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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 128

Prayers of the Old Testament
The Prayer of Abraham continued...

Any relationship including our relationship with God must be of a reciprocal nature. If every morning upon waking, and every evening upon going to sleep my wife would greet me with an ‘I love you,’ and all I’d do is shrug my shoulders and roll my eyes, it would likely have been a short marriage indeed. Reciprocity is key in any relationship, wherein you return the love and affection you are shown in kind.

Abraham had a relationship with God. If we study the prayer of Abraham on behalf of the citizenry of Sodom and Gomorrah, we recognize it was more of a dialogue than anything else. It was a conversation between Abraham, and the God of the universe, He who spoke all things into being, and breathed life into the first man.

The very notion that we can stand before this great and mighty God, and speak to Him, have a relationship with Him, fellowship with Him, and commune with Him, is almost too much to wrap our heads around. And yet, God’s desire is to have a relationship with His creation, and whenever He finds those with open hearts, and humble spirits He is ever willing to speak to them as a father would to His own child.

Abraham was not reticent in approaching God, he was not fearful, he was not apprehensive, because he knew his God intimately. Abraham knew God personally, and the foundation of fellowship which had been cemented over the years, was now stronger than ever.

As any relationship or bond forms, Abraham’s relationship with God formed over time, and Abraham proved his faithfulness and obedience towards God.

Because he was such a looming figure, including being one of the patriarchs, we tend to gloss over Abraham’s obedience toward God, which he demonstrated dutifully whenever he was called upon to do so.

Genesis 12:1, “Now the Lord had said to Abram: Get out of your country, from your kindred and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you.”

Genesis 12:4, “So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.”

There are a handful of instances in the Bible wherein the obedience of certain servants is highlighted as a testament to us all…this is one of those instances.

Abraham was seventy-five years old when God spoke to him, and commanded him to leave his country, everything he’d known, everything he was used to, and go to a land that God would subsequently show him at a later date.

No matter how much one might comb through the Bible to find Abraham complaining or asking more questions concerning this command, they won’t find it because it isn’t there.

God did not reveal His entire plan to Abraham, He simply told him to get out of his country, and go, and He would show him the place where he ought to settle in at a later date. Abraham didn’t have the entire plan, he didn’t see the entire picture, but he trusted God enough to know that He wouldn’t fail him, or abandon him halfway through his journey.

When we have formed a relationship with someone, we learn to trust them implicitly. We don’t ask questions we just do as they ask knowing that if they’re asking a certain thing of us there must be a good reason.

If the foundation of a solid relationship did not exist between Abraham and God, do you really think he would have picked up and left the only land he’d ever known at the age of seventy-five without asking any questions whatsoever?

Abraham knew God would not lead him astray. Abraham knew God had a plan and a purpose and that only by obeying the voice of God would he see the plan and purpose of God unfolding before his very eyes.

Most of us like to know where we’re going before we start any sort of journey. Even before we pack our bags, even before we make plans for the pets, even before we ask someone to water our plants or check in on the house, we have a destination in mind. Whether it’s a weeklong getaway, or a weekend trip into the mountains, we want to know where we’re going, where we’re going to be staying once we get there, and even what route we’re going to be taking to our destination.

Imagine how difficult it must have been for Abraham to start a journey having no clue of his final destination, knowing he would not be returning to his homeland ever again.

God didn’t send Abraham on vacation. He didn’t say ‘go, hang out for a couple weeks, see if you like it and if the weather meets with your approval, then we’ll talk.’

God told Abraham to get out of his country, away from his kindred, and out of his father’s house, and He would tell him his destination at a later date.

What Abraham did took trust and faith, two essential ingredients for a true and lasting relationship with God.

When we trust God, and have faith that He will lead us to green pastures, He will often require us to get out of our comfort zones. Many a time we do not see the fulfillment of God’s plan in our lives, because we did not obey a certain command along the way, or we dragged our feet awaiting further explanation, or firmer details.

If God says ‘go,’ then go…you will eventually receive further instructions when the time comes, but first you must carry out the initial order of actually going.

If we do not truly know God, we will never obey such life altering commands as leaving behind everything we’ve ever known and heading off to a strange land. This is why building and nurturing a relationship with Him is so vital and paramount.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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