We want a million dollars, but we don’t want to work to get it. We want a great paying job, but don’t want to endure the hardship of school or years of grueling work to get it. We want to go on an awesome vacation, but never save the money to pay for it. We want a beautiful house and furnishings but don’t want to wait until we can afford it.
We want a great relationship with our kids, but don’t give them the time that it requires. We want to be close to God, to see Him, feel Him, know Him, be used in mighty ways, yet we don’t put effort toward our relationship with Him. In other words, we treat God the same way we treat everything else in life. We want big results from little effort. Read the story of Abraham sitting in his tent when three men approach and see Abraham’s response in Gen. 18.
Jehovah appears to Abraham (v.1) and we know that Abraham knows it is God by the term Adonay which he greets God with for Adonay is only used for God. This implies that Abraham has spent enough time with God to know Him when He appears. Abraham is not surprised or fearful of the Lord. Let’s consider Abraham’s actions:
-Abraham hastened to meet the Lord. (v.2)
-He fully/ warmly welcomed the Lord. (v.2)
-Begged the Lord to stay. Called self his servant. (v.3)
-Provided water to wash and shade for rest. (v.4)
-Provided food, comfort (refreshing time) for hearts. (v.5)
-Abraham hastened to provide hospitality (v.6-8)
-Allowed them to eat while he waited. (v.8)
Abraham hurried to meet with the Lord. When was the last time we hurried to meet with Him? Abraham fully and warmly welcomed the Lord. Is that the way we open our lives to the Lord everyday or do we rush to get in a few prayers and read a few verses of the Word? He desired the presence of the Lord and humbled himself before Him. He provided for the Lord’s needs (do we even know what He needs?) and with great effort and no waste of time, provided for those needs. Abraham allowed the Lord’s needs to be met first while he patiently waited. Seems a little different to how we act with God, doesn’t it?
But there was good come of Abraham’s actions and heart toward God:
-The Lord blessed with a promise of a son. (v.10)
-Jehovah confided in Abraham. (v.20-21)
Abraham stood before (in the presence of) the Lord. (v.22)
He negotiated with God. (v.23+)
In the end, Abraham stood in Jehovah’s presence and was able to negotiate with Him. (Full two way communication.) You can’t get any closer to the Lord than that. But just wanting it won’t make it happen; we have to put forth some effort into the relationship. Note in “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” (Jm. 4:8) we are to initiate the action, and then God responds. Most of us want more of God’s presence and power in our lives, but wanting it isn’t going to magically make it happen. We have to start doing our part--- welcoming Him into our lives, humbling ourselves, and making a genuine effort!