Check out this week’s podcast on https://anchor.fm/jasmine-lozano4/episodes/Boot-Camp-The-Importance-of-Prayer-e114hgr!
Have you ever gotten a friend request on social media from someone and you had no idea who they were? Maybe you share a few mutual friends or live in the same city, but you just have no idea how you know them? I have 787 friends on facebook to date. Of those 787 people who like my posts and pictures, I probably talk to less than 10 on a semi regular basis. Most of them don’t even have my phone number and if they called me, I wouldn’t answer because my phone has a spam setting for unknown numbers.
In the age we live in, the title of friend has definitely expanded to include people we would have called acquaintances in times past. The mom I talked to at the park for one hour 4 years ago is now my friend for life. The lady at the grocery store who gave me a coupon will see pictures of my kids when they graduate college in a decade. That’s actually kind of creepy; I’m going to go unfriend her now! The truth is, according to numerous polls and studies, most people have less than 5 close friends.
It’s strange for many people to think of God as a friend, but He is the most trustworthy and faithful friend you will ever have. James 2:23 tells us that Abraham was called a friend of God. Could God say that about us? That our relationship is beyond that of an acquaintance but has depth and history. There is an amazing conversation between two friends, God and Abraham found in Genesis.
In Genesis 18, Abraham and Sarah have just been visited by three visitors who shared the good news that she would be a mother in her old age. But God didn’t only have good news to share with them, but also a heads up. The visitors inform Abraham that God will soon destroy the towns of Sodom and Gomorrah because of their sin. Why wouldn’t this be great news, you ask? Punishing the wicked and making room for the righteous sounds like a win-win! But the problem is that Abraham’s nephew, Lot, who came with him from Haran was living in Sodom. Naturally, Abraham becomes worried for his family. But because he has developed a relationship with God, he does something that we have the ability to do anytime: He asked God a few questions. He asks God if he would spare the city if he found 50 righteous people. When God agrees, Abraham continues to lower the number until it’s down to ten people.
Did you know it was okay to ask God questions? People have told me my entire life not to question God, but the most successful people in the Bible, asked God questions. Moses asked God how to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. David asked God if he should attack the army that plundered and carried away his family and the families of his soldiers. Gideon asked why had all of the bad things happened to Israel if God was with them. James 1:5 says “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
I’ve always found it interesting that it was God’s decision to let Abraham in on his plans to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Could you imagine having that close of a relationship with God that He wants to let you know what he has in mind to do? God doesn’t have to consult with us before making any decision, but because of his relationship and covenant with Abraham, he didn’t want him left in the dark.
Faith is not a huge mystery that we have to stumble through, hoping to bump into God’s will and plan for our lives. God doesn’t want his children left in the dark. The Bible says that we have been taken out of the kingdom of darkness and placed into his marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9). Our position in faith gives us access to come to him wherever we are and whenever we need answers. Hebrews 4:16 encourages us to “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Our faith is strengthened and we develop our relationship with him by prioritizing our time spent talking with him.