What is the difference between a casual acquaintance and a close friend? We invest time, energy, and love into our close friends, whether it’s sitting up until 2 AM talking about life, calling out of the blue just to say hello, or re-arranging our schedules to meet up with them. We don’t invest too much in an acquaintance. A close friend gets our best; an acquaintance gets the rest. In our prayer life, do we treat God as a close friend or casual acquaintance?“Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. Moses entered the cloud and went up on the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.” (Exodus 24:17-18) Moses invested in his relationship with God; in this case, a forty day investment. The result of this meeting was the Ten Commandments, which to this day, still guides God’s people. When was the last time we spent that sort of time with God?
“And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, ‘Let me go, for the day has broken.’ But Jacob said, ‘I will not let you go unless you bless me.’ And he said to him, ‘What is your name? And he said, ‘Jacob.’ Then he said, ‘Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.’” (Genesis 32:24-28) Jacob spent an entire night with God and was changed forever. When was the last time we sat down with God and said, “I’m not leaving until you change my life?”
As for David, he lived for his relationship with God, always putting time and effort into it. “…when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night…” (Psalm 63:6) “Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice.” (Psalm 55:17) David even urged his son, Solomon, to do the same. “Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!” (1 Chronicles 16:11)
These men sought to be close friends with God, but does God feel the same? In John 15:15, Jesus answers this. “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” God does not want us to be mere acquaintances, but trusted friends.
Scripture says, “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13). Moses, Jacob, and David didn’t pursue God with a half-hearted approach; they sought God with all their energy and resources. In return, God does the same. “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” (James 4:8) In our prayer life, if we’re honest about the time and energy we spend, is God a close friend or casual acquaintance?
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. John 15:4-5
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