Friday, October 12, 2012

More Than A Facebook Friend

If you are like me you have some really close friends on your Facebook friends list.  On the other hand we also have many on that list that we wouldn’t really characterize as close friends.  It’s just the nature of social networking.  These not so close friends comment on our posts from time to time and vice-versa, but we really don’t know them all that well.  In order to truly know someone, there has to be conversation and face time.  No, not Facebook time, face time.  Close intimate relationships require one on one time, where masks come off and hearts are revealed. 

The same holds true with our relationship with God. God is not content with us simply knowing about Him.  He longs for us to know Him.  The sad fact is that many of us are content with treating God as little more than a Facebook friend.  We connect with Him on a superficial level, memorizing a few scriptures, going to church, and praying when we need something, if we do that much.  What an absolute tragedy!  The Creator of the universe paid a hefty price for the purpose of having a relationship with us.  He longs to share His heart with us and reveal Himself to us.  He longs to hear the deepest cries of our heart.  Yet, we often relegate this relationship to a set of mechanical rituals and an impersonal theology.  God wants so much more. 
Abraham and God were friends.  God shows up one day on his way to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah.  When Abraham sees the Lord and his angels, he insists they sit down and relax.  Abraham then races to fix them a meal.  This isn’t a fast food meal.  He has his wife prepare bread and his servants kill a calf.  I’m not sure how long this process took, but from the context it’s a given that this was a lengthy ordeal.  Abraham prepares an atmosphere that is welcoming to the Lord.  He actually wants Him to stay a while and that’s exactly what the Lord does.  He sits down and stays a while.  Immediately following the meal the Lord starts to leave but pauses.  Here, we find a very interesting passage of Scripture where we are given insight into God’s reasoning with Himself. 
17 And the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing, 18 since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19 For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice, that the Lord may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.” (Genesis 18:17-19 NKJV)
God is about to go to Sodom and Gomorrah and deal with the sin there.  As He’s leaving He reasons to Himself that He should not keep this from Abraham because of their relationship.  Wow!  God wants to share with His friend Abraham what’s on His heart.  So, God goes on to do just that.  He tells Abraham that He is headed to Sodom and Gomorrah to deal with that city.  Abraham is a little taken back by this revelation and responds by asking God if He would destroy the righteous along with the wicked.  Abraham is reasoning in His mind that this is not right and asks God this question, “25 Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
Abraham is convinced that this is not consistent with what He knows about God. Abraham is convinced that this God he knows would never destroy this city if there were at least 50 righteous there.  The following scriptures are a continuing conversation with God and Abraham in which Abraham presses God and each time He does, God’s character becomes a bit clearer to Him.  By the time this conversation is over, Abraham has come to the realization that not only would God preserve a city if there were 50 righteous in it, He would do it if He found as little as 10 there. 
God wants the same when it comes to our relationship with Him.  He wants us to know Him.  He wants our conversation with Him to be more than prayers of petitions and meaningless religious rituals.  He’s a living breathing being that wants relationship with us.  He wants to show us what He sees.  He wants to share His heart with us.  He longs for our undivided, undistracted time.  While He wants us to share all that is on our heart with Him, He also wants us to be quiet and learn to listen to what He is saying.  I believe that just like He did with Abraham, He’ll show up anywhere He is welcome and He’ll stay as long as we have the time for Him.  Think about it.  The Creator of the world wants to share His heart with you.  I don’t know what you’re gonna do with that truth, but as far as I’m concerned I refuse to treat Him like a Facebook friend. 

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