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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 132

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

The relationship between Abraham and God was also well defined. Abraham knew he was God’s servant, God knew He was Abraham’s master, and their relationship highlighted this truth.

Yes, nowadays the notion of being a servant, even a servant of God, is unpopular, because it’s far more appealing being a master of one’s own destiny than a servant beholden to a master…even if that master happens to be God, the creator of all that is.

Servitude has become anathema even within the confines of the household of faith, and whenever the subject of servitude is broached, even if it is from a wholly biblical perspective, you can see individuals bristle at the thought, and reject the very notion of it.

Genesis 25:24, “And the Lord appeared to him the same night and said, ‘I am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for My servant Abraham’s sake.”

The Lord appeared to Isaac, Abraham’s son, and informed him that for His servant Abraham’s sake, God would bless him and multiply his descendants.

Although God loves us, and sent Jesus to die on a cross that we might be reconciled unto Him, we must never forget our place, and our duty before an omnipotent God. If God saw Abraham, whom He considered his friend as a servant, are we any closer to Him, or have we built a more profound relationship than Abraham to see ourselves as anything more?

Whether we want to admit it or not, or acknowledge the veracity of the following statement, every man is a servant of something, and beholden to someone else.

We are either servants of light, or servants of darkness…servants of sin or servants of God. We are either beholden to the ruler of this present age, or to God the Father through Christ Jesus His Son.

No man is master of his destiny, but every man chooses the master he serves. No man can serve two masters, but neither can a man serve no master at all.

Romans 6:22, “But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.”

We have been set free from sin, to which we were slaves, but once we have been set free from sin, we become slaves of God. I submit to you, God is a far better master than sin will ever be, and this is evidenced by the gift He gives to all His servants, the gift of everlasting life.

It was God’s servant Abraham who stood in the gap and interceded for Sodom. It was God’s servant Abraham who had His ear to such an extent that he approached God time and again beseeching Him to spare the righteous even if they turned out to be no more than a handful.

One of the most important lessons we can learn about servanthood, is that a servant serves unconditionally.

A servant submits to the will of his master, without complaint or pretense. A servant does not question, nor does a servant do something he was commanded to differently than how his master told him to do it.

As we have done with so many words in our day and age, we have redefined the word servant, and given it a negative connotation. What so many fail to realize when discussing servanthood and being a servant of God, is that every true man of God was foremost a servant of God, and yes, even a slave of God, who surrendered their will, aspirations, dreams and desires so the will of God might be made manifest through them.

Because Abraham was a good and noble servant, he became something more, and achieved a status few in the history of mankind have achieved…that of friend of God.

It takes true, protracted, and consistent intimacy to be called a friend of God, and we begin to understand the relationship between Abraham and God due to the patience and indulgence God showed toward him, as Abraham came before Him repeatedly pleading for Sodom.

Isaiah 41:8, “But you, Israel, are My servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the descendants of Abraham My friend.”

God is many things, but fickle and forgetful are not among them. Hundreds of years had passed since Abraham had gone back to the earth, yet God remembered His friend, God remembered the bond He had with Abraham, even after all this time.

When God forms a bond, it is lasting. When He calls someone His friend, rare as it might be, He really means it, and it is not something that diminishes with time, or is nullified by circumstance.

Think back to how many friends you had growing up, throughout your adolescence, into your teens, and into adulthood. Now see how many of those individuals you still consider friends today. I know there are countless individuals I thought I’d never grow apart from, whom I haven’t talked in at least a decade. Such is the life of man. We grow forgetful, neglectful, we move, we marry, we have children, and things such as friendships, especially those formed in our youth tend to fade.

Not so with God. God remembers His friends even after centuries have gone by, because God is neither forgetful, nor reticent in identifying those who were His friends, and continuing to refer to them as such long after they have gone from this earth.

The first and perhaps most important lesson Abraham teaches us in regards to prayer, is that the individual who prays must first have a relationship with God if they hope to receive an answer to their prayers.

There are many benefits to being a servant of God, as well as a friend of God, and having one’s prayers answered, is just the tip of a much larger iceberg. May we endeavor to be good and faithful servants, for only through servanthood can one achieve the status of friend of God.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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