Caleb Baker – Young Adult Pastor
“But Abram replied, ‘O Sovereign LORD, what good are all your blessings when I don’t even have a son? Since you’ve given me no children, Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my household, will inherit all my wealth. You have given me no descendants of my own, so one of my servants will be my heir.’ Then the LORD said to him, ‘No, your servant will not be your heir.’ Then the LORD took Abram outside and said to him, ‘Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!’ And Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD counted him as righteous because of his faith.”
There are a few things that stick out to me about this incredible interaction between Abraham and God… the first is the guts it takes for a guy to say to God, “What good are all your blessings?” That’s a crazy thing to say to God. I think this is an important insight for us on how we can get better at praying… pray what’s actually in your heart. It doesn’t do any good to have a prayer life full of religious words because you’re trying not to hurt God’s feelings or make him mad. Prayer is about actual relationship and that’s what we see with Abraham here. He’s mad… he’s confused… he’s sad. And he doesn’t hold back; he’s honest with GOd. Another reason this speaks to me a lot is because I think far too many perceptions of God are that he’s this hot-headed, lightning bolt-wielding tyrant. We see a certain gentleness about God’s interaction with Abraham. He’s patient with him… he explains things to him… he reassures him.
I think God wants to reassure you today, as well. Don’t be bogged down by the timing of things that are or aren’t going currently. Don’t get distracted by what is happening in someone else’s life. Don’t get discouraged by your past mistakes or future fears… be reassured that the God who created the stars wants to grab you by the hand and take you on a walk. He wants to remind you that he keeps his promises and that he’s already defeated the enemy. The biggest potential loss in your life isn’t that you won’t actually get all the things that you think you deserve… the biggest potential loss of your life is missing out on a real, intimate relationship with the Most High God. That relationship is what’s at stake. That’s what you were made for.
During the hard times in your life focus on God’s faithfulness, not your pending blessings that may or may not be coming to you. It isn’t your blessings that will sustain you, but it IS God’s faithfulness that will sustain you. It’s only by his faithfulness that will keep you afloat.
Two things to leave you with today… first, pray like you actually talk. If you spoke in hollow religious poems to your wife or husband or best friend, that relationship would start to feel fake. Your relationship with God is no different. Praying is real life… it’s a struggle… it’s messy. We’ll be better off the more and more we embrace that.
Second, focus on God’s faithfulness. Focus on what he’s done since the beginning of time and what he will undoubtedly continue to do… which is showing up for his people. When you find yourself in a trying time full of confusion and pain or fear… remember how far he came to bring you home.