Going into the prophetic ministry time at OneThing, I had recently asked God for humility to pursue friendship with Him and learn to fear Him. The first word that was shared was that God has given me a gift of wisdom and going deep with Him in understanding. Then the first person shared that God sees me as humble. That He wanted to affirm that in me. Looking back now, I am majorly encouraged by what she shared because only a day earlier I had been asking God to lead me in humility.
I have been thinking about respect since my prayer from a previous blog post. And I believe that respect begins at the place where I begin to value someone other than myself. Specifically from my previous prayer, learning to fear God means learning to respect Him. Learning to respect Him means learning to treasure the precious boundaries He outlines as necessary for a healthy relationship with Him.
I was given a book as a late Christmas gift from two friends the first day of the conference. It seemed that God was lifting the call to rest from pursuing knowledge and understanding thru the gift. As Kingfishers Catch Fire by Eugene Peterson was the gift. The second sermon in the book concerns the story of Abraham as the friend of God. ‘Coincidentally,’ right after praying to grow as a friend of God, the very next day I read a sermon Peterson delivered about being a friend of God. Describing friendship, Peterson notes, “Friendship is not a way of accomplishing something but a way of being with another in which we become more authentically ourselves” (p. 20). Ouch. This is literally what I had just spoken to God about not 24 hours earlier. I asked God to lead me away from trying to accomplish something in my fiancé’s life rather than being her friend. I had asked God to lead me in friendship with Him instead of trying to accomplish fame from Him. And He answered.
Peterson said Abraham’s honoring God,
“were spontaneous acts of friendship and gratitude, expressions of respect. What friendship means is that two persons are in touch with each other and share important interests. And that is what the friendship of God and Abraham is all about. Abraham was in touch with the God who was in touch with him. He accepted God’s concern for him as the reality of his life, and he returned it by making God the center of his life. He obeyed, he journeyed, he prayed, he believed, and he built altars” (p. 20)
Obedience, prayer (conversation), believing (faith), journeying, remembering. That sounds exactly like what respecting someone in doing life together looks like. When I came to Job 28 and Matthew Henry a few days ago, these words from Peterson, the prophetic words, and my prayers made Job and Henry quite interesting reading.
Until next time,
- Ben :D