should’ve abandoned me. He showed me how He pursued me in being a Friend. He died for me to show friendship. A friend is a friend at all times.” 

Mike O'Hara

Bob: “This time I went out in the cold. It was drizzling. The yard on the way home was like three short hops, or hills. I thought, I have my hard shoes on. I am going to take off and slide off these hills. I run down their driveway. It leads down their backyard and curbs in front of their house. It gave me enough traction. I took off and slide. I am picking up speed. I don’t know what is going to happen. There is a chain link fence, and I hit the chain-link fence with my feet. I went up and under it. There are those barbs where they cut it off. They stuck deep into my ankles on both sides. I could not get my ankle free. It was almost into the bone. I am out there. Now, it’s getting dark. It’s been a good hour and a half. I am going in and out of consciousness. Nobody is outside. It is a drizzly afternoon after school. They are having dinner. I am waving at them. Their neighbor’s porch light exposed me, and they looked out there. They don’t react. They go back to eating dinner. Now, it is eight or nine o’clock. I am slipping out of consciousness. I look up, and I see somebody walking towards my front door. I shout out, “Mike! Mike!” It’s Mike O’hara! My voice is not strong enough to carry. He perks up and looks around. I am giving it all I got to shout. I shout one more time! He comes running over there. He gets my older brother and little brother. They get those things pulled out. They get me out and put me in hot water. I was about gone. I did not know the Lord that well at the time, but He spoke out loud to me a number of times. I was young. He said, “That’s Me. I am Mike O’hara. He’s always been there in your crucial times of need and helped save your life. I will always be there your whole life. I will never leave you nor forsake you as a Friend.” It was out of His enjoyment and delight for me. My parents thought they were losing me. I looked angelic. I was really encountering Him as a Friend. I kept saying how friendly He is. I was just out of it enough to say what I was seeing. I saw His eyes. Mike O’hara said he was in his house, and somebody told him to look outside and look around for Bobby Hartley. He found me. He has been an example as a friend who has been supernatural. The Lord wants to give us those types of friends. 

Holding my Face with Delight

Bob: “What brought me the ability to change the most and easiest in life – and it’s supernatural – is through knowing and trusting God as a Friend. By that, I had my wife say, “I don’t want you.” There was nothing in her eyes. It was like I was non-human, or a dirt clog. I went out into the car. I had not only her upset with me, but people at the company were upset at me. I had gotten into more pain physically, and I was not responding to people well. I go out to the car in the freezing cold because she tells me to leave. I was so afraid. I thought, what am I going to do? Where am I going to go? I saw Him laughing, celebrating, holding my face. He was my Friend. I said, “I just did these things.” He said, “I am delighted in you. Do you realize how much pain you’re in?” I said, “I don’t know, but I never should have done what I have done.” He said, “Anyone in that level of pain would have done what you did. There’s not a person on the planet who wouldn’t do what you did. Because she hurt me, I kind of cut her off and stopped paying as much attention to what she said or thought. She would always seek negative towards me. He wasn’t saying anything bad about her. He had the perfect balance. As a Friend, He was saying, “It’s understandable that you’ve responded this way. This does not make you the worst human being who has ever lived. This does not make you bad at all. It is an opportunity for an upgrade. If you stay trusting Me as a Friend, I will give this to you. But, it will be the second time you don’t look to Me. That will be hard on both of us because we need each other's friendship. I will miss your friendship, but I will be there. In the least bit of turning, I will be there.” It was so amazing because He enabled me, as much as I was able to do it, to go through this. I had stumbled some in cutting corners and getting hung up on different things. I wasn’t treating some people like friends in ministry. I just wanted to be respected and admired. I needed appreciation. I really wanted it from my wife and family. He would so identify with me and say, “If a man doesn’t get it from his wife or children, he is going to do anything possible to get it. I want to get you to a place where you are safe, and you are kind to yourself and others.” He was this Friend giving me real answers and solutions, but He could only give them to me in the level where I believed He would be a Friend. If I thought He was going to correct me or get disappointed in me, He would have me stop and see Him as a Friend. 

How Evil my Perspective was

Bob: “Like when playing basketball, to enter into the friendship of Jesus tangibly on that driveway. How out of balance and how wrong my perspective was of our relationship. It was still on do’s and don’ts versus our friendship. You just don’t think that way with friends. You don’t keep a list or peer into everything they do, like they are against you or you get offended by it. You want to see their head lifted. I could not believe I could bring anything to Him, and He would want my head lifted. I would have felt so alone or misunderstood, but He would be there. He was understanding. He was the most understanding, empathetic friend.” 

Flipping the Truck

Bob: “Shortly after that, I had flipped the truck. I was trying to make more money for our family early in the morning. I fell asleep and hit a curb. I flipped this truck. This big jack almost hit my head and would have crushed me. I jumped out of the window and ran. It was upside down and caught on fire. I am sitting on the sewer main. I just think, “My life is over.” I forgot I had a Friend in Jesus. I felt Someone put His arm around me. I felt that delight and affection. I felt Him say, “This is so minor.” I thought, I flipped a truck. I lost my identity. I lost everything. At that point, I thought I am just nothing. Jesus told me how much fun I was, how much I was a joy. That if I didn’t do anything but be His friend, He was so jealous for me. That would mean everything to Him. Now, it has taken me a number of years to really realize how much He has meant that, like spending these days of friendship with Him. Also, how much He wanted me to open up Who He is in hope and change the world. People’s ability when they are His friend and have this child-like friendship, they can believe for everything.”

Friends as Neighbors

Bob: “We went for the Guiness Book of World Records with four leaf clovers around our neighborhood. It was a huge undertaking. It was so easy and so much fun. We really did feel like He was the Friend. He would wake us up. What was so neat was that He was a Friend to us as neighbors. Every morning we would meet by the corner by my house, and we would have a different adventure for that day.” 

My brother Billy & The Bus Driver

Bob: “We had Billy hide on the bus route. This lady who drove the bus was so wound up. She was so meticulous about her windshield and all that. Billy was the only one who would have done it. Red-haired, freckled Irish-Catholic boy. He would come out. We got him rotten bananas. He slammed the rotten banana on the windshield. That lady would get out and run for him. She is three feet, one-hundred-and-fifty pounds. Billy would run like Ernest T. Bass and hop. She would come back on the bus and go, “Who was that?!” We all said, “We don’t know. We have no idea.” It was Billy.” 

Styrofoam Brick

Bob: “We came up with good things. Then, we came up with crazy things. We had a styrofoam brick. We hung it over a street light. We would drop it on the front of her car. They think a big brick is going to hit her car. They would run off the road and scream. We had an adventure everyday creating havoc. Most of the time, it was funny.” 

The Hole System

Bob: “We dug a hole system from one house to the other where we would sneak out at night and go through the hole system. We never got far because of too much rock. It was like Jesus. We would have these fun things to do. We had creative things.” 

The Softball Coach

Bob: “We went for the city championship in softball. We were the best team down south. Then, there was the team up north. They were supposed to be thirteen-and-under. These guys had beards and mustaches. They hit the ball a hundred-and-fifty feet over the fence. The coach lived in Midtown. We were way out south. We would get up at midnight and head towards his house. We were so excited for the game the next day. It gets rained out, but we had donuts at his house. It was the Lord. It touched the coach for life, that we had come to stay with him the night before. We were friends with him forever after that. When the friendship of God comes and shows you how to be a friend the way He’s a Friend, you get lifelong friendships. They become the most important things to you.

Worrying like a Man to Trusting like a Child

Jesus: “You don’t have to worry like a man. You can be a friend and trust like a child.”