Pay attention to the tension in your body. Let go of it and any expectations to do anything other than God’s will today. Prepare yourself to hear God’s word.
2 Chronicles 20:5-12 (NRSV)
Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord, before the new court, and said, “O Lord, God of our ancestors, are you not God in heaven? Do you not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations? In your hand are power and might, so that no one is able to withstand you. Did you not, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel, and give it forever to the descendants of your friend Abraham? They have lived in it, and in it have built you a sanctuary for your name, saying, ‘If disaster comes upon us, the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house, and before you, for your name is in this house, and cry to you in our distress, and you will hear and save.’ See now, the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, whom you would not let Israel invade when they came from the land of Egypt, and whom they avoided and did not destroy— they reward us by coming to drive us out of your possession that you have given us to inherit. O our God, will you not execute judgment upon them? For we are powerless against this great multitude that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
Jehoshaphat was standing with God’s people, praising God for protecting them and getting them to the point of being able to build a sanctuary, a dwelling place for God. This time is one of great celebration in the life of the nation. Yet, the thing that strikes me the most is that, while talking to God, Jehoshaphat calls the nation “descendants of your friend Abraham.” Jehoshaphat just slipped into his prayer this reference to Abraham as God’s friend.
Maybe that phrase stands out to me because I want to be known as God’s friend, don’t you? What a challenge and a joy that would be. “Do you know the church secretary there?” “Oh, yes. She’s God’s friend Denise.”
What would it take for people to see you in that light? Friends spend meaningful time together. They talk to each other. They share common interests, values, and goals. They honor each other and defend the other honor when necessary. They stand together. That is what God did for Abraham, and what Abraham did for God. They had a friendship.
What changes would you have to make in your life for others to recognize you as God’s friend?
Lord, I want to be a better friend to you. I want others to be able to see that you are not only my Lord, but also my friend. Help me to walk so closely with you that it is a testimony of our love for one another. Amen.
Go with God.